Rogers enters a new business venture

Despite recent catastrophes with its Rogers@Home consumer service, Rogers Cable has announced it is venturing into the business market with the introduction of Rogers Business Solutions.

As part of its package, the company is offering Web hosting solutions, new features and tools that it says will enable small businesses to maximize the potential of their Web site. The services will also allow businesses to create Web sites with e-commerce capabilities using Rogers hosting solutions, as well as being able to support both Windows NT and UNIX operating systems simultaneously.

According to Alek Krstajic, senior vice-president of sales, marketing and product development for Rogers Cable, there has been a pent-up demand for these services from Rogers customers.

“We realized there was a need (for these services), but we wanted to walk before we ran. We wanted to iron out all of the issues with the residential service before we got into the business service,” Krstajic said.

He explained that the Rogers Business Solutions come in four tiers, each suited for different customer needs. Business customers can select from the Basic service, which offers Internet access and e-mail only, or choose from the other three packages, which also come with domain name and Web hosting services.

“(The four tiers) are really structured such that customers can choose whatever product makes sense to their business,” Krstajic said. “We are not narrowing it down in scope. It is going to apply to many different businesses and industries.”

Joe Greene, vice-president of Internet solutions for Toronto-based IDC Canada, said the business services are part of Rogers’ overall strategy.

“There are over 900,000 small businesses in this country,” Greene said. “Typically, any kind of service to a business is more expensive (for the customer) than a service to a resident. [This service] would cost several hundred dollars, if not more than that, a month, and they are getting $40 from a residential customer. If they are serious about getting back into any other kinds of telecommunications services, by building up a medium or large number of clients in the business world, they can potentially go after them to sell them additional services at a later date.”

Greene added that although Rogers has had some knocks against it with its residential service, the company has a strong name and will just have to overcome these obstacles.

Krstajic said that Rogers is offering a better service than those already available from telcos, adding that the Rogers services are available at a much-reduced cost.

The Rogers Business Solutions are available now in Ontario, New Brunswick and Newfoundland, where Rogers is the primary cable provider. However, Krstajic noted that these services could potentially be available wherever cable is found.

“If a building or a location does not have cable, then there would potentially be some work needed to bring cable to that site,” he said.