Exetel signals march on SMB market

Expanded staff, possible small business consultancy service

Exetel chief executive, John Linton, has signalled that the internet service provider has begun reshaping itself to better target the country’s small and medium businesses.

In a blog post, Linton wrote that the ISP had begun the process of developing an exploratory business plan for an "Exetel II" while sourcing data of small and medium business buying habits.

“We are also in the latter stages of redeveloping the residential offerings to make them more appropriate to the new positioning that appears to be required in 2011,” the post read.

According to Linton, the ISP faced challenges in recruiting more than 300 staff needed to fulfil the company's growth plans.

“It's a very demanding time for everyone at Exetel at the moment,” the post read. “The key issue, as always, is can we get and then continually develop the right people to make these very ambitious plans realities?

"Really good people are not easy to come by as everyone involved with hiring well knows.”

One area the ISP has not had trouble sourcing staff is in its Sri Lanka-based outbound sales team. The company, Linton wrote, had grown its team from two in early December 2010 to ten with a view to grow to 20 by the end of April.

The team, along with a possible small business consultancy service, would be part of its plans for dominance in the small business telco services market.

“I think that as an add-on service at the right price [the consultancy service] could become a 'key differentiator' if it was done effectively,” the blog read. “No one either inside or outside Exetel has anything positive to say about this concept so we will do nothing about it for the time being - it isn't as if we don't have enough to do already.

"However, I will continue to think about how this could be done.”

In February, Linton predicted a “negative nightmare” for Telstra’s financial results.

Follow Tim Lohman on Twitter: @tlohman

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Tags Exetel CEO John LintonInternet Service Providers (ISP)ExetelSMBsjohn linton

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