NBN partners with Cisco for business solutions and compensation

The two will combine on business solutions across connectivity, security, collaboration, and productivity, as well as a marketing campaign and a rebate program.

The National Broadband Network (NBN) company has announced that it will be partnering with Cisco to launch a series of business-focused bundles, a marketing campaign, and a rebate program to "incentivise" businesses to transition to the NBN.

The announcement, made on Tuesday at Cisco Live 2019 in Melbourne, is not just about moving businesses onto a new service with faster speeds; it's about helping small businesses digitise, according to Cisco ANZ VP Ken Boal.

The two will partner to provide connectivity, security, collaboration, and productivity solutions for business customers, Boal said.

Over next 90 days, "more air cover" for marketing from both NBN and Cisco will be given to raise awareness with small businesses; Cisco will launch business offerings alongside NBN's existing business offerings; and Cisco will offer an IT managed service provider (MSP) program launching in April.

"We're building an IT MSP provider program so that you can be adequately compensated and incentivised to go after this," Boal said.

"We want to put some additional dollars on the table in the form of cash rebates."

NBN CEO Stephen Rue said NBN decided to partner with Cisco in order to utilise the latter's expertise in enterprise technology.

"We like to talk about technology, but at the end of the day, technology does things for people," Rue said.

"We connect 20,000 businesses a month ... the NBN was set up for more than just residential, it was set up for business."

Cisco's recent SMB Digital Maturity Index ranked Australia fourth and New Zealand third in APAC, with Singapore and Japan taking out the top two spots. Australia was classed as a "digital observer" rather than a digital challenger or digital native; however, Boal said Cisco is starting to see an impact where the NBN is coming through.

"We all think about residential services when we think about the NBN, but there's a lot more going on," he said, also pointing to Cisco's AU$61 million investment plan announced last week.

"There's a clear bump in productivity and workforce participation."

More businesses are set up in areas that have NBN, according to Rue.

Disclosure: Corinne Reichert travelled to Cisco Live in Melbourne as a guest of Cisco

Related Coverage