Latest News > The Odyssey Team


    Odyssey systems are delighted that we have managed to raise a significant amount of money in support of our new customer, Age UK Teesside!

    Louise Etherington, our business development executive, braved a sky dive last Saturday at Peterlee airfield, which brought in £500 of donations.

    On a glorious, sunny day, Louise, with the support of her instructor, Dick (who is 70 years young!), took on the challenge en-route to raising the funds for this deserving charity.

    We recently installed a new telephone system at Age UK’s Teesside offices and Louise’s efforts are a prime example that we are much more than a telecommunications company.

    Our team regularly engage with our customer base and build lasting relationships through the excellent service we provide, as well as by getting involved in customers’ enterprises and CSR initiatives.

    Louise well and truly flew the Odyssey flag at the weekend!

    Speaking about her charity sky dive, Louise said: “It was a terrifying experience, but one that I am so proud to have accomplished! Age UK is a fantastic charity that helps many people and I was keen to do something to support its work.

    “Dick was amazing and got me through it and I am over the moon to have raised £500. Many thanks to everyone who donated!”


    Well done Louise, fantastic effort!


  • Will Ridley

    Telecommunications specialist, Odyssey Systems has expanded its sales team with the addition of former Teesside University Student Union President, and Business Management undergraduate, Will Ridley.

    Twenty-one-year-old Will, originally from Selby, has joined the Stockton-based business following a summer placement, during which he played an integral part in the quality management process involved in securing the company’s ISO 9001 accreditation.

    For the next four months Will is going to work two days a week, until going full-time when he graduates university in May.

    In his role as a Sales Executive, Will is going to be responsible for liaising with existing and potential clients in order to identify turnkey solutions that accurately meet the customer’s communications infrastructure requirements.

    Having taken a year out of his studies to become the Student University President at Teesside, Will has developed high-quality soft skills that will serve him well when representing the company in pitches to prospective clients.

    Will’s appointment coincides with Odyssey’s expansion in to new premises located opposite its existing headquarters located at Preston Farm, Stockton. The investment, which follows a prolonged period of growth, will help to create a further six jobs and improve the company’s service provision.

    Matthew Park, Sales Manager at Odyssey Systems, said: “Will is a talented young man, but more importantly is full of enthusiasm and is very proactive, which is clear to see when you consider what he has managed to achieve during his time at university.

    “It’s important for businesses such as Odyssey to utilise the availability of skilled graduates when developing their workforce, which will in turn help to prevent talented young people leaving the area.”

    Will added: “Being able to move straight in to full-time employment is very exciting, and speaks volumes for the quality of teaching at Teesside University and Odyssey’s investment in its next generation of skilled workers.

    “The opportunity to stay in the Tees Valley was one I jumped at; although not originally from the area, I would describe myself as an adopted Teessider and I’m looking forward to working with some of the region’s most promising businesses.”

  • Odyssey-Office openingThe Member of Parliament for Stockton South, James Wharton, has officially opened Odyssey Systems’ new Preston Farm-based headquarters, which has helped create a number of new jobs at the telecommunications specialist.

    Following an extensive refurbishment and fit-out, which includes the creation of a dedicated video conferencing suite, technology demonstration area and data centre facility, the company’s existing workforce transferred from its previous base, which was also in Preston Farm.

    Mr Wharton MP, who is also the appointed minister for the Northern Powerhouse, met with the Odyssey team and some of its valued customers and business contacts before taking a tour of the new office.

    As part of the redevelopment, the company has installed upgraded connectivity masts, which will increase the reach of its long-range microwave high speed leased line signals that can extend to a range of 30km, as well as hosted telephony and a fully-synchronous, uncontended Ethernet connection.

    Odyssey Systems, which provides telecommunications and connectivity for business, has experienced strong growth in the past four years and has increased its workforce from 26 to 30.  As a result of the move into larger premises, Odyssey Systems aims to create a further four new jobs in the next three years.

    In addition to developing the top floor of the building for its own operations, Odyssey Systems has also refurbished a further 20,000 square feet to create new, fully-fitted offices for business tenants, and already has three SMEs operating from the site.

    Mike Odysseas, Managing Director of Odyssey Systems, said: “It’s great to see Mr Wharton engaging with businesses in his constituency and showing genuine interest in our continued success. The move represents a significant milestone in our history, which will build on our successful operating model that allows us to support the growth of other companies.

    “We pride ourselves on delivering exceptional customer service, and with the additional technology and space at our disposal, we can maintain and even improve our provision.”

    James Wharton MP said: “It’s always nice to visit businesses in Stockton and I would like to thank Mike for welcoming me to such a momentous occasion in Odyssey Systems’ history. This is another example of a thriving enterprise in the region benefiting from continued investment, which is boosting our local economy through the creation of jobs.

    “I would like to wish all the Odyssey team the very best for the future.”

  • SAP


    Odyssey Systems has welcomed a specialist not-for-profit membership organisation to its thriving business centre.

    UK & Ireland SAP User Group has become the second tenant at its Stockton-based business park, which has Odyssey Systems completely refurbished to create a new, fully-fitted complex for business tenants.

    The company joins JBC Accountants in relocating to the business park on Preston Farm.

    SAP User Group is an independent organisation which facilitates educational and networking opportunities amongst SAP software users in the UK and Ireland, as well as works with the multinational corporation to communicate with its customers.

    UK & Ireland SAP User Group’s new office will house its 10 employees, who will benefit from Odyssey Systems’ telecommunications services, including hosted telephony and a fully-synchronous, uncontended Ethernet connection, as well as its boardroom and 40-person seminar facility, which was outsourced at its previous building.

    Craig Dale, chief executive of UK & Ireland SAP User Group, said: “We have scope for further growth and the cloud-based infrastructure in place at our new office will go a long way to helping us achieve our long-term ambitions. With the hi-tech nature of our business, it was essential for us to operate from a modern office building and Odyssey was able to deliver all of our requirements.

    “It was also a cost effective decision to relocate as the board and meeting room capabilities ensure that we are able to host large seminars, as opposed to renting space, which was the case at our previous offices. Our company now has the space and capability to expand and it is an exciting time for the business, starting with our office move.”

    Mike Odysseas, managing director of Odyssey Systems, said: “I am delighted that UK & Ireland SAP User Group has decided to relocate to our business park as its operations gear up for growth. We are now well underway to establishing a thriving business community on Preston Farm and I would like to welcome Craig and his staff to the building.”


  • office move and fit out

    Continued growth at Odyssey Systems has led to the Tees Valley-based telecommunications technology specialist expanding into new premises.


    The move has been made possible after Odyssey Systems acquired the former Thirteen Group building opposite its current headquarters at Preston Farm, Stockton.


    The company is currently undertaking a significant refurbishment and fit-out of the building and plans to move in before the end of February.


    Odyssey Systems, which provides telecommunications and connectivity systems for business, has experienced strong growth in the past four years and has increased its workforce from 26 to 30.  As a result of the move into larger premises, Odyssey Systems aims to create a further six new jobs in the next three years.


    In addition to developing the top floor of the building for its own operations, Odyssey Systems has also refurbished a further 20,000 square feet to create new, fully-fitted offices for business tenants.


    The company is also utilising some the additional space to introduce a dedicated video conferencing suite and a technology demonstration area.  Odyssey is also creating a new stock and technology storage facility, which will hold the complete telecoms systems and replacement parts for both current and past models from its long-term technology partners Mitel, and LG.
    The new building will also enhance the company’s internet services to its clients.  Due to the building’s height and the installation of connectivity masts, Odyssey will increase the reach of its long-range microwave high speed leased line signals, which can extend to a range of 30km.


    Odyssey System’s new headquarters is the latest in a series of recent investments by the company, which has included the introduction of a new fleet of 12 branded Ford Connect vans.  It also recently achieved the ISO: 9001 accreditation, which highlights the company’s ongoing commitment to delivering exceptional levels of customer service.


    Mike Odysseas, Managing Director of Odyssey Systems, said: “We have enjoyed continual growth in recent years, which has facilitated the need for the new offices.  By building strong relationships with companies across the North East and establishing partnerships with technology partners such as Mitel, which has enabled Odyssey to work with larger business customers, we are in a strong position for the future.


    Mike added: “Expanding into these new premises has also enabled us to support the growth of other businesses.  The additional space we have created will be attractive to businesses, which will benefit from being located in this thriving part of Tees Valley and the infrastructure we have incorporated, such as hosted telephony and superfast internet speeds.”

  • Business women election 


    A round table discussion involving Tees Valley business women, hosted by Odyssey Systems, believes a cut in business rates, business-boosting immigration policies and out-of-hours GP services should be top of the General Election agendas.

    The business women’s forum, which meets at the Stockton-based telecommunications company every two months, discussed what initiatives they would like to see adopted by the political parties in their manifestoes.

    The wide-ranging debate covered topics including:


    • Introducing out-of-hours GP services so business people can see a doctor without it impacting on their working day. A seven-day-a-week service also would take the pressure off A&E departments


    • Public sector services and departments drawing on private sector knowledge and principles


    • Capping welfare payment levels so it pays people to work rather than rely on benefits


    • Immigration restricted to people who want to work


    • Cutting business rates to rescue dying town centres by attracting retailers in to empty shops and to give small businesses the financial ability to grow and expand

    Christine Gilbert, Director of Odyssey Systems, said: “With the General Election fast approaching, the group felt it was timely to turn its attention to what business women would like to see adopted in election manifestos.

    “The forum presented an opportunity for women from a range of companies in Tees Valley to scrutinise election issues from a business perspective and identify those that they believe are vital to the area’s and the country’s economic wellbeing.

    “The top three issues, which emerged from the discussion, were reducing benefits to make work pay, the need for out-of-hours GP services so that seeing a doctor does not affect a business person’s productivity and how immigration is not necessarily bad for the economy if restrictions are introduced.”

  • Mike Odysseas and team gearing up for Myeloma uk

    Ian Brown and five friends from across Teesside and Durham are preparing for a 24-hour, 290 mile bike ride to raise funds for charity after his wife, Anne, was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma.

    The group, who met whilst competing in triathlons, hope to have already raised more than £10,000 for Myeloma UK when they set off from London on 9 May.

    Ian, along with Billy Lamb, Jimmy Croft, Vaughan Godber, Clive Hudson and Odyssey Systems’ managing director, Mike Odysseas, aim to arrive in Durham the next day after a gruelling journey.

    Cycling clothing has been provided by Odyssey Systems, the Stockton-based telecommunications company, to help the group battle the elements and stay warm throughout their journey.

    Anne was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma in December 2014, shortly after a visit to her GP due to exhaustion. Myeloma affects the plasma cells found in bone marrow, which are responsible for protecting the body from infection.

    Established in 1997, Myeloma UK is the only organisation in the UK focused on myeloma. Its research has accelerated the discovery, development and access to new treatments, while helping patients and their families cope with everything a diagnosis of myeloma brings.

    Ian said: “At the moment Multiple Myeloma can be treated but not cured. Hopefully the money we raise will help Myeloma UK fund its research into improved treatments and one day maybe a cure will be found.”

    Mike said: “The ride will be extremely difficult but we all know that it’s for a great cause, which helps families through difficult times. This will provide us with all the motivation we need when the going gets tough.”

    Donations to the team’s fundraising effort can be made at –

  • Odysseas

    Bryn Littleton meets Mike Odysseas, a man who has known the best, and the worst, of life in telecoms

    I’m late for my meeting with Mike Odysseas. It’s only by five minutes, but first impressions are important. My tardiness is down to the major roadworks in the centre of Stockton, a multi-million pound infrastructure project that will ease traffic congestion and open up quicker routes to and from the town’s Preston Farm business park. However, this particular morning it’s a log jam. Having successfully negotiated cones, ramps and traffic lights and arrived at Odyssey Systems, I’m relieved to discover Odysseas too is running late, as he’s just back from an emergency run for ice lollies for his entire workforce.

    “They’re the healthy option ones,” he states, quickly doling out iced treats around the office as I offer apologies.

    “Don’t worry about it. Was it the roadworks? Yeah, they’re a pain, but those works are so important for Stockton and will really benefit business in the town.” Mike Odysseas’ glass is always half full.

    An entrepreneur who over the past 25 years has built one of the region’s most successful telecommunications companies, Odysseas is as brutally honest about past business failures as he is about his commitment to his loyal workforce and further developing Odyssey Systems. He thinks fast, talks fast and, over the course of the interview, it is evident that he also acts fast, with his ability to spot an opportunity and act on it clearly key to his early ventures into the world of business. However, that business instinct is something that has been honed over the years. Odysseas’ first foray into the world of entrepreneurialism was, in his words, “an absolute disaster”. Stockton-raised, he moved to Preston as a teenager and was happily making a living as a waiter in his uncle’s restaurant when an unexpected phone call was to change his life.

    “I was the best waiter in the world,” laughs Odysseas. “I could run the restaurant from the front of house and I’d be looking after 160 customers on my own. And while I was obviously brilliant, the service was a complete joke! I couldn’t just make coffees for the two customers that had ordered them, I’d make them for the entire restaurant to save time, and by the time I’d finished making them all they’d be stone cold.

    “I really loved the job and didn’t have a care in the world then one day I took a call from a friend of my father’s. It was a chap called Joe Telford who asked me one question – “do you want to be a waiter for the rest of your life?”

    “It was just one simple question, but it really hit home. I was happy and enjoyed my life, but until that point my future wasn’t something that I had really thought too much about.”

    Telford, a teacher, worked with Odysseas to create a piece of software to provide online help for users of the early BBC Model B computers.

    “This was an unmitigated disaster!” says Odysseas. “People couldn’t get their heads around it. We were constantly asked “Why do I need this software? I have this enormous book that tells me what to do!”

    “These books were hundreds of pages thick, but people just weren’t ready for online help at the time and we lost a lot of money, but this provided my first real lesson in business – that the latest cutting edge technology is not always the answer.”

    Glass cases surround the boardroom table at Odyssey Systems containing telephones from the very earliest models to state-of-the-art touchscreen iPhones. The collection includes a selection of mobile devices, from “bricks” made famous by Michael Douglas in Wall Street to the first car phones, WAP phone technology right up to modern devices. It was the rise in popularity of car phones and mobile systems that was to set Odysseas back onto the entrepreneurial path and ultimately lead to the creation of Odyssey Systems.

    “After the software disaster I was broke. I literally did not have a penny and I bumped into a friend,” says Odysseas. “I had installed a car phone in this piece of junk Mazda I was driving and it immediately caught his eye. He said that he wanted one and out of instinct I told him I sold them. Of course I didn’t, I have no idea why I said that, but it was out before I had time to think about it.

    “He asked how much and I plucked the figure £1,500 from somewhere – I didn’t have a clue! I told him I could have it fitted in his car and we shook on it. Fortunately I found someone who could install it and that is how I started selling car phones and mobiles.”

    It wasn’t long before Odysseas had taken on a couple of employees and was operating from a base in Middlesbrough, but he was to soon realise that the rise of large mobile telephone retailers like Carphone Warehouse could spell the end of most independent traders.

    “I decided to concentrate on telephone systems and we began installing telephone switchboards, supplying cabling, providing call logging; anything the customer wanted, really.

    “And we developed our products; concentrating on providing excellent customer service, better pricing and clever features that would help our clients.”

    From Odyssey Systems’ Preston Farm Offices in Stockton, Odysseas’ 32 employees can constantly monitor customer service, with wall-mounted flat screens showing everything from the number of calls a client is making and receiving to their internet usage. They can pinpoint faults within seconds, switching clients to back-up systems so their telephony always remains online. Odysseas always employs at least two trainees in his team of 14 engineers.

    “Our trainees know that if they work hard and perform well we look after them.

    All our employees must have a personality; if you don’t have that we’re going to struggle to get along.

    “We also match our guys with the customer to ensure that they will get along.

    “If one of our clients wants to speak with me then I am available, anytime, anywhere.”

    Odysseas, who was raised in the Bowesfield Lane area of Stockton, is equally committed to the North East. The vast majority of his 1,500 clients are in the region, he says. “I believe in buying local. If local authorities purchased local the net effect would be three-fold. Unfortunately that doesn’t happen, but it would be a brilliant way to revitalise.



    Mike NECC

  • ODY_6767The sun was shining and crowds of people were out in force for the annual Daisy Chain Project Dragon Boat Race. The Odyssey Team were pitted against strong competiton from 22 other teams from various local businesses.

    With the races underway the Odyssey Team eagerly waited for their turn, the much anticipated call came in the fourth heat for the team to man the boats and slowly row their way to start line. Up against two strong competitors they were ready for action, after a loud blow from the starting horn they were off. After a slow start the Odyssey team, through sheer grit and determination gained ground. With yards to the finish line they were neck and neck with the leaders, but were piped to the post by inches in the last few strokes.

    The Odyssey team had a chance to dry off before second race was announced, but they knew they needed to secure a win in this race to avoid dropping out in the early rounds. With a quick change around in members and some swift team tactics the Odyssey crew manned their boat for the second time.

    Race two was particular crowded with 4 teams in the running, including a team from Daisy chain and Barclays. With the pressure on they knew they had to win. After a much quicker start the team were neck and neck for first place all the way, storming toward the finish they crossed it victorious (or so they had thought). After quiet celebrations the winners were announced, but he accolade didn’t fall to Odyssey Systems. They couldn’t believe it, and neither could the Odyssey Spectators.

    The team quickly ran to view the pictures from the finish line, “we was robbed”  it looked like the Odyssey boat clearly crossed the line in first place. With camera in hand, Mike Odysseas ran to plead with the judges and after much deliberation a re-run was called.

    For the third time the Odyssey team mounted the boat and made their way to the start line.  It was all or nothing for them now.  Did they win…………..?

    Unfortunately they did not, they were well and truly beaten by a much stronger team from Daisy Chain who later on went to win the competition, but a fantastic day was had by all.

  • Shaun and Harry PR shotWe are delighted to welcome two new members to the Odyssey Systems Team.
    Harry Shilbach and Shaun Scott-Johnson have been recruited to service our growing customer base after achieving a steady growth over the past 12 months.Harry, 35, from Darlington, has a BSc in Business Computing and background in IT support and service centre management. He has previously worked for companies including Siemens and BUPA. He will be working with our Chief IT Engineer in maintaining Odyssey’s exemplary standards of customer service.

    Shaun, 23, from Billingham, is an English Language graduate and former Student Union Vice President. He worked in retail before joining Odyssey and will be working in customer service.

    Outside of work, Harry enjoys spending time with his wife and daughter, as well as cycling and walking in the Lakes. Shaun likes spinning and going to the gym and is also a black belt in All Styles Martial Arts.

    Mike Odysseas, Managing Director of Odyssey Systems, said: “I’m pleased to welcome Harry and Shaun to Odyssey. Due to the hard work of staff and maintenance of high standards, we are managing to grow as the economy is recovering, reaping the rewards of 26 years of excellent customer service. Harry and Shaun are both exemplary candidates and fantastic additions to the team.”

  • For the second time in the same week we would like to say a massive Happy Birthday to an Odyssey Engineer. This time it’s the turn of James Walters. James’ tank inspired cake looks absolutely fantastic, and I’m sure will taste equally as good.

  • Daisy Chain

    Odyssey were delighted to take part in the Daisy Chain charity football event held at Powerleague in Stockton on Sunday 19th May 2013. .

    It was an eye opening day for the Odyssey Allstars, as the team were comprehensively outplayed in all but one of their games on the day – but they went home with their heads held high in the name of charity.

    It became frighteningly clear before the tournament began, that the other teams meant business. Obviously in a better psychical state and with better tactical nouse, Odyssey were on the receiving end of several drubbings.

    The first game began quite well, the fast pace of the game seemingly working in Odyssey’s favour, until the opposition took the lead. The floodgates had opened.

    McKenna was viciously hacked down by one of the opponents, only resulting in a wasted free kick. McKenna wasn’t the same for the rest of the afternoon and this, it seems, set the tone for the game ahead.

    Despite trailing heavily, a rare chance was taken sublimely by Dowle, who was first to pounce on a rebound following Hay’s drive at the goal.

    This turned out to be the last Odyssey goal, until game 5.

    The next few games went by traumatically fast, with them all pretty much playing out the same way; Walters barking orders (to no avail), Roger regularly throwing the ball above head height (despite this being against the rules), and McKenna rolling over claiming a foul (or being a little girl).

    The afternoon was summed up, quite spectacularly, by Finn, garnering laughs from the opposing teams when the following on-field conversation took place.

    Walters: “Come on Rich! Keep up with your man! It’s like you’re chasing your shadow all game!”

    Finn: “It is a pretty big shadow to be fair, James.”

    Odyssey’s luck started to change by game 5, against “Grangetown”. The team started to get into more of a rhythm and started putting some good passes together, and though while still clearly and deservedly beaten, Odyssey managed to register a further two goals.

    These came from a solid, almost Beckham-esque drive from the half way line from Walters, which still needed a bit of luck after the keeper let it slip through his fingers.

    Hay registered his first goal of the tournament with a quick finish after the keeper could only parry it to him.

    The next game came to a conclusion with Odyssey, again, failing to register on the score sheet.

    Now, to summarise, that’s: 6 games played, 6 defeats, 3 goals, and about 40 conceded. That’s some pretty sorry reading.

    The final game, it seems, turned out to be “The Decider”. Fat Boys FC had also lost all of their games. The winner of this final game would save their blushes, relegating their opposition to the dreaded bottom of the table.

    Odyssey initially fell behind, but soon got back into the game with a lovely equaliser from McKenna, who had finally put his earlier injury behind him.

    A 2nd goal for Fat Boys made it look like Odyssey were staring into the abyss. How could they turn up for work on Monday following a return of 7 games played, 7 defeats?

    Luckily, this dreadful prospect seemed to spur them on.

    Two quick goals from James “Daddy Cool” Hay turned the tide, before Walters scored 2 incredible goals, including one a spectacular free kick, to put the game to bed.

    The final score was Odyssey Allstars 5 – Fat Boys FC 2.

    Despite losing the other games, the Odyssey lot felt like champions after this performance.

    At least they won’t get heckled too much in the office in the morning from the others?


    FlowerRoses are red violets are blue,

    That’s what they say but it just isn’t true,

    Roses are red and apples are too,

    But violets are violet, violets aren’t blue,

    An orange is orange, but Greenland’s not green,

    A pinky’s not pink, so what does it mean?

    So imagine our surprise, when suddenly appeared,

    5 bunches of flowers, for Odyssey peers,

    But who were they from? The flowers all alike,

    If I could hazard a guess I’d say it was…






  • North East Business AwardsOdyssey Systems are proud to announce that we have been shortlisted for the service Award category at the Teesside heat of the North East Business Awards 2013.
    The service award recognises professional service organisations that have demonstrable strength in the following areas:

    • Service Excellence
    • Service differentiation
    • Business Growth
    • Innovation

    The Teesside business awards will take place on Thursday 14th March 2013 at Teesside University, Middlesbrough, with the winner automatically entered for the North East Business Awards Regional Final 25 April at Hardwick Hall.

    To follow Odysseys progress on the night, follow us on twitter and we will keep you updated.