Tuesday, 24 March 2020 13:18

Government backs tech sector website offering free support to business during COVID-19 Featured

By
Karen Andrews, Minister for Industry, Science and Technology Karen Andrews, Minister for Industry, Science and Technology

The Federal Government has supported the launch of a new website by the technology sector aimed at giving support to businesses with staff working remotely during the COVID-19 outbreak.

The website - Australian Business Continuity - launched by the Australian Information Industry Association (AIIA) and its technology partners - provides business access to free services to support the continuity of small-to-medium businesses, and advice on how best to use teleworking services.

Minister for Industry, Science and Technology, Karen Andrews, said the new site offers “clear and targeted information” to support businesses using alternative work arrangements and new technologies during this period.

“This is just another example of how our business community – in this case the tech sector – is stepping up to help other Australian SMEs navigate the unprecedented challenges of coronavirus,” Minister Andrews said.

“The new hub sees industry working together to keep our businesses running, with the AIIA partnering with Microsoft, Cisco, ServiceNow, Adobe, Telstra, Google, Facebook, SAP, Salesforce and others to provide guidance and free access to tools for video-conferencing, virtual meetings and other remote business services.

“Working remotely is foreign to many businesses but is now essential as they practice social distancing and I encourage all businesses to explore the new hub and see how it could help them make it to the other side of this outbreak.”

Minister for Communications, Cyber Safety and the Arts, Paul Fletcher, said he was pleased to see the tech sector mobilising quickly to offer tangible support for Australian businesses “so they can sustain the important work they do via teleworking, video conferencing and other remote working productivity platforms”.

“Businesses are well placed to take advantage of remote working solutions with the National Broadband Network now 95% complete, providing more than 11 million homes and businesses across Australia with access to fast, reliable and affordable broadband,” Minister Fletcher said.

“NBN Co has made 40% more network capacity available to retail service providers at no additional charge for at least three months. This additional capacity allows more data to move through the network at high speed, which will underpin people’s productivity and connectivity requirements as they shift their work habits in response to COVID-19.”

The Minister said AIIA’s new hub complements business.gov.au – the Government’s existing comprehensive website for small to medium enterprises - and he was pleased to see the tech sector mobilising quickly to offer "tangible support for Australian businesses so they can sustain the important work they do via teleworking, video conferencing and other remote working productivity platforms".

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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham is a co-founder of iTWire and a 35-year veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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