Optus has signed a reseller agreement with unified communications (UC) company, Broadsoft, to bring a new UC system to Australia.
The new product system - called Loop - is designed for new small and medium business (SMB) operators and is a hybrid mobile and fixed line telephony service.
It moves away from traditional private automated branch exchange (PABX) and replaces it with cloud-based technology.
“We are turning the PABX on its head, by helping reduce the costly infrastructure so SMBs can do away with clunky and expensive telephony systems to now run their business seamlessly and easily on a fixed and mobile integrated service,” Optus head of small to medium business, Matthew Ball, said.
Optus said the product will provide voice, instant messaging and presence (IM&P), a soft client for PC and tablets, desktop and file sharing, virtual meeting rooms and voice and video conferencing.
“With mobile and cloud changing the way people do business, Loop promises to be the personal support small and medium business customers are looking for because it makes customers’ lives easier,” Ball said.
The new services will be offered in three tiers: basic, plus and premium plans, with the service requiring a fixed or mobile broadband internet service depending on the plan. Customers won't need to have their internet through Optus to access the service.
The Loop service will be offered in either pay-as-you-go options or on a 12 – 60 month plan.
Ball said Loop was designed to present a professional first impression for customers while helping small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) grow their business.
“When people need a service or business product, many do an internet search, ring the number and if they can’t get through or can’t speak to someone, dial the next number. Small and medium business can’t afford to miss out on these opportunities,” Ball said.
“With Optus Loop, we are improving SMBs call management capability so they capture calls through call re-routing, answering calls at their desk and then taking the call with them on-the-go or having virtual call assistant pick up their calls," he said.
The telco said the SMB segment had been a strategic focus since its brand re-launch in May 2016. At the time, the company launched a suite of SMB products and services including a dedicated SMB call centre team, SMB premium on-boarding support, ‘fast lane’ business support for express over-the- phone support, in addition to 24/7 Live Chat.
Subsequently, app-based Optus Smart Shop and remote managed IT support was also launched.
“We’ve recently introduced Optus Business Builder which rewards new and existing customers that add multiple eligible services with plan fee discounts ranging from five percent to 20 percent plan, based on the number of plans they connect,” Ball added.
In time with the announcement, Optus released new research which it said reveals the effects a missed call may have on SMB owners; with over two thirds (85 per cent) of respondents admitting they could be tempted to call another company if they don’t get through on the first attempt, and 74 per cent of respondents frustrated about not being able to connect to a business.
“Perception of a company’s image and how professional it is can often come down to how responsive a company is,” Ball.
The study also suggested that nearly half of customers surveyed (45 per cent) would look upon a business they couldn’t get in touch with as ‘unprofessional’, with a further 6 per cent admitting it would be ‘extremely unprofessional’.