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18 Apr 2011
By Rod Bruem
Apr
18
2011

Could you do with a makeover?

digital-business-comp-blog-header

Telstra will soon be launching its biggest ever business technology makeover for small business – and we’re looking for volunteers to be the first to trial it.

It all began with an idea. How can we give Australia’s 1 million small businesses access to the best phones and communications systems used by our big business customers, but make it affordable and easy to use?

Telstra’s best business and technical experts bunkered down with some of our global IT suppliers to come up with a package that delivers.

Digital Makeover

We call it Digital Business – it will make our businesses ready for the digital future, but most importantly, it will save them time and money – and you don’t need to be an IT expert to set it up and make it work.

We’re talking sophisticated broadband communications, smart calling and answering systems, cloud software and seamless links between desk phones and mobiles. (See more on the Smarter Business Ideas website)

All will be revealed in coming weeks, but for now we’re looking for a couple of small businesses needing a technology makeover and to be the first to try our Digital Business package.

We’re giving two packages away via Telstra Exchange. All you have to do is fill in some details below and tell us why you need the makeover.

To be eligible, you need to be a Telstra Business customer in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide or Perth (City exchanges are the first to be upgraded for Digital Business, with regional to follow soon after). See the “Win a Telstra Digital Business Makeover” Competition – Conditions of Entry for details.

We’ll choose the winners based on who we think has the best story.

And I promise you won’t really be a ‘guinea pig’ – Telstra will  install it for free and show how to make best use of its features. We’ll also waive charges to the value of $3,600 for the term of the trial, and you get to keep the hardware (worth $900) at the end.  All up, the prize is worth just under $5,000.

Good luck.

Having trouble viewing the entry form in this page? View the Telstra Digital Business Makeover Entry Form in a new window.

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Posts: 11

36 Comments

  1. Brendan - [Your Community Manager] says:

    PLEASE NOTE: I’m using the comments on this post to publish the entires to the question Why does your business need a technology makeover? Brendan

    Currently my technology is a little disjointed.
    While I use Telstra for all my communications(phone, mobile internet) I need to upgrade and take advantage of new technology. I guess you don’t know, what you don’t know. By that I mean what is out there, what am I missing, and am not aware of. Hence “you don’t know what you don’t know. I need help from the people who do know.

    • Brendan - [Your Community Manager] says:

      Our location is one of the most remote towns in WA and we have tried everything telstra has offered ranging from satilite to wireless technology and in our office still use an outdated commander system.

      Nothing has been able to keep us up to date with the changing times or effectively service our requirements. My buisness partner is from a non computer generation and struggles with technology even at times with mobile phone.

      We need simple technology that can be set up and utilised by him whilst enabling our other team members to stay competitive in our current market. Our group of buisnesses is run by a small permanent staff base with casual assitance from time to time. Solid technology would enable us to combine all our efforts and enable us to free up other time for more important buisness.

      Online and face to face communications with our many interstate and international clients/suppliers is a challenge for us due to location. Expectations are that all small towns should provide modern technical advancements without destroying the small town integrity, the entire Kimberley region struggles with this.

      Our work involves travel away from our office and quality information transfer has always been a hard task due to our location.

      If your system can effectively drive a buisness as remote as ours the benifits to less remote locations would be massive. Currently we are utilising several different email addresses, an online booking system and social networking from several locations and are looking at reestablishing an online profile. All office equipment is mobile so we can easily move around between locations.

      We have several mobile and sat phones and utilise 3G connectivity to remain online out of office. Sadly our system is adhock, outdated and not effectively unified. The bush always gets left behind.

      • Brendan - [Your Community Manager] says:

        What can I say…. we are ugly!
        We need an extreme makeover!

        We are a multi-award winning adventure tourism business with a passion for exceptional customer service.

        As an outdoor adventure business, people don’t usually associate us with the typical office an technology needs.

        We are committed to growing and developing our business. We currently operate over 2x locations with plans for a third in the next 2 years.
        We are not be a big business and do not qualify for the benefits they receive, but our IT and telecommunication needs are complex.

        We currently maintain:
        3x separate broadband accounts
        5x Landline accounts
        6x Mobiles …. or is it seven??!!
        1x Satellite Phone

        When we started our business 15 years ago with a single mobile phone and a fax machine – who would have thought we would be takling about things like wireless internet, smart phones, cloud servers….

        We have come so far! Yet its still only the beginning!

        In this changing world, business needs to remain dynamic and flexible to be successful.

        We have successfully adapted and embraced this changing technology and recognise we need to stay at the forefront.

        Yet our adoption has been ugly! We are not attractive, streamline, seamless. Rather we are lumpy and bumpy blob of technology in need of an expert makeover!

        Digital business is essential for our business!

      • Brendan - [Your Community Manager] says:

        There is only one phone line and incomming cals are being missed
        Eft facility cannot operate when on the phon elines, also for faxes.

      • Brendan - [Your Community Manager] says:

        We are an adventure tourism business specialising in guided sea kayaking tours.

        We are based on the East Coast of Tasmania at Freycinet, and have established a new operation in Hobart (which we are planning to develop significantly in the next 12-18 months).

        We have been recognised by 2x Telstra Tasmanian Small Business Awards and several Tasmanian Tourism Awards.

      • Brendan - [Your Community Manager] says:

        We are ahead of the fashion in our business but way behind on the technology. We dont even have an email address for the company. We need to have the “Techsperts” to come in and show the old world how the new world operates in a small run business.

      • Brendan - [Your Community Manager] says:

        a technology makeover? *
        Currently my technology is a little disjointed.
        While I use Telstra for all my communications(phone, mobile internet) I need to upgrade and take advantage of new technology. I guess you don’t know, what you don’t know. By that I mean what is out there, what am I missing, and am not aware of. Hence “you don’t know what you don’t know. I need help from the people who do know.

      • Brendan - [Your Community Manager] says:

        Half the time the land line phones dont work the mobiles basically no service, if i had a great techno system it would enahnce and help promote my business and bring it into the times instead of being left behind as so many country towns and businesses are.

      • Brendan - [Your Community Manager] says:

        I have just started a small home business and my equipment is slow, not all compatible and used by my family members, which ties my desk up for homework etc. I support my clients via a remote desktop application and is really not up to speed to get full advantage. Having my own office equipment would help my new business survive. Thank you.

      • Brendan - [Your Community Manager] says:

        To upgrade my intercommunications, thus improving the my operating of my business.

      • Brendan - [Your Community Manager] says:

        It has been a long time since we had a major overhaul of our Telstra products and services. Would be nice to come into the 21st century and beyond!!!

      • Brendan - [Your Community Manager] says:

        ITS A MESS ! I CANT FIND MY EMAILS!

      • Brendan - [Your Community Manager] says:

        Our business motto is fun, fresh and friendly and we take each one seriously. Fresh to us refers to not only fresh food but also fresh ideas and fresh thinking.

        The way we communicate information with our guests, suppliers and between each other is critical and we actively seek new technology. We are early adopters especially in our industry which has a lot of people not interested in new technology unless it cooks something quicker.

      • Brendan - [Your Community Manager] says:

        We are techy knowledge savvy and want to apply that knowlwdge to day to day IT operations. We are more than willing to be Telstras guinea pig for the new offering and are ready to be flexible, positive to change and to manage a few foreseen outages or customer impacts whilst fine tuning the service.

        Lets face it, our business deals on a day to day basis with all walks of life within our society from top secret qc judges and there home addresses to your working class petson.what better way for telstra to reach the people that matter..you cant beat….word of mouth.

      • Brendan - [Your Community Manager] says:

        Our work involves international collaboration with clients in various timezones. We have a flexible work policy that enables team members to work from our office, their homes or favourite cafes, as well as when they are on the move traveling for work.

        I formerly worked as the CEO of computer telephony and CRM integrators in Europe and Australia with large scale corporate client installations.

        Leveraging technology has been part of our competitive advantage. We have been researching unified messaging, VOIP solutions, cloud computing and paperless office solutions to assist us expand and offshore some of our business functions. As we extend our reach by expanding into publishing, we need to use smart technology to maintain costs, improve customer service and enhance our processes to compete in an increasingly competitive global marketplace.

        We also need intelligent technology solutions that allow us to seamlessly manage customers across four different brands / businesses in our group.

      • Brendan - [Your Community Manager] says:

        There is only one phone line and incomming calls are being missed. Eft facility cannot operate when on the phone lines, also for faxes.

      • Brendan - [Your Community Manager] says:

        Current systems are preventing growth as communications are limited and unable to allow customers and suppliers easy access to restaurant.

      • Brendan - [Your Community Manager] says:

        My sysyem is a “bitzer” system that has been added to and added to. It is dire need of an upgrade as it has started to cause problems like, the printer will not scan from the printer program. Recently I inadvertantly had a virus affect my system and I have had to create a new system user to overcome the problem. The system is very slow to boot up and requires an upgrade in hardware and to Windows 7 operating system. The lack of efficiency of the system is absolutely frustrating.

      • Brendan - [Your Community Manager] says:

        We are about to revamp our website to sell art and take orders for the cafe. We struggle with the remoteness of our location and would dearly love to put the Tasmanian artists and their works on the world stage through this technology. We have been longterm telstra customers and will continue to be.

      • Brendan - [Your Community Manager] says:

        I know how to build boats and houses but have zero knowledge when it comes to technology. I use the internet to find out about new things in the building industry and believe any tech makeover would take me up to competing with the well known and wealthy companys and builders.

      • Brendan - [Your Community Manager] says:

        Just starting out & in need of a kick start to break into the markets that I will be targeting.

      • Brendan - [Your Community Manager] says:

        We have 3 different businesses and a private home all running from 2 phone lines, one fax machine, 2 computers, 1 email address, no website, 2 mobile phones, 1 Telstra Bigpond 2 wire gateway 1 Telstra ultimate mobile internet dongle and although our heads may be in the clouds our business information isn’t.

        Our kids want a Telstra TBox but I don’t have any more room for wires, phone jacks, ethernet or usb cables, passwords or lengthy setups and I can’t cope with the plethora of numbers and paperwork bills as it is. I need a simpler TELSTRA LIFE and to seperate my work TELSTRA from my home, fun TELSTRA. I need TELSTRA to be my “TEL STAR!”

      • Brendan - [Your Community Manager] says:

        Being small business times money and the more efficient we can operate the more profitable our business will be.

      • Brendan - [Your Community Manager] says:

        Would be great for our business to be able to have some of this new technology to speed up marketing and gain new ways of doing business and faster contact with our suppliers.

      • Brendan - [Your Community Manager] says:

        I have a greatest limitation in technology as everything is internet based from advertising to home loan applications . I want to see how technology can take my business to next dimension. In todays technology based business world provided by telstra can make a great difference to my business so i request to please give me a chance to this free trial.

      • Brendan - [Your Community Manager] says:

        Although we don’t operate in Perth, if you get to makeover the country sites, we are a great choice. Harvey and surrounding towns are made on small businesses. With the distance to towers and not able to access decent wireless internet some businesses still run on basic systems.

        We would like to improve our communications with our vans to increase productivity, digital marketing and better accessability to our system off site. With many owner/driver/operators it is the balance between working it yourself and employing people over working outside of the business to bring in extra funds. So the digital advantage to our business for me to access our systems off site is very important.

        Our customers are moving with the times with barcoding etc, etc, but we are still behind. We would definatley benefit from a digital make over.

      • Brendan - [Your Community Manager] says:

        Between about October 2009 and October 2010 well over 100 new NSW law practices were set up, almost all sole practices, the growth in that practice size enabled by modern technology. (Past predictions were that small solos would fade away but the opposite is happening).

        With others I have aimed at being at the forefront of very small law practice use of simple technological aids, such as the former One Number system. At 70 and looking at my next ten practice years I want to crown the last 38 by continuing to lead and by prodding the more conservative lawyers to get with it on the technological side.

      • Brendan - [Your Community Manager] says:

        Our phone system has been in use for about seven years and has been good for us but we feel a newer version would be better especially now that we have expandded and the need to contact our drivers and clients we need to use sms and mobile calls all day.

      • Brendan - [Your Community Manager] says:

        We have to get a better system. The system we have now is unacceptable. We will be expanding very soon and need a reliable service more reliable than the one we have now.

      • Brendan - [Your Community Manager] says:

        You walk through our door for a 9 am appointment and arrive in 1985 !

        That’s how far behind our set up is. Plus we still use a fax machine !

        The electric typewriter has been given the flick.

        After 28 years of business we need help.

      • Like Telstra, we needed to take a look at ourselves, and decided to better ourselves. The website is needed to save on advertising, create customer feedback and positively shine in every possible way. I want the best, and want to give it as well.

      • I am trying to keep up with the times but know i need to step up my presence in the industry and also step up my communication system to allow larger numbers of customers to easily see and contact my business.

      • 90% of billable work is done on client premises (except for remote support which is hard to bill for!!) For the last 13 years have used mobile numbers, but would prefer a more professional image -- main 1300 number, auto-forward to fleet of mobiles, auto-attendant etc

        With a mobile workforce, we need a virtual phone system that is as sophisticated as the rest of our systems backed by a reliable mobile network.

      • My husband Adam started Qld Home Services three years ago with just a trailer and a lawn mower. Concentrating mostly on lawns and gardening in the early stages he grew the business quickly and expanded our services to include landscaping, smoke alarm compliance and cleaning. Then twelve months ago I left a successful career in Real Estate Sales to work in and on our business. My first goal was to grow the cleaning side of the business. Proudly, almost 12 months on we have increased the cleaning by 500% and have become the preferred cleaning and maintenance contractors for several leading Real Estate franchises.

        Our dream is to grow the business to a fleet of vehicles and highly trained staff and work less hands on and more on developing and growing Qld Home Services. We have no doubt we will achieve this, especially considering our success to date in what has been a less than favourable economy.

        We have developed proven working systems and strategies on a practical level but now require the technical and administrative backup systems for support to enable us the flexability and freedom to grow and take on larger projects.

        At the moment we are running our business successfully with just one computer, two email addresses and two mobile phones and no web site -- yet! The potential for our business is huge as we are basically a ‘one stop shop’ for all property maintenance and with the technical and communications support systems in place who knows what we will achieve.

        We are currently looking in to our options to improve our technology so we will be ready to service all of our new clients and to exceed the expectations of our current clients.

        Thankyou for taking the time to consider this entry.

      • We have fought hard as a husband / wife partnership since 1976, from analogue mobile phones to windows 7 current times, to adapt with technology changes.With assistance of dial up to wireless broadband[no ADSL available 5 kms from Roma CBD], including our marvellous three sons help, we have usefully experienced ‘some’ of these seemingly ‘daunting’ adventures to utilize in our business today.

      • Brendan - [Your Community Manager] says:

        To allow employees to easily contact each other accross the two locations. Provide the ability to view individuals who wish to enter the premises, which will act as a security screening function. Enable employees to gain access to files and documents without the need to manually go to different computers, laptops and other storage devices, which will ensure administrative functions are easily completed, in the least amount of time, thus providing employees and ourselves with a more rewarding experience.

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