Pebbletree Ltd, based at North Sands Business Centre, employs 26 people, offering a range of services including Voice Over IP (VoIP), an internet-based telephone system; a contact centre management solution; and a virtual receptionist service.
The firm has steadily grown from a small start-up to an innovative industry leader, trading under five different brands across the UK and Ireland.
Pebbletree specialises in helping businesses cut costs and streamline telecoms, which was seized upon by many companies during the recession.
Janni Thornton, Pebbletree co-founder, said: “We have a good eye for a business opportunity, but for us to be successful while helping many firms cut costs at a time when everyone was feeling the bite of recession was extremely satisfying and hopefully helped save jobs across the region.”
Pebbletree launched Soho66 in 2008 – this VoIP division of the business has seen more than 4,500 new customer sign-ups in a year and now has more than 40,000 clients.
Janni added: “Soho66 empowered businesses to move away from expensive telecoms contracts, and gave them a viable, reliable alternative, that would help them slash overheads. Hosting Soho66 in the cloud is also the very strength of the software as it means businesses no longer require old fashioned PBX equipment that takes up office space and resources, and don’t have the hefty bills associated with purchasing endless amounts of hardware and maintenance.”
The product marked the beginning of a string of big wins for the company, launching new brands Usomo – a software that’s targeted at start-ups, providing affordable, contract-based VoIP services – Quvu – a cloud-based contact centre management solution, complete with real-time analytics and predictive dialer – and Simply66, virtual receptionist service. Goldfish.ie brand was also launched to the Irish market.
“We are thrilled that increased customer demand in the last seven years has resulted in the successful launch of Pebbletree’s other brands and that the company has been on an upward trajectory since the launch of Soho66.
“We also won Employer of the Year at the 2015 Sunderland Echo Business Portfolio Awards, so we are extremely proud of how far we have come in the 10 years that we have been trading. It is no surprise to us that Sunderland has been named in the top five places to make a living in the country; we enjoy a mutually beneficial relationship with the city, and look forward to seeing this continue.”
Sean Carter at Liverpool based Goldsmith Williams Law Firm said: “We need to be confident that our agents are working efficiently to ensure the best customer service possible to our clients. Quvu gives us that confidence, and allows us to track their performance in real-time, it has empowered our business to work smarter”.
Councillor Paul Watson, leader of Sunderland City Council, said: “Pebbletree is one of the region’s biggest software industry success stories, and we hope it inspires other businesses to follow in their footsteps. The North East holds a wealth of possibilities and potential for growth in a booming sector.
“We realise that if we want more businesses in Sunderland to succeed we need to nurture them and provide the right environment to allow that, and Pebbletree are a shining example of our efforts.”
This month not only sees Pebbletree celebrate its 10th birthday, but also sees the company continue its proud tradition of giving something back to the community.
Having already donated thousands of pounds to North East based charity, Tiny Lives, the company is currently running a UK-wide competition; giving entrants the chance to win a luxury European cruise for two around Spain and the Canary Islands.
With continued investment in the region, and innovation at the company building significant momentum, the next 10 years are full of promise for Pebbletree as it does its bit to continue the push for Sunderland to become a mecca for software and technology development.
For more information about Sunderland as a place for software and digital businesses, visit www.makeitsunderland.com, follow @MAKEitSund, email email@example.com or call +44 (0) 191 561 1194. You can also find MAKE it Sunderland on LinkedIn.