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BT to spend £17m pushing services to small businesses

LONDON - BT is to invest £17m in a marketing campaign targeting small businesses, including promotion of its new partnership with Microsoft, BT Connected & Complete, which will provide SMEs with broadband connection and technical support.

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St Luke's and Ogilvy & Mather are creating an advertising campaign to support the service, running online and offline in the press, and also using direct marketing and email marketing. It will break in Scotland in June and develop as the product is rolled out nationally. Media is through PHD.

The companies are promising that the service will provide a one-stop shop for SMEs. For a monthly fee of under £50 a user, BT Connected & Complete will help install and set up broadband, provide information on industry regulations to help businesses comply with areas such as employment law and tax issues, provide Microsoft software and give online help and user guides.

Duncan Ingram, managing director of BTopenworld, said: "This one-stop shop approach answers the cries of SMEs nationwide who are struggling to take advantage of all the opportunities that IT presents."

He added: "It will provide much-needed peace of mind with an affordable, predictable monthly charge for a more robust, secure IT infrastructure -- and from having a trusted local resource to handle all installation, maintenance, and training issues."

Steven Guggenheimer, vice-president of worldwide small business strategy at Microsoft, said: "We're excited to be working with BT in the UK to learn how innovative delivery mechanisms for the best in broadband and software technologies can further help small businesses to take advantage of technology and enable them to thrive in the growing digital economy."

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