COVID-19 has sped up digital adoption, with the need to support and enable remote workers with security and collaboration technologies universal across all businesses. As we move from response to recovery, having access to leading technology and expertise is crucial. This is especially important for small and medium businesses (SMB) owners, who may not have the in-house capabilities to keep up with the multitude – and ever-changing nature – of available technology options.

Big business technology made simple

Against this backdrop, Telstra and Cisco have partnered to bring big business technology to more Australian SMB customers, with the key focus on simplification and tailored support for customers. Telstra has started an extensive training program for the Telstra Business Technology Centre’s (TBTC) consultants. Starting with the Cisco Meraki portfolio, this program will be rolled out across both metro and regional centres in Australia. The result for SMB customers is greater access to expert advice and world class technology, which previously has only been accessible to larger organisations.

‘When designing the training program with TBTC, it needed to be scalable to support over 150,000 SMB customers. The program also needed to break down technology jargon and concepts into “everyday” language and demonstrate clear relevance and alignment to SMB needs’ explains Alex Borello, Telstra Small Business Lead, Cisco Australia New Zealand. ‘We have also equipped the TBTCs with the latest Cisco solutions to allow customers to experience the technology first hand, to assist in their decision making process.’

The first training session focuses on the foundational elements of SMB networks, particularly looking at SD-WAN, firewalls and router capability. Subsequent sessions will build on this knowledge and expand to other parts of the portfolio. TBTC Sales Manager, Peter Lamond said ‘this roadshow has really helped grow our knowledge and skills, to enable us to strengthen our support to our customers’.

Finding new connections for better expertise and support

With the speed of technology advancement and adoption not likely to slow down, finding the right IT partner is an important step in the journey. There are a few key things for SMB’s to consider when selecting a partner:

  • Solutions focused – Do they ask questions about your business strategy, goals and challenges? Many times there can be a number of solutions to a problem and you need a partner to identify what will work today and align to new business needs and growth as they arise.
  • Experience and upskilling – Are they investing in training, upskilling and accreditation, to stay abreast of a rapidly changing industry? Are they providing the latest options to maximise your potential investments?
  • Communication and transparency – IT solutions do not need to be over complicated with acronyms and complexity. A provider should be able to explain your options, their value and the business outcomes in plain English.

Accessing IT solutions that are designed to be simple and allow you to run your business with confidence is a must. And just as important is simplifying the IT buying experience and building pathways for your business to navigate the new normal.

Get started today with Cisco’s SMB solutions.