Unicom teams up with SSE for return to utility market

UNICOM, the Manchester business telecoms company, is making a return to the utility market after teaming up with power provider SSE.

The £60m turnover SME specialist, which employs 500 people at its 12 regional offices around the country, says the new venture will create more than 40 jobs.

The move sees the company returning to its roots – founded in 1998 Unicom originally sold gas and electricity before moving out of the utility broker business to focus on telecoms in 2004.

Development manager Mark Draper said: ““Launching as a virtual electricity supplier has been the result of years of research and development along with numerous meetings with the big six electricity suppliers.  

“Unlike the telecoms market, and more recently the mobile market, the electricity industry isn’t readily set up for a co-branded agreement; they have historically preferred to deal either directly with customers or via appointed brokers.  In working with Unicom, SSE has demonstrated a forward thinking approach in order to open up a new method of customer acquisition.”

Unicom will initially target its existing customer base before looking to offer both gas and electricity to new customers.

Terry Tippell, director of business sales and service, SSE, added: “The partnering arrangement with Unicom was indeed a detour from our usual retention and acquisition channels and not without it’s own particular challenges.

“Having said that, the hard work shared with Unicom meant that we were able to produce a solution that fits both the requirements of SSE & Unicom. We’re very excited at this new product development.”

Mr Draper said Unicom had recently appointed a new head of utility sales who is recruiting to increase the sales team from six to around 40.