Business owner Greg explains why it pays to be part of the bigger picture

Be a part of something bigger – that is the message from the latest brand campaign for Buckinghamshire Business First (BBF) and it’s something Greg Thomas definitely buys into.

The managing director of Buckingham-based TalkOne, an innovative telephony and software solutions provider, takes every opportunity to involve himself and his firm in the wider business community, seeing a host of benefits when doing so.

TalkOne is an Ambassador member of BBF, while Greg also acts as a mentor and is part of MD Ngage, the leadership development programme run by BBF.

Greg explained: “I wanted to be part of a tribe as the tribe is stronger together. You can’t do it all on your own, and there are so many different elements to that from learning, knowledge transfer, experience and mentoring – it’s multi-faceted.”

Growing your business

With MD Ngage, Greg has found himself in a networking group of directors with the same goal of growing their businesses.

“The structure of the sessions is great. Part of this is roundtable discussions where we discuss our own challenges and advise each other with potential solutions. You need to invest your time to reap the rewards,” he added.

“The content is varied. The first session was on AI which was very interesting and relevant to our business. My world is about business workflow solutions and integrating systems and AI is part of that. It challenges you and gives you a basis for different thinking.”

The business of TalkOne

Founded in 2010, TalkOne is primarily a customer contact technology provider for businesses, focused on CRM, telephony, secure call recording, and software development, along with web chat and WhatsApp for business. Other services include payment over the phone capabilities and mobile workforce apps designed for staff who are out on the road, while it also offers the ability to incorporate telephony into business tools such as Microsoft Teams to streamline services. 

Greg said: “Our technology focuses on workflow, providing solutions which integrate phone calls with CRM systems, for instance. It’s about being smart with technology and making systems work together. 

“We also do a lot of work on AI solutions and are incorporating AI in making transcription incredibly accurate. We have one client who uses transcription for very sensitive data gathering. We provided a solution that recorded a meeting directly to the cloud and simultaneously transcribed the conversation - some of these discussions can last for over two hours! The client stated that their previous solution was approximately 60% accurate and benched marked our solution at between 97% - 99% accuracy! This has helped to reduce the project life cycle down from six weeks to three.

“We believe we are providing technology that was previously only affordable to larger businesses and are now offering it at a realistic price for SMEs.”

TalkOne’s continuing development also received external recognition in 2023 with the business being judged runner-up in the Excellence in Customer Service and Digital Innovation categories at the Buckinghamshire Business Awards.

Greg said: “A big part of customer service is contact, we prefer to engage with our customers, to speak to and learn from them. We are proactive in making suggestions to them with solutions they may need.”

Peer networking groups 

Greg said: “I became a BBF member in 2019 and became involved with MD Ngage, the leadership and management programme made up of peer networking groups.

“My first peer networking group bonded through the Covid period, and we met every two weeks as likeminded business owners discussing the threat of the pandemic, the uncertainties it was causing both personally and in business, and focusing on what we could do.

“Being part of this group helped me shape solutions to the challenges we were facing. It’s great for challenging your ideas and product portfolio. 

“I also mentored four business owners, proving it’s valuable for a company to provide a fresh pair of eyes. BBF is also great for networking, and I’ve won several customers from the first peer networking group.”

A thriving collective 

BBF is not just a support network but a dynamic business community that looks out for both new ventures and established enterprises across Buckinghamshire. 

Greg concluded: “The more involved you become, the more you form part of a collective thriving on shared knowledge, unwavering support and access to limitless growth opportunities, as well as funding and strategic advice.”


To get involved and be part of something bigger, visit the Buckinghamshire Business First website.