BT has added a set of business-management tools to its portfolio of free, hosted applications for small businesses.
BT Business Builder incorporates bookkeeping, invoicing, sales, planning, payroll, human resources and health and safety tools, together with a news-alert service covering new business legislation.
Although the basic service is free, an upgrade to the premium service adds a 24-hour legal helpline to the mix, along with more advanced HR, health and safety and payroll functions.
"Our customers are looking for comprehensive support and that's what we're delivering," said the managing director of BT Business, Bill Murphy, on Tuesday. "Whether the business has been running for a while or is just starting out, we're giving them an all-in-one service that helps owner-managers spend less time on everyday business administration and more time doing business. By offering the basic service for free, we are helping small businesses get off on the right foot, and more established ones to make their processes much more efficient."
BT, which is gradually shifting its image from telecommunications incumbent to global IT services giant, has already launched several hosted services for small businesses this year. BT Tradespace (launched in April) is a free social networking and marketing facility designed to let small business set up an online presence easily via a series of templates, while BT Workspace (launched in January) is a Microsoft SharePoint-based collaboration tool.