Vodafone, Cisco and RIM join forces to target Aussie SMBs

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Vodafone, Cisco and RIM join forces to target Aussie SMBs

Vodafone Australia, Cisco, and Research in Motion (RIM) have announced their partnership to provide telecommunication services to small-to-medium businesses (SMB) around the country in an IT world-first.

That service is Vodafone Business One, which aims to serve as a one-stop-shop for business communication, including BlackBerry Smartphones and Enterprise Solution, a Cisco router, Cisco Wi-Fi for Blackberrys and laptops, and Cisco IP office phones.

Business One allows customers to meld their Blackberry and fixed line phones, routing calls from the Blackberry through the office phone as fixed line rates and maintaining the fixed line caller ID when making calls from the mobile.

The fixed line office phone and the Blackberry also share one voicemail account, which customers can check from either device.

Any mobile phone will work with the Wi-Fi and Enterprise Solution, but only Blackberrys can access the mobile and fixed line compatibility features.

The solution is geared toward SMBs because, after speaking with over 300 Aussie small business, the partners found that the SMB market needed enterprise-level communication on a shoestring budget.

“It was apparent in the small and medium enterprise markets, these were customers who would truly benefit from new communications solutions that go beyond the mobile,” said Hugh Humphrey, Vodafone general manager business markets.

“These were businesses who had the communications needs of large enterprises, but clearly not the resources to handle the larger solutions.”

Customers will communicate solely with Vodafone, which will serve as the single point of customer contact to handle all queries and problems.

Vodafone will begin to rollout Business One over the next several months in New South Wales before a full national launch expected by the end of the year.

Pricing plans won’t be released until closer to the launch, but Vodafone stresses they will be similar to the company’s Business Cap plan.

Vodafone Business One will only be rolled out in Australia, but Vodafone Australia CEO Russ Hewitt says he expects other countries to adapt similar solutions in the future.

Businesses who are interested in the Business Solution before the nationwide launch can register at www.vodafonebusinessone.com.au.
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