Fri | Mar 5, 2021

Flow Business going after 60,000 SME market

Published:Friday | February 19, 2021 | 12:15 AM
File 
Managing Director of Flow Jamaica, Stephen Price.
File Managing Director of Flow Jamaica, Stephen Price.

Telecommunications provider Flow Jamaica has launched a new unit called Flow Business, aimed at selling more services to entrepreneurs and operators of small and medium-sized ventures.

It features products such as broadband services with speeds ranging from 50 megabytes to 250 megabytes per month and 2,000 minutes of business voice services monthly over any network, under what the company refers to as its ‘Smart Solution’ package for SMEs.

Other offerings include professional email services; digital collaboration tools such as Microsoft Teams and Zoom; secure cloud storage; and an e-care payment platform which allow customers to manage online bill payments.

Overall, Flow Business encapsulates services for website and online store, digital help desk, cybersecurity, e-marketing and cloud storage. The packages which can be individually purchased or bundled, is being pitched at 30 per cent lower than the cost at which larger enterprises receive the services. The services are priced between US$45 and US$70, or $6,795 and $10,570 in Jamaican currency.

“We have introduced what we call our business social. Through this, we will provide our small business customers with Microsoft Teams, Zoom, LinkedIn and WhatsApp. They will be able to enjoy this package without it affecting their core data and will also be able to form a closed-user group from this with a minimum of just two users,” Dwayne Walker, senior manager at C&W Business Jamaica, said during an online press briefing on Thursday. Flow Jamaica and C&W Business are members of Cable and Wireless Communications Plc.

New demands

By devising solutions that help small businesses increase efficiency, save money and facilitate their engagement with a new range of customers, Flow Jamaica is looking itself to leverage business from the new demands brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic in the conduct of business and commerce. But it did not disclose the potential earnings to Flow Business.

“Times are changing,” said Managing Director of Flow Jamaica, Stephen Price.

“Today’s customers require engagement at multiple touchpoints, especially online, given social-distancing requirements,” said Price. “We want our hairdressers and barbershops to have the same chance of success as large enterprises.”

Jamaica is estimated to have around 60,000 SMEs.

Flow Business will operate under the umbrella of C&W Business, which currently supports large enterprises and government services.

Liberty Latin America, Flow’s parent company, will pump some US$60 million ($9.6 billion) into its Jamaican infrastructure this year to build out both the Flow Business operation as well as the traditional services offered by the company.

Price said the company will be hiring additional staff for the Flow Business unit; and that it’s in discussions with the Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica and is looking to start conversations with small business associations as part of its marketing strategy for the new offerings.

There are about 4.6 billion global internet users, with data on global digital usage presented by Flow indicating that over a quarter of new users came online within the past 12 months. The average internet user is estimated to spend seven hours per day browsing across all devices. The data for Jamaica has not been tallied.

karena.bennett@gleanerjm.com