More than half a million Australian businesses are already connected to the nbn™ broadband access network, but with mandatory disconnection of many old services now imminent, most businesses need to have a plan for their migration – and a team of specialists to help make it happen.*
Yet not every business or retail service provider has a team of telecommunications specialists waiting to be called on when issues arise. Others may have the right staff, but require a higher level of service to help ensure that issues can be dealt with quickly.
Recognising that the nbn™ access network rollout will test businesses in myriad ways, business nbn™ has implemented a number of significant changes designed to ensure that businesses have access to the technical capabilities and service options they need, both during and after their migration.
Keeping the lights on
Data connectivity has become so critical to businesses’ everyday functioning that the Standard Service Level Agreement (Standard SLA) that nbn™ offers to service providers may not be adequate for all business environments when each hour of downtime means lost revenues.
To help minimise the potential impact of any service interruption, business nbn™ offers a range of enhanced Service Level Agreements (eSLAs) to service providers that help service providers remedy issues within much shorter periods than the Standard SLA provides.
Eight different business assurance eSLAs offer different combinations of operational periods – including extended support times that run from 7am to 9pm, or 24x7 – and rectification times as short as 4 hours.˃
“Our business end-customers have been asking us to react a lot faster than the Standard SLA”, explains Martina McConigley, general manager for business service delivery with nbn Australia.
“As a result, we have developed enhanced service levels where we offer a range of options to service providers. Businesses will choose plans from service providers that fit for purpose based on what they need to be done.”
Investing in business support
It’s all part of nbn’s business service delivery philosophy, which is part of the dynamic, agile service culture that nbn has implemented to help best support its service provider clients and their customers.
The goal of business service delivery is to ensure that business nbn™ solutions delivers fit-for-purpose, business-ready solutions that facilitate a collaborative approach to business migration and restoration with service providers; with nbn investing heavily in this capability over the past two years.
The August 2018 opening of a dedicated business nbn™ Operations Centre (BOC) in Melbourne’s Docklands was a significant milestone in the development of business nbn’s ™ support capabilities.
With over 100 business service staff dedicated to facilitating nbn™ adoption by businesses, the business nbn™ Operations Centre is a linchpin of the business service delivery strategy as the company works to help woo businesses not only with eSLAs, but with special offerings such as premium appointments and after-hours connection.
A dedicated relationship management team facilitates strong collaboration between nbn and service providers around the country, working in lockstep to manage every aspect of that service relationship.
The business nbn™ Operations Centre is a dedicated workforce comprised of specially trained staff and field technicians, who not only competent with business nbn™ solution technology, but are also experienced in navigating often complex corporate and industrial sites.
“Connecting business premises is often not just a matter of walking in and flicking on the connection,” McConigley says. “Businesses are trading from a range of complex environments, and we need to be conscious of, and plan for, each of those scenarios.”
“Whether it’s getting security clearance, obtaining physical site access, the need to complete site inductions, or even finding parking in the CBDs, there are quite a few hurdles that our field technicians need to overcome when connecting businesses.”
Better-prepared staff will help ensure that nbn™ technicians can more efficiently attend business sites and complete their work to the quality standards that businesses expect.
Meeting the business imperative
As well as investing in its staff and facilities, business nbn™ has been working to directly address some of the biggest migration challenges that businesses face.
One of the most significant challenges has been the need to accommodate Special Services such as ISDN, Frame Relay, Megalink, DDS Fastway, fax, alarm systems, and embedded communications within lifts and other sites.
Potential compatibility issues with these soon to be obsolete services were identified years ago, and business nbn™ has extensive expertise available to help ensure that businesses can transition those services as smoothly and easily as possible.^
Businesses with such services already be working with their service providers and nbn in the lead up to the Special Services disconnection date– which may be different to the rollout region disconnection date for legacy phone and internet services – to avoid service interruption.#
Yet Special Services issues aren’t the only challenges that businesses face in migrating to the nbn™ access network, and for this reason business nbn™ service managers are available to assist service providers and their business customers on a broad range of issues.
Extensive measurement of end user customer experiences and feedback provides the company with insight into its performance, which is used to continuously develop new wholesale products and services, and to enhance existing offerings so they help meet business needs even better.
After all, Australian businesses are known for their agility and dynamism – and nbn has worked extensively to make sure they have an agile business culture to match.
That culture allows the company to focus its business capabilities around four major outcomes including:
- collaborating with service providers to support the connection of their business customers;
- working with service providers to manage large rollouts across dozens or hundreds of sites in enterprise or government accounts;
- using real-world data to monitor performance and drive end user customer service improvements; and
- designing fit-for-purpose product and service solutions to help ensure that new capabilities are backed by the support that businesses need to best use them.
Ultimately, the transition to the nbn™ access network can help drive growth for businesses. The key to realising this growth is to help businesses adapt their own unique requirements to plans based on the expanding set of wholesale products that business nbn™ offers – and this is the core of the business service delivery philosophy.
“This migration to the nbn™ access network is quite a big transformational change for businesses,” McConigley says, “and probably one that most hadn’t planned for in their usual transformational cycles.”
“So, our engagement has to be high-touch to make sure we get it right. Whatever we can do to support the service provider and get their customer migrated successfully, is collectively the right outcome for businesses.”
* Services provided over the nbn™ broadband access network will be replacing phone and internet services provided over most of the existing landline networks, including copper and the majority of HFC networks within the fixed line footprint. Services provided over existing fibre networks (including in-building, health and education networks) and some special and business services may not be affected. To find out if your services will be affected, please contact your current phone or internet provider. For more information, visit nbn.com.au/switchoff or call 1800 687 626.
^ The rollout of the nbn™ broadband access network will involve new technologies, and some existing devices (including many medical alarms, autodiallers and emergency call buttons) may not be compatible with these at all times. You should contact your device provider to find out if your alarm or other device will work when connected to the nbn™ broadband access network and what alternative solutions are available. For more information, visit nbn.com.au/compatibility.
# Disconnection dates vary and not all Special Services will be disconnected – whether a service will be disconnected, and the timing of disconnection will depend on factors including the type of Special Service, when the nbn™ broadband access network is available, which nbn™ access technology is available and whether Telstra has issued a BAU product exit in respect of a Special Service. To find out if your services will be affected, and applicable disconnection dates, contact your phone or internet service provider.
˃Not all providers offer plans based on the full range of nbn’s enhanced service levels.