Optus launches an app marketplace to boost the efficiency small to medium businesses

Business apps

Optus has launched an online marketplace of cloud software applications for SMBs seeking to improve business efficiency by reducing the burden of time-consuming tasks such as creating invoices, managing expenses and providing access to documents.

In addition to offering a suite of business apps and services, Optus Smart Shop includes a 24-hour IT support line designed to help SMB operators who aren’t tech-savvy get the most out of their apps. The service is delivered by Optus SMB in partnership with cloud services marketplace provider BCSG and Cloud IT support provider Cloud Flow.

According to Matthew Ball, Head of Optus SMB, Smart Shop is a cost-effective alternative to investing considerable sums into IT infrastructure and IT support services because SMBs only pay for the apps and support level they require.

He explained, “Customers tailor their support services to the needs of their business, whether they need initial migration and set-up of services, comprehensive webinar training for their staff or ongoing support. They can select more comprehensive support services as their business grows.”

Asked why SMBs would choose to access apps through Optus Smart Shop, rather than accessing them directly through the individual vendors, Ball told Dynamic Business that a key advantage is the technical support provided by the service.

“We understand that small businesses don’t always operate nine-to-five, so Optus Smart Shop is designed to support SMBs when they need us,” Ball said.

“Often business owners sign up for apps but don’t have the knowledge to get the best use out of them, which is where the specialist IT support service comes in. For instance, a user could contact our support service at 2.00am with a request for last minute support to insert graphics or a video into their new business Powerpoint presentation due the following morning.

“Other support might include step by step guides on how to use the apps or a business wide webinars for users, depending on the service the SMB needs. We don’t see any other marketplace offering such a high level of support, which gives Optus a competitive edge over others.”

Ball said the apps and services provided by Optus Smart Shop include:

  • Microsoft Office 365: “Access to all the Microsoft Office applications including Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook securely online. Includes Skype for Business.”
  • Microsoft SharePoint: “Access content on-the-go. It’s like having your company’s intranet in your pocket.
  • Norton: “Access to protection tools that identify suspect files, emails, websites and social media for malware, intrusion and virus dangers.”
  • Sage One: “Keep track of money going in and out of your business and monitor at a glance how your business is performing financially.”
  • Xpenditure: “Say goodbye to manual data entry and capture receipts by simply taking a picture with your phone.”
  • MozyPro: “Ensures you never lose critical business files again by backing them up to the MozyPro secure servers.”
  • PlanHQ: “Access all the help you need creating each section of your business plan, with detailed guides and sample plans to map your vision for your business.”
  • Act! Cloud: “Merge all your contacts in one place, drawing information from multiple sources so you know who is who.”
  • Cloud Flow: “Optus’ key SMB ICT service partner and the provider of Small Business App Support and Setup & Configuration services.”