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  • Smarter Staff
    Smarter Writer

    This article has been written by the Smarter Business™ Staff Writers

    Smarter Staff
    Smarter Writer

    This article has been written by the Smarter Business™ Staff Writers

    Highlights
    • The company started in 1998 when Brad Armstrong and Steve Wheelhouse saw a better way to deliver building engineering services
    • Brad and Steve introduced Telstra’s BizEssentials Everyday plan and Microsoft Office® 365 bringing together cloud-based services and productivity tools for added reliability and enhanced communications and collaboration
    • The business is based in Canberra, and now has five engineers and two support staff
    • Its future key objectives are to secure data, have reliable backups, up-to-date software and to work in a collaborative environment, regardless of their location

    Barmco Mana Partnership is an engineering consultancy based in Canberra. It specialises in providing construction and engineering advice to the public and private sectors in infrastructure from the concept stage to post-occupancy and beyond. Connecting with partners and customers is critical to its success.

    Senior partner Brad Armstrong started Barmco Mana Partnership in 1998. Then in 2006, Steve Wheelhouse joined the business as joint senior partner. Over that time, the company has evolved and its communications needs have increased.

    “In 1998 when the company was started, I was still using a dial-up modem,” Brad explains. “I’ve upgraded over the years, but as our turnover and IT needs increased, we found ourselves being side-tracked with many technology issues rather than being able to concentrate on core business issues. So in 2014, we said: “Enough is enough, we need a strategic IT plan.”

    Two guys is high-visibility vests

    Team performance improves

    Having determined their needs, Brad and Steve looked for solutions. This ‘business-first’ approach meant they could focus on solving their specific business issues as a whole, rather than approaching the problem from a ‘technology-first’ angle.

    “We now have a Telstra BizEssentials Everyday plan. We also use Microsoft Office® 365 on our tablets with Telstra Mobile Broadband, which also includes the Lync Video Conferencing System and a significant component of our online storage for backup,” states Brad.

    By adopting Office 365, everyone in the company gained access to the latest versions of the documents they needed to best serve their clients. Having the Lync Video Conferencing System meant that communication between staff was also greatly enhanced. The business then continued to look to Telstra to replace its existing hardware.

    “We now have an end-to-end Telstra service with our routers and communications equipment here in the office with our landlines, with our ADSL account, with our modems and everything else,” says Brad.

    Introducing those communications systems meant that personnel could reliably collaborate with clients and access the different document management systems. Steve and Brad use Telstra Mobile Broadband to access the Internet when on site while relying on a fixed ADSL service in their main office.

    Having one provider has benefits

    Steve notes that the improved reliability of the new communications solution is a major benefit for the business.

    “It is really important that our new solution doesn’t require someone to come out regularly at short notice to provide software updates and other technical support. The effect of this improvement on our business is significant,” Steve explains.

    A single bill also made life easier by reducing admin time (and related costs) plus giving a clear picture of where the money was going.

    “In addition, the business has been able to manage its energy costs much more effectively since it disposed of the redundant equipment in its office,” says Brad.

    The new services are also more flexible. The company has increased its bandwidth arrangements as needed and can easily increase the number of Office 365 licences it uses depending on how its staffing situation changes.

    The effect on our business of this [IT] improvement is significant. 

    — Steve Wheelhouse

    Insights from Telstra's Business Group Managing Director

    A fast and reliable internet connection is crucial for modern businesses. It’s not just about email, web browsing and social media. Increasingly, businesses rely on their internet connections in order to access applications and other services.

    Telstra’s App Marketplace is a great way for businesses to get some of the latest mobile applications for business that may help save time and boost their productivity.

    And there are some huge cost savings to be had as well.

    Will Irving, Telstra Business Group Managing Director explains: “The Telstra Apps Marketplace is designed to deliver a simple online experience for our customers that will take the complexity out of choosing and managing apps from different vendors, so they can find the right apps for their business.”

    Looking for new opportunities for your business? 

    Find out about Microsoft Office 365 here, and streamline with Telstra BizEssentials here.

    Find Out MoreLooking for new opportunities for your business? 

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