Telstra has launched its first Business Technology Centre (TBTC) in Townsville, which will be run by its retail partner Vita Group.
This is part of the company's strategy and will result in the closure of 78 existing business centre, as reported by The Sydney Morning Herald.
Vita Group is in charge of 23 of those 78 centres, after revealing in August that the business had entered a process to transition from the Telstra Business Centre model to become part of a "new, premium" TBTC model in FY19.
According to Vita Group, TBTCs will service small-to-medium businesses with more complex technology needs, offering whole-of-business solutions through highly trained consultants.
Vita Group was optimistic about the changes but experienced a net profit hit of 44 per cent, posting $22 million for the previous financial year in 2018.
Meanwhile in October 2017, Vita Group had flagged a possible $25 million impact as a result of the remuneration changes imposed upon it by Telstra.
The Townsville TBTC is one of 28 that will be launched nationally and will service SMB operators by providing guidance and advice on the best technology solutions for their specific needs.
Services include cloud storage, software-as-a-service, data networks, IP phones, hardware and software will be offered through the centres.
“Townsville has varied industries with businesses of all sizes," said Michael Ackland, acting group executive, consumer and small business at Telstra. "However despite being a major regional centre there is limited choice for small to medium businesses when it comes to accessing technology solutions."
According to the telco, the centre will take advantage of an area with 2,000 businesses.
The TBTC was set up to be a one-stop shop for SMB customers, backed by a team of staff with expertise in small business and Telstra's range of sector specific technology solutions, spanning website and e-commerce platforms to fixed broadband, NBN and mobile services.
Vita general manager business and enterprise ICT Paul Edmondson said the Townsville centre will offer businesses greater access to other global providers in cutting edge enterprise technology, such as Microsoft and Cisco.
"This will be done in a way that removes the complexity, and matches solutions with real-world business needs,” he added.
Telstra will select different partners for the 28 centres. The decisions will depend on the partners’ local knowledge and relationships as well as if they can offer the right services.