NBN Co has unveiled a dedicated new technology channel across Australia, targeting partners, vendors and distributors to increase network uptake.
Following the launch of a pilot program in December 2017, the new channel program aims to provide access to information and support as customers connect to the National Broadband Network (NBN).
“The opportunity is clear and present,” NBN general manager of business channels, Keith Masterton, told ARN.
“There is a great opportunity to work together to transition customers to the nbn access network and to ensure their migration is smooth and their experience is high.”
According to Masterton - who was appointed to the role in July 2017 - a dual opportunity exists for the channel in the context of “transition and transform”, as the carrier seeks to deliver increased levels of customer experience.
“There is also a fantastic opportunity to leverage the transition of these customers to transform their digital capability and to ensure they fully realise the value of fast broadband access,” he added.
As reported by ARN, NBN Co has piloted the channel with Cisco distributor Westcon-Comstor, IT support franchise Computer Troubleshooters as well as phone and internet providers Telstra and Vocus.
“Westcon-Comstor’s participation in NBN Co’s ICT channel program has helped us identify significant benefits partners can offer business customers moving services to the nbn access network and sees our partner network better positioned to service clients,” Westcon-Comstor managing director, Phil Cameron, added.
“Partners that have participated in the program will also be able to assist their customers to take advantage of a once in a generation business transformation with solutions connected over the nbn access network.”
Specifically, the new program aims to provide training for individuals and accreditation for organisations, backed up by access to updates and support material.
Furthermore, key offerings also include lead management support through participating phone and internet providers.
“We support NBN Co on the development of this new channel, which will help to prepare our local partnering franchises to migrate them to the new network,” Computer Troubleshooters national manager, Michael Dowling, added.
“We have seen almost 70 per cent of our franchisees register to the ICT program during the pilot and we are confident this new support service will enable them to provide a smooth migration with minimal downtime for businesses coming on to the nbn access network.”
The official launch comes four months after the appointments of Craig Bovaird and Andrew Charitou as ICT channel managers and five months after former Telstra enablement manager, Tamika Sercombe, took on the role of ICT channel program manager.
As reported by ARN, Bovaird joined from Ingram Micro where he was the national sales manager for cloud solutions for almost four years, with a responsibility for building the distributor's cloud channel program.
Meanwhile, Charitou worked for Telstra, Macquarie Telecom, OfficeMax Australia and Avansus, with extensive channel experience across Australia.
“For some businesses, the thought of connecting services to the nbn access network can be daunting, particularly for those with critical applications such as phone lines, EFTPOS machines and video conferencing facilities,” NBN executive general manager of business sales and marketing, Ben Salmon, added.
“Our research shows us an increasing number of business owners are turning to local IT consultants and technology vendors to assist with the migration and increase awareness about the capabilities our wholesale products and services can deliver.
According to findings from NBN Co, almost 40 per cent of non-connected small and medium businesses plan to turn to an ICT professional to ensure a "smooth transition and minimise technical complications" when connecting services to the nbn access network.
“While we work closely with phone and internet providers during the transition, this is this first time we have targeted the ICT industry at scale with dedicated training and resources to help them support their business clients,” Salmon added.
“The launch of this new channel is a part of our commitment to improve the customer experience of businesses who connect to the nbn access network by collaborating with industry to improve processes around the connection, migration and delivery of service.”