Telstra has revealed the first of 28 "Business Technology Centres" it will open around Australia.
The telco said the centres will offer "guidance and advice" to small and medium business operators, with the emphasis on services like cloud storage, software-as-a-service, data networks and IP phones.
“We’re making these specialised services available to a wider range of businesses with the launch of our Telstra Business Technology Centres across Australia,” Telstra acting group executive for consumer and small business Michael Ackland said in a blog post that showed off the first centre in Townsville, Queensland.
“We’re introducing a new way of interacting with our small business customers, too – we’re here to offer our advice and expertise in business, not just to sell you more, and to help you build relationships with our own partners in world-class technology.”
The centres are touted as a one-stop shop for small and medium business customers, with solutions including website and e-commerce platforms, fixed broadband, NBN and mobile services.
"More complex technology needs require more complex service and support, and we understand that in an increasingly digital world your business’s connectivity and reliability are paramount," Telstra's post says.
Few organisations have Telstra's footprint or cash reserves and both are on display in this initiative, which will give the carrier a presence other SMB-focused partners will struggle to match.
The scale of the investment may well therefore give rival channel players pause. CRN imagines they won't fret for long, because Telstra's so far emphasised packaged services rather than consultancy. But the company clearly has both ambitions and capacity to offer both, making its Townsville opening an event the wider channel will do well to observe carefully.