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Tag: small-business

New Windows 10 vulnerabilities highlight need to upgrade from Windows 7

Cyber Security

Posted on January 17, 2020

2 min read

It seems like just yesterday that Windows 7 was in our lives, but did you know that Microsoft has discontinued its support for the iconic operating system? That means you’ll no longer receive important security updates, and worse still, there’s a new vulnerability with Windows 10 you need to be mindful of that affects both the old and the new operating system. Here’s the immediate action you need to take.

The three new Windows 10 security vulnerabilities – reported to Microsoft by the United States National Intelligence Agency, NSA – affects all systems running Windows 10 (32- or 64-bit). These vulnerabilities were announced on 15 January as part of Microsoft’s usual updates.

Of the three vulnerabilities, two are critical and may allow, for example, a malicious actor to install software, modify/create user accounts or modify data on your computer, and potentially access private and sensitive personal information.

But don’t worry, as long as you act quickly you can protect yourself. We’re joining Microsoft in urging users to patch their Windows 10 systems with the following:

For Windows 7 users, the fix isn’t so simple. As we mentioned earlier, Windows 7 is now end-of-life, meaning Microsoft will no longer be supporting the operating system. That’s a big deal, especially if you’re a small business that is obligated to protect both your data and the sensitive data of your customers. If you’re a Windows 7 user, that means you’ll need to migrate to Windows 10 as soon as possible to receive security updates protecting you against these and other vulnerabilities.

Microsoft has a guide for updating to Windows 10 from Windows 7. Ensure you update promptly to protect yourself from exploits and hackers looking to compromise you and your customers.

Delivering proven results for tradies with Telstra Trades Assist

Tech and Innovation Small Business

Posted on October 31, 2019

4 min read

When you ask any small business owner what takes up the majority of their time, more often than not they’ll say it’s paperwork. We want to help all small businesses take advantage of digitisation, and with Telstra Trades Assist, it’s a snap.

Making the complex simple

If you’re a tradie running your own business, you have to stay on top of admin to be successful. Manage invoices; schedule staff; deal with equipment and parts, all while managing customers and their expectations and trying to keep a work-life balance. It’s this grinding admin work that could be spent on what really matters. That’s why we’ve got Trades Assist to turn your juggling act into a simple straightforward routine.

Our Trades Assist app is an all-in-one business tool to be used on a compatible device, that helps you streamline your business by putting everything at your fingertips. It allows you to assign jobs according to skills and availability; quote jobs faster with material price lookups; simplify invoicing with MYOB and Xero support, and a business dashboard gives you a real-time view of your performance. Trades Assist also acts as a customer record-keeping app that records your customers’ details and even provides you the fastest travel route to their job.

We’ve partnered with Suncorp, Cube Performance; Energy Space; Kennards Hire; Master Electricians Australia; MYOB and Xero (to name a few) to help you connect with services and automate more of your admin tasks.

It puts you in control of your business with a smart yet intuitive and simple app that streamlines your admin tasks for the best results.

Saving a year of productivity

Time is money when you’re running a business, and the ability to save time can increase profitability at the end of the financial year. That’s exactly what happened with O’Byrne Plumbing.

O’Byrne Plumbing is a family-owned business launched in 1992 by Mark and Neradine O’Byrne in Tasmania. The business is now managed by their son, Tristan, and daughter, Adelaide, who handles the all-important administrative tasks.

Prior to their use of Telstra Trades Assist, booking a job was a much slower process. Adelaide would record a client’s request on paper and write up a schedule on a whiteboard each day. This was also entered into a paper diary for record-keeping and plumbers would visit the office each morning to grab their paper job cards.

Once the job was completed, the paper card would be returned with what the plumber had done recorded on it, and Adelaide would calculate the cost to be charged before inputting it to MYOB. This process slowed down productivity. The simple act of recording everything onto paper cards before transposing it to the daily whiteboard would take up to two hours of their precious business time each day.

Once they implemented Telstra Trades Assist in their business, the cost savings started stacking up. On each job, Adelaide now saves at least 20 minutes per job which has added up to over 1800 hours saved since implementing the app 18 months ago. That’s 225 work days – almost a year of business by just digitising the admin procedures!

This frees Adelaide and the rest of the business up to do more work that they simply didn’t have time for prior to implementing Telstra Trades Assist. Jobs are quoted faster, invoicing is quicker and cash flow is improving significantly.

Adelaide says she now has more time to focus on growing the business.

“Telstra Trades Assist has streamlined our tasks and created greater efficiency for our company. Instead of drowning in paperwork, we have the freedom to concentrate on other aspects that further grow and develop our business,” she told us.

If you’d like to get on top of your business’ admin and paperwork like Adelaide and O’Byrne Plumbing, check out Telstra Trades Assist on our website.

Telstra Business Women’s Awards 2020: celebrating 25 years of progress

Telstra Business Women's Awards

Posted on September 4, 2019

4 min read

We want to celebrate women in business and thank the many who have paved the way and helped reshape the Australian business landscape for the better. That’s why the Telstra Business Women’s Awards are back for their 25th year.

25 years ago we awarded our first Telstra Business Woman of the Year to Sue Vardon for her work as South Australia’s Department of Correctional Services chief executive officer.

Sue said at the time that the award gave her the confidence, profile and credibility which helped her take the step to set up Centrelink. “It also gave me a chance to acknowledge the many others who had contributed to my success, in particular my mother,” she recalled.

“Most significantly, the awards continue to highlight women who may see themselves as ordinary by acknowledging and showing how extraordinary they are. Other women gain confidence and inspiration from hearing the stories, particularly when they see how others have persisted after hardship.

“They showcase to the larger community that success and excellence is not defined by gender and I know a lot of women are thankful for the path the Awards have helped pave,” said Sue.

Now, when you analyse women in business by the numbers, you quickly identify some key trends. Women now make up more than a third of all Australian business operators and there has been a 46 per cent increase in that number in the past two decades.

To Sue, and the many other trailblazing businesswomen, we say thank you. Thank you for giving other women a female leader to look up to; for not being deterred by the doubters; for standing up, speaking up and lifting other women up.

The progress is encouraging, but we know there remains much to do. The OECD and Australian Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet (PMC) recognise that women still remain underrepresented as entrepreneurs in this country. Specifically, the PMC identified this as a ‘key concern for policy’.

Corporate Australia also needs more female representation, with the number of women serving on boards at just 20.1 per cent of the ASX 200.

That’s why we want to encourage Australians to back our female leaders in business. We want to showcase and celebrate their great work and reward their tenacity in reshaping how Australia interacts with business.

We’re thrilled to mark 25 years – a quarter of a century of recognising incredible female leaders and progress.

At last year’s awards, an incredible disruptor in the field of aged care was recognised. Natasha Chadwick is the CEO of NewDirection Care at Bellmere. She took out the award in 2019 for forging her own path in a critical industry to better address the quality of aged and dementia care in this country. Natasha said after she won that the process of entering the Telstra Business Women’s Awards allowed her to articulate her mission well.

TBWA 2019 National Business Woman of the Year Award Winner - Natasha Chadwick

“I’ve got a very clear vision and goal of what we want to achieve, and we’ve always had that. Certainly, having to articulate what we want to achieve through the Telstra Business Women’s Awards process has made it even clearer. I now have the validation that we’re on the right track, and the extra encouragement to take NewDirection Care to the next level,” Natasha said at the time.

So what is the next level for NewDirection Care? Natasha says she’s using the Telstra Business Women’s Awards win to help propel her and her company to the international stage.

If you know someone like Natasha, Sue or the countless other incredible women we’ve seen enter the Telstra Business Women’s Awards over the past 25 years, now is your time to nominate for 2020. To nominate yourself or an inspiring businesswoman you know, visit the Telstra Business Women’s Awards nomination website.

Bringing our business technology expertise to more customers across Melbourne

Business and Enterprise

Posted on August 28, 2019

3 min read

The first Telstra Business Technology Centre to be rolled out in Victoria is now open – with our new Melbourne City centre providing expert information, personalised service and ongoing support to our small business customers from the iconic Rialto building on Collins Street.

I was proud to officially open the Telstra Business Technology Centre at Melbourne City today, and to meet the dedicated team of experts who will be available both for walk-ins and by appointment to offer a one-stop-shop for advice to our small and medium-sized business partners.

Our Business Technology Centres are designed with the needs of business owners and operators in mind – no matter how simple or how complex their operations are. The staff at our Centres are highly trained with expertise in our small business solutions, whether you need to set up a website or e-commerce store, if you want a cloud service for your digital operations, or if you have more traditional needs like fixed broadband or mobile services.

The Melbourne City store is one of the 28 Telstra Business Technology Centres that we are opening around the country this year, providing bespoke support and advice to our small and medium business customers on the technology their operations need to succeed.

There are over 9000 of our small and medium business customers in the area surrounding this new Business Technology Centre in Melbourne, so we know there is a strong demand for this kind of personalised support. We know that the needs of small and medium-sized businesses are constantly changing and evolving as technology evolves, and we know you want guidance on the best and most effective ways to grow their operations.

Telstra Business Technology Centre Melbourne

Our ongoing partnership with cloud technology provider Oreta means that our Melbourne City centre can address the increasingly complex technology needs of businesses, with experts on hand in cloud services, security and multi-site networks for larger operations. An experience centre inside our new offices will also showcase the latest technology and solutions from our partners, including products from Cisco, Microsoft and Google. Telstra and Oreta have grown their relationship over time. Now, as a full-service partner, Oreta is a trusted business advisor for Telstra’s customers bringing together technology vendors and Telstra’s world-class connectivity to deliver genuine customer-centric solutions to meet the unique needs of business customers.

We’ve also recently launched Account Management Support for all our small business customers, irrespective of their size or their spend with us. We hope this is a boon for time-poor business owners – by offering them personalised support from a specialised team with extended operating hours, we want to take the burden of managing Telstra services off the hands of business owners to give them more to run their business more effectively. We will continue to roll out our Telstra Business Technology Centres around Australia throughout this year and the next. We’ve made many changes to the way we work with small business as part of our T22 strategy, and we’re always listening to better understand the needs of customers now and in the future.

Telstra Business Technology Centre Melbourne

Helping small businesses manage their accounts more effectively

Business and Enterprise

Posted on July 29, 2019

3 min read

Since the launch of our T22 strategy in June of last year to radically simplify our products and services and remove pain points for our customers, we have listened to you to find out what you need and how we can provide a better, more personalised service.

When we asked you what resonated most about your past experiences with us, the difficulty of getting hold of the right person to solve a problem was one of the most significant pain points that we heard, time and time again.

We have listened, and our new Account Management Support service for small business customers addresses this head-on. We know that business owners are time-poor; all your energy should go into looking after your customers and improving your operations, not spent on the phone to your suppliers, on hold or in a queue in-store. 

As of today, our new small business Account Management Support gives you more time to look after your business, while we handle your communication and technology needs and queries. This service comes at no cost, for every single one of our small business customers, irrespective of their size or the number of services they have. Whether you’re a work from home sole trader or have a more complex business with multiple staff across multiple sites, your account with us just got more personal.

Following in the footsteps of our major revamp to small business plans in December of last year, our radically simplified post-paid mobile plans with no lock-in contracts and more flexibility in March, and our ongoing push to make small business support more personal, our latest upgrade for small business customers means account management support for all – no exclusions.

Central to our improved account management support is our approach that provides better, more personalised support for all our small business customers. When you call or talk to us with a question or an issue with your account, you’ll reach a team of business specialists that are accountable for resolving your queries from start to finish. We have a dedicated number – 132 000 – for small businesses, connecting you with our specialists with extended support hours of 8AM-9PM every day of the week – so you can concentrate on running your business during its opening hours.

When you call us, the small business expert you speak to will be responsible for navigating the complexities of any issue. You can also opt into our text-back service, which will give you regular updates on the status of your request – and you can use this service to text back your small business specialist with follow-up questions if you have any.

We have small business experts in all our stores nationwide, ensuring that wherever you are – and whatever size your business is – you’ll be able to talk to a specialist in person and get the best advice to help address your needs. As part of this launch, our small business customers have the option to book an in-store appointment with a business expert, saving any unnecessary wait and helping you run your operations more effectively.

Today’s change is another step in the evolution of our service for small business customers. We know that you aim to provide first-class customer service to retain your customers, and you should expect us to do the same. We are listening to your feedback, with the goal of helping your business thrive by being a partner you can trust.