Telcos Support SMBs With Smart Apps
Businesses today need to be tech savvy for improved collaboration, productivity and flexibility. Telcos have identified this digital need and are offering enticing discounts to a variety of productivity apps for SMB clients. While Telstra and Optus have been focussing on SMBs for the last one year, Vodafone jumped on the bandwagon recently with 16 new apps on offer to business clients. Ranging from Microsoft and Dropbox to Google and Symantec, these apps cover everything a business would need to digitise itself.
How it works
- You can purchase your app licence from the smart shop of your preferred telco.
- Most apps will allow you to do a free trial and test drive the software so that it is suitable to your needs.
- You can use the license to download, install and use the app across multiple devices. Which devices are supported depends on the app, but most will work on any android or iOS device. You can always access the app online through your browser on any tablet, laptop or smartphone.
- You can select the number of team members you want to add to the license. The basic plan will usually be for 3-5 members, but you can add as many as you need.
- Team members will receive their own separate login information. They can all work collaboratively in the same shared ‘online workspace’ created by the app for your team.
- A fixed monthly fee will be deducted for each app, irrespective of how much or how little you use it.
- Your telco will provide a comprehensive range of support options if you get stuck or need help setting up.
We have discussed a range of applications in this article. All prices given are basic plan prices, which may increase depending on additional customisation and scalability needs of your business.
Productivity and collaboration
These apps provide support for creating, managing and sharing tasks and documents between team members. They assist with efficient project management and communication, allowing information to flow easily and work to be completed that much sooner.
The options available include:
|Office 365 Enterprise – $11.20/month||Office 365 – $7/month||Office 365 Premium – $20/month|
|Office 365 Business – $7/month||Sharepoint – $7/month||Office 365 Business- $10/month|
|G Suite from Google- $4.99/month||
|Sharepoint Online – $6.40/month|
Growth and planning
These apps are a range of marketing and planning tools that let you collect data, make forecasts and predictions and create action plans to achieve projected goals.
Depending on the app, you can:
- Create digital forms for staff and customers. Distribute questionnaires, images, sales and feedback forms, and analyse their data
- Drive behaviour by providing incentives and rewards. Publish leader boards and set up personal milestones based on staff engagement
- Complete competitor analysis, target market evaluation and SWOT analysis, as well as develop an effective marketing strategy.
- Push sales, marketing, field service, HR and OH&S content to your mobile workforce. Safely share a range of digital media, including presentations, videos and PDFs.
- Do more efficient contact management and email marketing.
|CakeMail – $9/month||Plan HQ – $12/month||Zunos -$25/month|
|Dynamic 365 for Sales – $121/month||Act! Essentials – $13/month|
Staff and Field Service management
If your business employs multiple staff to manage client jobs then these apps are for you. These apps enable SMB plumbers, electricians and similar businesses to provide great customer experiences, increase productivity, improve cash flow and win more business.
Depending on the app, you can:
- Create invoices in the field, and process credit card payments
- Easily manage your staff schedules from anywhere. Simply drag jobs onto the desired time and staff member and they’ll be instantly notified of their updated schedule.
- Let your employees enter and track time from anywhere using a compatible device.
- Roster, monitor and message your staff on the go, using a compatible device
|ServiceM8 – Free for Vodafone Business Customers||–||Deputy – $1.10/employee/week|
|Project Online – $9.80/month||–||Time Tracker – $9.95/month|
|–||–||GeoOp – $47/month|
Cashflow and Finance
These apps help you manage all things finance – from generating tax reports to online accounting and expense management.
Depending on the app, you can use them to:
- Reduce data entry and bank reconciliation by automatically importing all receipts and payments.
- Accurately capture receipt and expense information and share these with your accountant and financial planners
- View a snapshot of what’s coming in, what’s going out, and your balance, at any time.
- Manage expenses, cash advances, time tracking and mileage far more efficiently.
- Get a deeper insight into your spending with expense and reimbursement reports.
|–||Sage One Accounting – $20/month||Squirrel Street -$16.95/month|
|–||Xpenditure – $10/month|
Secure Cloud Storage
These apps will help you backup and store all your paperwork safely, so that they are protected from damage and theft and archived digitally for as long as you need them.
|Dropbox Business – $63/month||MozyPro – $10/month||Canvas -$18/month|
|OneDrive for Business – $6.40/month||Box – $6.60/month|
|Mozy- Back u|
These range of tools protect your business data from online threats. From viruses, spam and other forms of cyberattack to keeping your data backed up to avoid physical damage, these tools keep your digital business safe.
|Symantec Endpoint Protection – $5.85/month||Norton Small Business – $10.80/month||DocuSign -$23/month|
There are more apps offered by these Telcos such as:
- Yammer – a private, workplace social media network by Vodafone.
- Neto – a complete e-commerce solution system by Telstra
- Weebly – website designing tool by Vodafone.