Optus Smart Shop launches for SMB cloud apps and support

The marketplace will enable Optus SMB customers to tailor their own cloud app solution, along with access to 24/7 IT support.

Optus SMB has launched its new Smart Shop marketplace with access to cloud apps and technology, as well as a 24-hour technical support line.

The Optus Smart Shop includes access to Microsoft Office 365, Microsoft SharePoint, Sage One, Xpenditure, MozyPro, PlanHQ, Act Cloud, Cloud Flow, and security tools for identifying malware and viruses across files, emails, websites, and social media accounts.

Customers are only charged for the apps and IT support levels they select from the smart shop, with the ability to scale their selection up or down. The app selection is designed to enable SMBs to create invoices, manage expenses, and access business documents from a mobile device anywhere.

"We know that often small business operators invest considerable sums into IT infrastructure and IT support services," said former BlackBerry Australia MD and now head of Optus SMB Matthew Ball.

"Optus Smart Shop is designed from the ground up to gather a comprehensive suite of business software applications to more cost effectively meet the needs of Australian small business.

"To help SMB operators, we have created a support service for the new Optus Smart Shop marketplace so customers can select and set up apps and programs to improve business efficiency in order to spend their time doing other things."

As part of a renewed focus on supporting small business owners across the country, Optus in May opened 126 SMB specialist stores as well as an SMB call centre in Adelaide.

The telecommunications provider also introduced "premium" support services for SMBs in order to "show that we're the small business support network", managing director of Optus Small Business Rob Parcell said at the time

In addition, Optus employed a greater number of Business Specialists to provide advice and assistance.

Optus has been focusing on business owners of late; earlier this year, it introduced Retail Assist, a mobile point-of-sale product developed in collaboration with Microsoft, HP, and Australia's major banks, which enables retailers to manage inventory, verify stock, examine stored customer information, and process sales from an in-store mobile device.

Earlier on Monday, it was also revealed that Optus is cutting jobs across its Networks division in addition to the 480 redundancies announced in April.

"As part of Optus' business transformation strategy, we are reshaping our operations to ensure we have the right technologies and capabilities in place to deliver on our business goals," an Optus spokeswoman said.

"This involves continually reviewing our cost base, investing in the right technologies and infrastructure, and evolving the way we work.

"Last week, employees in the Networks division were updated on the strategy and advised that a number of roles will be made redundant. We are working with employees who are affected by these changes to ensure a smooth transition process."

In July, Optus also said it is considering outsourcing back office roles across its HR and finance departments, although the resulting redundancies have yet to be revealed and would not occur until next year.

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