News Release

Nine Australian Businesses Win $50,000 in Communications Technology to Improve Productivity

Cisco's SMB Makeover Competition Highlights Demand for the Network as the Platform
Sep 17, 2008

Cisco Networkers BRISBANE, Australia, September 17, 2008 – Cisco announced today at its annual Networkers conference that it had received 1,000 entries from Australia's small and medium-sized businesses in its inaugural SMB Makeover Competition. Nine businesses have been selected to receive $50,000 worth of Cisco equipment to help improve operational efficiencies and connectivity with an overhaul of their communication infrastructures.

The competition, which ran from August 2007 to January 2008, asked businesses to describe their ideal communications set-up for a chance to win the Cisco makeover. Along with the Cisco equipment, the winners will have one year's access to services provided by the Cisco partners who are currently helping the winners implement their new communications network.

Among the winners is the freight and logistics company Deluxe Freight Services. Its communications system could not keep up with the growth that the company has experienced over the last five years, reaching the stage where the business had more desks than phones. The company is looking forward to the benefits of an improved communication infrastructure across the company.

Craig Luxton, Deluxe Freight's managing director, said: "Previously our weekly management meeting would involve the managers from our four office sites physically travelling to the head office, resulting in a loss of up to half a day. With Cisco Unified Communications we will be able to teleconference staff members in, essentially making the business more productive as well as cutting costs associated with travel. The system will also enable my staff to share data across the organisation more securely via the use of virtual private networks as well as providing more flexible working arrangements for the team by allowing staff to log in to the office remotely."

Another of the competition winners, Select Scootas, one of Australia's leading scooter companies, plans to use the makeover to rebuild its entire telephony system. General Manager Hollie Black said: "Our current communication system is far from sophisticated. We are at the point where we have to yell from the office window to the warehouse when a call comes through. Cisco Unified Communications will help us better manage phone calls and simplify operations. Not only will it allow us to better connect with employees, but it will also allow us to provide a more professional service to our customers."

Cisco Australia and New Zealand regional manager for SMB sales, Sara Adams, said: "Cisco initiated the makeover campaign to help the SMB sector adopt the same level of networked-based technologies which the big end of town has been migrating to over the past few years. The new communications networks currently being implemented will help these businesses run day-to-day operations more efficiently, to more effectively compete in their respective markets, and to attract the workforce they want. Ultimately, it will help them enable collaboration and innovation to drive productivity and success."