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Small businesses urged to make the switch to digital

Telstra has just unveiled a $600 million, five-year investment to help Australian small businesses move to new digital communications, promising significant cost savings for businesses and more streamlined technology.

Telstra CEO David Thodey joined Federal Small Business Minister Nick Sherry to launch Digital Business, a new way for businesses to make the switch to integrated communications, combining features like fast, business-grade fixed broadband, IP telephony, mobility, cloud computing and remote working solutions.

“Digital Business will mean Australia’s small businesses will, for the first time, have easy access to an extensive, integrated range of communications tools, saving them time and money,” Thodey said.

“We’re offering some of the world’s most sophisticated call features and complete integration between fixed and mobile, allowing small business people to work in a way that has up until now only been possible by people working in large corporations.”

Thodey said Telstra would invest more than $600m over the next five years to upgrade its network technology to help businesses make the switch to digital, with new research commissioned by Telstra finding growth in the sector was being held back by outdated technology.

The research by Global analysts, IDC, found small businesses could save more than $3000 per year just by adopting key components of the Telstra Digital Business package.

Digital Business provides a unified communications experience, combining high-speed fixed broadband and reliable broadband telephony, working seamlessly with remote working solutions, mobile telephones and cloud software. Its advances include new voice calling features, high-definition call quality, sophisticated voicemail, new pricing, free calls, domain name registration, email hosting, broadband back-up, more value and more help at hand.

Speaking at the launch, Federal Minister for Small Business, Nick Sherry, said it was important for small businesses to make the switch to digital technology so Australia could immediately enjoy the economic gains that would come with the roll out of high speed technologies.

“High speed fixed and mobile data services will be the backbone of the digital economy – providing Australian business opportunities such as improved productivity, reduced overheads and bigger customer bases,” Senator Sherry said.

Thodey said Telstra recognised it had to make the ‘digital switch’ easy and affordable for small businesses to enable them to enjoy business grade communications technology.

“Digital Business represents a major step forward for Telstra giving us the ability to provide a higher standard of service to our customers at the same time as we are simplifying our own business and the processes which support the way we serve,” Thodey said.

“We have completely re-designed our customer ordering and service processes to make it easy for small businesses to order and install the Digital Business package.”

Telstra has already opened two prototype ‘Digital Business’ demonstration sites in Sydney and Melbourne to show customers how they can benefit by making the switch.

Thodey said mobile displays would be taken around the country over coming months and Telstra would launch a national television campaign encouraging small businesses to make the switch to digital.

Digital Business is designed for businesses with up to 10 employees initially and will be available in capital cities from late May, expanding nationally to 1600 exchanges covering 90 per cent of Australian small business by September. It will also expand to cover businesses with up to 25 staff. Package prices start at $120 per month.

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Natalie Tsirimokos

Natalie Tsirimokos

Digital Editor of Dynamic Business

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