StarHub pledges to never stop supporting local businesses in their time of need

The telco’s suite of offerings under its BCP Support Programme aims to provide SMEs with the tools they need to stay resilient and productive

StarHub promises to provide local SMEs with the digital solutions they need to navigate in a challenging business climate. PHOTO: GETTY IMAGES

Covid-19 has reshaped the global economic landscape, and businesses all over the world have struggled to navigate the new currents of change.

Singapore's economy, for one, is slowly gearing up to resume operations post-circuit breaker, with the majority of our workforce continuing to work from home to reduce the risk of community transmission.

That means the need for uninterrupted telecommunications services, especially with business operations having to remain online for the foreseeable future. Over the last few months, local enterprises have also started shoring up their business strategies and looking into measures to preserve business continuity.

As a major player in Singapore's telco industry, StarHub is committed to remain a trusted partner to its small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) customers - by helping them build resilience, stay productive and cushion the negative impact of the pandemic on their businesses.

Mr Charlie Chan, StarHub's chief of Enterprise Business Group, says: "The outbreak has been tough on businesses of all types, and is projected to last beyond 2020. To help SMEs adjust to a new normal and stay afloat, StarHub rolled out the BCP Support Programme with tailored support in February, to equip SMEs with the tools they'll need to tide over this challenging time."

The importance of a business continuity plan

Even before Covid-19, most SMEs already recognised the need to prepare for business continuity - largely due to the adverse economic impact left by another virus outbreak, Sars (Severe acute respiratory syndrome), in 2003.

Prior to Sars, many businesses in Singapore were not adequately prepared for situations that would significantly disrupt their operations. The impact of Sars drove home the importance of having contingency plans that would allow organisations to ensure business continuity and respond effectively if and when a pandemic like Covid-19 reaches our shores.

Having a meticulous and well thought out business continuity plan (BCP) in place not only helps prevent disruptions to critical business functions and allow for recovery with as little downtime as possible, but it also creates a safe working environment.

For starters, a crucial consideration when devising a BCP is to plan for the efficient deployment of a work-from-home (WFH) policy in the event of a pandemic.

To do so, SMEs should first assess the nature of their employees' jobs to determine if a WFH policy is suitable. Other measures to put in place include security arrangements to protect data privacy, and providing effective telecommuting solutions to help employees perform work functions smoothly.

In these current times, staying connected is essential for businesses to remain productive and resilient. PHOTO: STARHUB

Key measures of a comprehensive BCP

With Covid-19 turning remote working into the norm, businesses have come to rely heavily on digital technology to provide seamless connectivity between their employees and customers, and to maintain operations as usual.

StarHub's BCP Support Programme is well equipped to support the telecommuting needs of SMEs with its enhanced initiatives under three essential pillars: Collaboration, Communication and Connectivity.

Offered for free, at heavily discounted rates or with shorter commitment periods, these solutions and tools were designed to activate remote working strategies and promote efficient teamwork and communication.

Key initiatives of the programme include free subscription to StarHub's SmartUC Mobile, which lets you make and receive calls with your office number from your mobile or computer; double the talktime and extra data at no extra cost for recontracting customers or new sign-ups for the Business Mobile XS and S plans; unlimited Internet connection for up to 20 users on a high-speed Business Wireless Broadband; and free advertising credits when you recontract or sign up for StarHub Business services.

SMEs looking for productivity solutions and collaboration tools can also subscribe to cloud computing option Microsoft 365 Business through StarHub and be eligible for up to 80 per cent subsidy under the Productivity Solution Grant.

"And with our new 5G network on the way, workplace transformation will further benefit from a whole new level of innovation, security and performance," adds Mr Chan.

Make telecommuting a seamless (and painless) experience

Many of us have since gotten used to telecommuting, which is still largely encouraged for most businesses in Singapore for the time being.

Besides offering office-hours flexibility, telecommuting also enables organisations to reduce operational costs, and improve productivity and staff morale in the long run.

And although the challenges of working remotely - such as organisational collaboration and communication, and connecting with clients - remain, telecommuting solutions are making workflows more seamless.

With the adoption of video conferencing tools like Zoom, shared servers like Google Drive and collaborative project management platforms like Microsoft Teams, teams can better coordinate and work remotely with others easily and efficiently.

Mr Chan says: "Enterprise grade video conferencing solutions provide better security. The moderator will have more visibility to which parties are on a call and some solutions also allow the moderator to kick out unrecognised individuals and lock a conference so that no one else can join.

"Some organisations have concerns about data sovereignty, as data on most cloud services are not retained in Singapore. For those customers, on-premise video conferencing solutions can be obtained, allowing companies to retain full control of the conferencing environment."

Such solutions facilitate face-to-face interactions to improve colleague and client connectivity while helping businesses stay organised and productive.

Visit for more information on StarHub's BCP Support Programme, with a range of support initiatives for mobile, broadband internet, and more.

Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.