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Tag: small-business

Bringing businesses the technology they need to succeed

Small Business

Posted on March 4, 2019

3 min read

We’re opening the first of our 28 brand new Business Technology Centres around Australia in Townsville, the economic gateway to North Queensland. Our new Business Technology Centres will cater to small and medium business operators, giving them guidance and advice on the best technology solutions for their specific needs.

In 2019, a small business needs more than just a mobile phone plan and a website if it wants to excel. These days, it’s all about cloud storage and software as a service, data networks and IP phones, and high-quality hardware and software built for business.

We’re making these specialised services available to a wider range of businesses with the launch of our Telstra Business Technology Centres across Australia. We’re introducing a new way of interacting with our small business customers, too – we’re here to offer our advice and expertise in business, not just to sell you more, and to help you build relationships with our own partners in world-class technology – providers like Microsoft and Cisco.

A Telstra Business Technology Centre is set up to be a one-stop shop for our small and medium business customers – bringing together a team of highly trained staff with expertise in small business and our leading range of small business technology solutions – everything from website and e-commerce platforms to fixed broadband, nbn and mobile services. More complex technology needs require more complex service and support, and we understand that in an increasingly digital world your business’s connectivity and reliability are paramount.

We chose Townsville as the home of our first Business Technology Centre in recognition of its importance as a major economic gateway for the North Queensland region. It has varied industries and more than 2000 businesses of all sizes – but despite being a major regional centre, there are limited choices for small and medium businesses when it comes to accessing new technology. We’ll now be making the most advanced software and technology business solutions available to businesses of all sizes as we open new Business Technology Centres across the country.

The rollout of Telstra Business Technology Centres across the country is part of our T22 strategy to simplify our offerings for customers and to reduce unnecessary complexity. Recently, we announced a major revamp to our plans for businesses bringing many much-demanded features like dedicated service and support for business customers, unlimited data on selected Business Bundle mobile plans, and Platinum for Business 24/7 tech support.

We are always learning from our customers

Small Business

Posted on December 10, 2018

4 min read

As each day passes we see more disruption for Australian businesses created by technology innovation. We see more acceleration in digitally-enabled business models. We see new possibilities to grow and scale, often at very low cost.

How you feel about this disruption largely depends on how well your business is prepared for it – it can be exciting, frightening or even bewildering – in truth it is all of these things.

Through this whirlwind of change there is always one single source of truth and clarity I rely on – customers.

Customers will always know your business better than you do; know what works and know what does not, what adds value to their lives and businesses and what is just marketing hype.

That is why I love hitting the road and meeting customers across the country. Their passion for their businesses, their customers and their communities is unmistakable. For me, they provide the inspiration for what more we at Telstra can do to enrich lives, help businesses grow and communities prosper.

Earlier this week, I had the opportunity to meet with Nic Gulino and Francesca Pavone from Dann Event Hire in Melbourne. They run a very impressive events company and this year were the winners of the 2018 Medium & Making Waves Award at the Victorian Telstra Business Awards.

Technology plays a big part in their business, keeping their teams connected on site at events, when travelling, when doing deliveries, presenting to clients and giving their teams the flexibility to work from home when they need.

The insight Nic and Francesca provided was how important flexibility is in business and how it enables them to go after opportunities, knowing they can scale up and down as required and deliver the best outcomes for their customers.

In Wollongong today to meet with customers, not-for-profits, government leaders and our employees from across the Illawarra region, I shared the next phase of our T22 strategy, and how we are taking our support for Australian small business to a new level.

Our new approach is built around three things – flexibility to enable businesses to scale and choose what is right for them, greater cost certainty and value, and expert service and advice – all critical elements for success in today’s fast-paced business environment.

There is a lot to our new suite of solutions for small businesses so I would encourage you to read more here. Here is a summary of what is included:

  • Business Choice mobile plan: Small business customers can now get a new mobile or tablet plan with a no lock-in contract and no excess data charges in Australia.
  • Unlimited broadband data: as standard on Business Bundle plans starting from $100.
  • Telstra Platinum® for Business: a new 24/7 tech advice and support service for business owners to take the pressure off having to employ, or in most cases, be their own IT experts.
  • More dedicated service and support for small businesses:
    • We have tripled the number of small business specialists in our 350 retail stores around the country to 3,000.
    • In early 2019, we will launch a new national premium ICT channel for small business customers with more complex technology needs.
    • We have also introduced a Concierge Tech Support™ service that provides small business customers calling with an nbn or fixed line service issue with one dedicated expert to help solve their problem fast.

In an increasingly connected world, businesses will be defined by how they respond in changing times – this is true for Telstra, true for small business, true for every business.

Just as we have done for the past century, Telstra will be there to help you with that. And I am sure that just as they have always done, our customers will keep us focussed on what matters most – them. And I am incredibly thankful for that.

Cyber security series: ransomware – not so random

Cyber Security

Posted on April 11, 2018

3 min read

It has been a notable year for security across the globe. With events such as the WannaCry ransomware, NotPetya malware, the Equifax breach, and the leaking of hacking tools by a group called the Shadow Brokers, the past year has seen large-scale cyber security events dominate the headlines.

This month, we released the Telstra Security Report 2018, which is more comprehensive than ever before. We interviewed over 1250 professionals for matters of security from 13 countries including Australia, Asia, Europe and the UK.

Some of the findings are encouraging. Others, surprising. The insights about ransomware, however, are ringing alarm bells. Ransomware is on the rise and is becoming increasingly targeted. Our respondents reported more ransomware attacks in this year’s survey than any previous year.

Cyber security is ever more important in an interconnected world

Attacks are inevitable

31 percent of Australian respondents whose business had been interrupted due to a security breach in the past year are experiencing ransomware attacks on a weekly or monthly basis, the highest among all countries surveyed.

  • In the APAC and European region, this figure was only 22 percent.
  • The UK figure is 25 percent, second to Belgium at 29 percent for the European markets.

Over the course of 2017, Australia had the highest rate of ransomware attacks at 76 percent, followed by Europe and Asia Pacific, both at 74 percent. Respondents reported more ransomware attacks in this years’ survey than previous years.

Around half of the business victims paid the ransom

47 percent of Australian businesses who found themselves victims of ransomware paid the ransom, which was consistent across APAC.

  • Some 60 percent of ransomware victims in New Zealand, and
  • 55 percent in Indonesia paid the ransom, making it the highest for Asia.
  • In Europe, 41 percent of respondent ransomware victims paid up.

Most are able to retrieve data after payment

86 percent of Australian businesses who paid a ransom were able to retrieve their data after the payment. In Asia, this figure was slightly higher at 87 percent and slightly lower for Europe at 82 percent.

Our research suggests that ransomware that specifically targets businesses tends to be more sophisticated, with attackers having the ability to release files, typically through central command and control systems, once the amount has been paid.

Many would pay again

In Australia, 83 percent of respondents would pay the ransom again if there were no backup files available. Across Asia, 76 percent would also consider paying again as would 80 percent of European businesses.

It should be noted that an increased number of ransomware variants will attempt to attack some files, such as backup systems, as a first priority. This is often in an effort to increase the price of the ransom.

Cyber Security - Ransomware Recommendations 2018

In the next blog post of this cyber security series, we’ll take a deeper look at how often breaches occur, and how we compare to the rest of the world in detecting these attacks.

Read the full report.

Emerging small businesses encouraged to share their success

Telstra Business Awards

Posted on March 13, 2018

4 min read

Having refreshed the Telstra Business Awards categories this year, we caught up with our 2017 New Business Award alumni to find out what it took for them to win, and their advice for emerging businesses considering entering.

In the 26th year of the Telstra Business Awards, we’ve made some changes to the program to provide even more value to the business community. As well as a streamlined entry form, new Business Benchmark Reports for each entrant and updated judging criteria, we have refreshed the Awards categories to better recognise Australia’s most innovative and entrepreneurial businesses.

Once again, we’re encouraging small and medium businesses to enter the Telstra Business Awards in 2018 to receive the recognition they deserve – and make this year the year that their businesses strive further towards success.

One of the refreshed categories in this year’s Awards is ‘Emerging and Energised’. This category is for the newcomers (less than three years in operation) that are just starting out but are already making a huge impact.

Emerging and Energised is the evolution of our previous New Business Award. With this in mind, we sat down with our New Business Award alumni for their views on what it takes to win.

Small business, big impact

Over The Moo - Telstra Business Awards

A common trait among our New Business Award alumni was that they were all relatively small businesses that were already making a big impact.

Alexander Houseman, co-founder of 2017 Australian New Business of the Year, said although Over The Moo had been in business just two and a half years with only three staff members, its dairy-free desserts were already stocked in more than 500 Woolworths stores. Alex believes the company’s Awards success can be attributed to a strong emphasis on company values and team culture, which lifted the team’s commitment, performance and dedication.

Nick Ellsmore, of 2017 Telstra Victorian Business of the Year Hivint, said “what set us apart was that we saw opportunities to collaborate where others saw opportunities to compete.

“Having delivered thousands of projects for everyone from the United Nations through to some of the world’s largest companies, we saw businesses wasting massive amounts of money on consultants, solving cyber security problems that had already been solved somewhere else.

“We decided to enter because our business had gone from a start-up, to having around 30 staff in just a couple of years. We felt we had a good story to tell and, if successful, it would be the incredible external validation of everything we were trying to achieve.”

Paths to success

So, how did winning a Telstra Business Award energise the businesses of our alumni? Over The Moo’s Alex said that the Awards were important for public perception. “Winning helped build relationships with our customers and led to some really positive media coverage, indirectly contributing to strong sales. Internally, it gave our team a stronger sense of confidence, validation of all their hard work, and momentum for the future.”

Over The Moo - Telstra Business Awards

For Hivint, the visibility of the Awards and Telstra’s own sizeable scale was an advantage. “While external feedback was one positive, the amount of visibility winning businesses gained through the Awards was something we wanted even more.”

Similarly, Tom Rayner of 2017 Telstra South Australian New Business Award winner Myriota said the validation his company received was incredibly important as it encouraged further success. “Winning let us know we were on the right track and was also one catalyst that led us to launch into the US market.”

Tips for success

We asked Tom for his advice to businesses who are considering entering. He said the Awards process itself was an important benchmark for his business as a whole. “Take the nomination process as an opportunity to assess where you are heading and look for areas that might need attention. I also recommend engaging your whole team in the nomination process. We found it a great way to stimulate discussion about the direction the business was heading in.”

As for what Hivint learnt from the judges and the Awards process, Nick said it allowed for a wider perspective on his tech-heavy business. “Working in cybersecurity, it’s easy to forget that you’re often speaking with people who already get it. Through the Awards process, and from the judges’ feedback, we learned our message was resonating beyond the ‘cyber-bubble’ and hitting a mark with the business world more broadly.”

As our alumni have outlined, you don’t need to be big to have an impact – or to win a Telstra Business Award. To make this year ‘that’ year for your business, nominate before the 28th of March.

Anyone can nominate, so if you know an emerging business that is energising its industry, nominate them for a Telstra Business Award today.

Download the latest consumer and SMB insights at Smarter Business.

Small business tips: get online and use technology

Telstra Business Awards

Posted on February 13, 2018

3 min read

Last week at the launch of the 2018 Telstra Business Awards, past winners shared their stories about the positive impact the recognition had for their businesses – and innovative use of technology was a recurring theme.

In the 26-year history of the Telstra Business Awards, we have uncovered some incredible success stories. We’ve recognised hundreds of businesses across diverse categories for their courage, grit and determination, and given them a platform to propel themselves to even greater heights.

Once again, we’re encouraging small and medium businesses to enter the Telstra Business Awards in 2018 to receive the recognition they deserve – and to make this year ‘that’ year they hit it big.

“A big tick of approval”

A recurring theme from the panellists was the credibility the Awards have brought to their businesses. Co-founder of 2017 Australian Business of the Year GenWise Health, Dr Sebastian Rees, said the program provided an opportunity to share the GenWise mission with many more people, gaining invaluable exposure within the healthcare industry, and allowing them to grow as a business.

Alecia Hancock, of Hancock Creative, said the Awards were a big tick of approval that has opened doors.

Similarly, Jen Geale of Mountain Bikes Direct said “this has had a huge impact for us in terms of trust and credibility for new customers.”

Critical factors of business success

To coincide with the launch, we also released the 2018 Telstra Small Business Intelligence Report. The report examines the discrepancies between small businesses and consumer expectations.

The report revealed that businesses underestimate the importance of being online and struggle to provide the e-commerce experience most customers expect. For example, only 50 per cent of small businesses have a website, but 62 per cent of consumers won’t consider a business if they can’t find it online. In addition, only 57 per cent of small business e-commerce websites are mobile-friendly, while 48 per cent of customers shop at least once a week on a mobile device.

Ms Geale offered some helpful advice to businesses who want to meet the technological needs of their customers.

“Don’t feel like you have to do it all but stay open to new opportunities that crop up,” she said.

The message is clear for Australia’s small businesses: to remain relevant, you must ensure your adoption of technology reflects the wants and needs of your customers.

If you feel your business is performing and responding well to customer’s expectations, you should nominate yourself for a Telstra Business Award.

A refreshed program

At the event, we announced some changes to the Awards program, to provide even more value to the business community and ensure the program remains a prestigious sign of business excellence:

  1. Entry form – A streamlined entry form makes the process simpler, with the first phase taking only around 90 minutes to complete.
  2. Business Benchmark Report – Each entrant receives a comprehensive report, including an in-depth review of their business with insights and guidance.
  3. Judging criteria – Our judging criteria has been updated, with innovation and technology remaining a key consideration. The six judging criteria are: strategy and vision, customers and marketing, operations, people and culture, social responsibility and financial acumen.
  4. Award categories – There are six refreshed categories to recognise Australia’s most innovative and entrepreneurial businesses:
    • Emerging and Energised
    • Small and Succeeding
    • Medium and Making Waves
    • Social Change Maker
    • Alumni Achievement
    • People’s Choice Award

Make this year ‘that year’ for your business – nominate before the 28th of March. Anyone can nominate, so if you know a business that deserves recognition, nominate them today.

Download the latest consumer and SMB insights at Smarter Business.