Wednesday, 17 May 2017 14:46

Optus keeps small business in the Loop


Optus has launched Loop, a cloud-based, virtual PABX targeted at small-to-medium business.

Optus Loop, in collaboration with Broadsoft UC-One has repackaged and rebranded its “UC-One app” to provide a range of PABX and SMB business features on a mobile, tablet or VoIP handset.

Optus Matthew BallMatt Ball, who recently joined Optus as head of small to medium business, said, “We are turning PABX on its head by helping to reduce the costly infrastructure so SMBs can do away with clunky and expensive telephony systems to now run their business seamlessly and easily on a fixed and mobile integrated mobile service.”

The launch was at the new wework co-working offices at 100 Harris Street, Pyrmont Sydney.

The audience was a mix of established small business and start-ups. Ball said that SMBs all had similar needs – keep it simple, save time, save money and help us find more customers to grow the business.

He said that Optus had focused on these needs for the SMBs that make up about 95% of all business. It had introduced SMB specialists into many of its capital city and regional stores, it had SMB specialists in its call centres, there was a new premium white-glove “onboarding experience” and fast-lane support for customers with three or more services to jump queues, similar to “priority boarding” for airlines.

In addition, it had Optus Smart Shops with 24/7 IT support and 34 dedicated business centres.

Optus hosts the cloud solution locally in Sydney and Melbourne and it can bundle Internet, 4G broadband and SMB-focused IT services. For example, there is no data cost to use Loop over Optus’s 4G network and this could be very handy for small, mobile businesses.

Some of the interesting features included Dual identity (seamless handoff from landline to mobile), call move, all the usual SMB PABX features, presence sensing, voicemail to email, and basic collaboration tools.

Loop prices  depend on the number of users, the length of contact (or pay-as-you-go), and the features. You pay a site fee of $10 per site, and it starts at $50 per month per user (we presume this is per direct in-dial number and 25 additional features) and $55 per user per month (for 40 additional features). The prices include unlimited calls to Australian fixed and mobile numbers, 13/1300 numbers and select countries (or worldsaver rates apply). Optus staff did mention discounts for longer terms and more seats.

The primary benefit is that you don’t need dedicated Ethernet wiring in the office and any desktop, notebook, tablet or mobile phone that runs its app can act as a phone.

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Ray Shaw

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Ray Shaw  has a passion for IT ever since building his first computer in 1980. He is a qualified journalist, hosted a consumer IT based radio program on ABC radio for 10 years, has developed world leading software for the events industry and is smart enough to no longer own a retail computer store!

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