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BT chases SMEs with triple-play comms

The UK's incumbent telco wants to run your telephone service, your broadband and your IT
Written by Richard Thurston, Contributor

BT is encouraging SMEs to single-source all their technology needs with the launch of a one-stop shop for fixed-line telephony, mobile services and broadband.

The announcement of BT Business One Plan marks an extension to the telco's Business Plan telephony offering, and follows hot on the heels of BT's debut of its IT outsourcing service aimed at SMEs, called Business IT Manager.

The two announcements mean firms can now buy telephony, broadband and IT support services all from BT.

"We recognise that SMEs will benefit hugely from consolidated communications services. [This] simplifies things by reducing the number of suppliers they have to manage," said Bill Murphy, managing director of BT Business. "Add to this our new BT Business IT Manager service and we can uniquely offer our customers a true one-stop shop for all their communications and IT management," he added.

Industry experts reacted positively to the new package.

Pauline Trotter, principal analyst at Ovum said, "We have found that there is quite a lot of interest in buying from one service provider. SMEs don't get a great deal of support at the moment, they don't tend to use consultancies and they have no experience in-house. They single-source for the avoidance of hassle," she said.

Ovum's research found that 40 percent of small businesses currently single-source their voice and data needs, and that a further 33 percent were interested in doing so.

But Trotter added that there was a risk involved in single-sourcing, if the supplier turned out to offer a poor service.

She also said BT was probably not the cheapest supplier for each part of the bundle.

OnePlan is paid through one aggregated bill and it offers some discounted pricing compared with Business Plan, including a cap of 5p per hour for landline calls.

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