by Samuel Quek
SingTel launches Platinium Access and Business Solution Centre to provide SMEs with advice and consult on services, products
SINGAPORE, 06 May 2000 - SingTel announced their commitment to continue providing aid to SMEs by launching Platinium Access, as well as opening a Business Solution Centre.
Platinium Access is a secure, private, and customized online system where users can have 24 hour access to information, view and analyze their bills and apply for new services through the web. Users can also contact their account managers or a customer service representative using Click2Reach - an application allowing computer-to-telephone communication through VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) technology.
The web-based system will provide SMEs with access to their bills online, allowing them to view, sort, and download details of their telecommunications usage over a period of three months.
SMEs with more complex needs have the option to subscribe to eNet Manager to monitor the performance of their local and international leased circuits and networks.
Over the next few months, SingTel will be providing 15,000 SME customers with the service. The customers represent about 15% of of the SMEs in Singapore, and were selected for their more complex telecommunication needs, said Mr Lim Chuan Poh, SingTel's executive vice president of Corporate Business.
SingTel wwill be providing 2000 clients in the first phase (next 6 months) with 512 kbps ADSL connections free of charge, so that they may connect to Platinium Access at their convenience - what Lim terms the "virtual" service centre.
As part of the initiative to service their SME clients, SingTel has also opened a physical Business Solutions Centre, to provide SMEs with advice and consultancy on how they can use the latest info-communications services and products to enhance their business.
Last year, SingTel set up BizDirect, a call centre initiative serving telecommunication needs of SMEs through a combination of phonecalls and visits. Both Platinium Access and the new Business Solutions Centre are part of the same thrust to provide service, free of charge, to the clients of SingTel's corporate portfolio.
"Telecommunications usage by SMEs is expected to rise as more companies expand their operations into the region and shift their focus towards e-commerce," said Lim. "Last year, SMEs contributed close to $500 million to SingTel's total revenue."
Information gathered from the BizDirect call centre more than 70% of SMEs indicated that they would welcome quick access to information and assistance in developing solutions, especially since few of them did not have ready access to in-house IT/telecommunications expertise and resources.
The idea of these initiatives was to help SMEs understand the change in times, said Lim, in reference to the Singapore government's emphasis on using technology to do business.