Image of Cian Sutherland in the Public Sector with his two childrenImage of Cian Sutherland in the Public Sector with his two children


Reimagining connectivity in the Public Sector

Cian Sutherland

Business Sales Manager

July 11, 2022

I’ve been working with Public Sector clients at Virgin Media for nearly 20 years. To this day people are curious why, and the answer is simple. I still haven’t completed everything I know I can. That’s not because I haven’t been able to reach my full potential. Quite the opposite. The reason is that I’m working at a company that is constantly evolving, providing bigger and more exciting things for its customers and enabling them to do more. Selfishly, I want to be part of that journey.

Making a difference

For me, working in the Public Sector means in some tiny way, selling our products and services to Public Sector customers such as schools, Local Governments, Health Trusts, Police Forces and Fire & Rescue organisations means we get to help keep people alive, safe and educated. When I first got started in the role, I had the opportunity to not only work on but lead the team that secured a contract with a regional public sector client. This ended up being one of our largest contracts. But there’s a deeper reason why it was so important.

Together we upgraded the connectivity to almost every school in London. At the time, schools went from having a less than 10-megabyte Internet connection to 100 megabytes (even higher bandwidths are consumed today). That’s huge for learning! We’ve now got more than three thousand schools connected, and we get to work, in some tiny, but significant way, to contribute to the teaching and learning of a million kids a year. That’s the next generation of filmmakers, artists, business leaders, entrepreneurs, and politicians. For me, that’s what working with the Public Sector has always been about.

Now I get to do this with a much bigger team, who together support our critical Public Sector customers across the London and Southeast region.

With the work the team are now doing, which sees iPads put in the hands of thousands of paramedics, and saving heart attack victims’ lives, I know it’s more than selling. We’re helping to revolutionise the way the healthcare sector operates for the better. You’re probably thinking “how do shiny Apple iPads help” but being able to have iPads instantly share a patient’s medical records and collaborate with clinical specialists is life-changing. Over the past two and a half years, we’ve seen why speed and connectivity are crucial. It’s amazing that we get to make that impact for our customers every day, across all parts of the Public Sector.

Virgin Media O2 Business and the future

Now that we’ve merged with O2, we get to do what we love on a new level. O2 brings in a fixed-mobile network, complementing the Virgin Media fixed fibre network. This means ubiquitous connectivity and the opportunity to reimagine how we can help more customers, whether they’re in a building or on the road. We can now be with a customer at every touchpoint, with the chance to do so much more.

And the challenger mindset remains the same, from the very top of the business. Lutz Schuler (CEO, Virgin Media O2) recently launched “Success Agreements”. It’s our way of putting our money where our mouth is. We commit to our products and services driving real measurable improvements for our customers, and if they don’t see the improvement, we compensate them for it. It is this sort of challenger mindset that makes us stand out as a brand because not only do we put the customer at the centre of our thinking, but we are one of very few that can we do it, and can do it sustainably.

What our customers are doing is important stuff. I want us to engage across IT teams, clinical teams, and leadership teams, to ensure that we fully understand how we can help them do it even better and deliver more.

As I said, we’re up to some great things here at Virgin Media O2 Business and there’s still so much I want to achieve and it’s the people here who help make all of these brilliant things happen. I think the people who have the most fulfilling and rewarding careers are the ones who get to do what they really enjoy and get to make a difference.

Here, I get to feel that way by collaborating with our Public Sector customers, along with the support of a company as big, bold and diverse as Virgin Media O2 Business, to improve the lives of people across the UK – that’s a pretty cool journey if you ask me.

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