The secret history of Belcenter

Belcenter offers a unique product in the Belgian telecoms market.

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But how did the idea come about? Discover the history of its founders: Nicolas Breuer and Frédéric Boseret.

How it all started

The beginnings of the Belcenter success story are not that of two friends who rehearsed in a garage and are recognised a few years later as “rock’n’roll gods” (aka the Strokes), but it’s not far off. Meet Nicolas Breuer and Frédéric Boseret. Everyone likes learning the story behind how two people met. In addition to amusing anecdotes, it often allows us to identify the keys to success and values and ingredients that explain the project’s success. At Belcenter, there are two crucial elements.
One: passion for IT and the founders’ investment in problem solving.
Two: the desire to set the bar very high, to offer more and better than what is done elsewhere.

A match made between a qualified IT specialist and a self-taught geek

One fine day in 2000, Frédéric Boseret and Nicolas Breuer – accompanied by a third partner at the time – launched themselves as a Provider under the name Belcenter.
The founders met in their workplace. “Nicolas had come to redesign the website of the company – where I worked – as part of a graphic design internship”, recalls Frédéric. He was certainly impressed by the young man who had taught himself information technology. A total geek like himself.

“We wanted to launch a joint project and the third partner had collected telecom equipment from a previous project, so the opportunity to launch Belcenter ‎arose. I never finished my internship and I immediately started working as a Belcenter employee,” recalls Nicolas.

Why did we start?

“In my case, I wanted to get involved in something alongside my job as an employee. I think we mainly wanted to do something together,” says Frédéric with a smile.

Their mantra: perfectionism and customer satisfaction

Twenty years later, the two men who started off as geeks discovering the passion for IT and programming that brought them together, are still there, the mainstays of Belcenter. The company has experienced very strong growth in recent years and underscores its ambition to double its turnover in the next three years.

Their passion also manifests itself in perfectionism and customer satisfaction. Except that, in this case, it is not measured by a questionnaire sent by a call centre at the end of a conversation, but by direct contact with customers.

“When we ask our customers why they choose to remain partners with Belcenter, many of them answer: “when we call you, you understand what we’re talking about”. And it’s true: we speak the same language. This sets us apart from the traditional providers in the market”, explains Nicolas proudly.

“We control the process from start to finish”

He takes pride in the fact that the strategic options chosen in a user-centric approach are validated on a daily basis. When customers call, they speak directly to the person who developed the solution. And that person is able to take action directly. “We can solve the problem right away because we don’t depend on anyone: we have developed the solution internally and we control the process from start to finish”, adds Frédéric.

Passion: check. Quality: definitely. The all-important element? Belcenter has always invested in solutions that cannot be found elsewhere. It all started with the provision of low-speed internet connectivity for individuals at a time when providers offered the service and were paid based on the length of the users’ connection. “We developed a Fidelity Awards system where our customers were rewarded with gifts such as cinema tickets, concerts, mobile phones or discounts on travel. Nobody was doing that at the time”, Frédéric explains.

The ideal solution to the challenge of remote working

Then there was the opportunity to offer faster connections than everyone else. An audience of gamers arrived en masse and helped Belcenter to take off. Today, the Core-Business has been refocused on small businesses with innovative packages including fixed telephony solutions, data, security and the MS Office suite, incorporating Teams. The ideal response to the current challenges of companies and hybrid working in particular.

“We love listening to customers, their challenges for the future and seeing how we can help them. Then offering one or more tailor-made solutions that they were unaware of, having been let down by the limited vision of other operators. And becoming an adviser to customers who will never be just a number to us. They like it because they don’t have this relationship with other operators. We like it too”, sums up Nicolas.

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