Telecom has launched a new online hub for small businesses, bringing together existing and new services and aiming to take the pain out of small business use of IT.
The Telecom Business Hub site offers a range of services that can be purchased online, including domains, computer care packages, website hosting and design and Business Mail, a hosted exchange service being resold from partner Microsoft.
Victoria Crone, Telecom's head of business marketing, says Telecom is working on a range of partnerships to deliver the current and future serevices. Still to come is a unified communications offering that is currently undergoing testing.
She says a panel of 100 small and medium sized enterprises were involved in testing and providing feedback on the development of the Business Hub.
"The ultimate goal is to provide a range of tools that enable their businesses," she says. "There is a huge array of different needs."
Crone says the services will help "power up" small businesses with tools that in the past have only been available for large corporates.
Rachel Hall, of Telecom Business Broadband announced a dedicated business broadband service, including helpdesk, to ensure small businesses get the service they need. She says a voice over IP service is also on the way.
Telecom will not be providing service level agreements to customers at this stage, but Hall says the service is being tested to ensure it meets a set of rigorous goals.
Crone and Hall both say the pricing on the site is sharper than in previous Telecom offerings, and that has seen sales arrive quickly, even ahead of the official launch. Hosted exchange is available for $9.95 per mailbox per month.
Telecom's research shows around half of New Zealand's SMEs have a website, but 24% say this needs to be refreshed and 16% want a site but don't have one because of the cost.
To answer that, Telecom is offering a starter pack including template-based design, hosting, email and a domain for $12.95 a month. A site with a shopping cart costs $37.95 a month.
Content and website audit services are also available and more advanced features, such as newsletters and email management are coming.