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BT targets SMEs with new services

Could generate £500m extra revenue

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BT Retail went on the offensive today in a bid to generate an extra £500 million revenue over the next five years from small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs).

The customer-facing division of the monster telco has teamed up with a clutch of IT heavyweights including BT Cellnet, Cisco, Dell and Microsoft to offer a string of new ebusiness products specifically for SMEs.

Central to BT's strategy is its desire to tap into the 1.2 million SMEs who are expected to spend £16.2 billion by 2004 on ebusiness services such as dial-up and broadband Net connections, email, Web hosting and ecommerce services.

It's range of "Digital Office" products means that SMEs can get a PC, Net access and associated services all for a monthly fee.

BT will spend £6.6 million on advertising its new "Digital Business" range of services. Ads plugging the new all-in-one products have already appeared in the press.

The decision by BT to enter what is perceived to be a lucrative market was hinted at earlier this year in an interview with BT Retail chief exec, Pierre Danon.

He told The Register that he wanted BT Retail to become a communication services company and not just a telco.

Said Monsieur Danon: "I distribute traditional voice products, but actually I want to become a distributor of communication services. I want to do more and more business with my customers in the area of communications.

"We have a vision of being a customer centric distribution organisation within the communication services areas," he said. ®

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