Here are two more web services Telstra is offering that can help you run your small business.
There are a growing number of web-delivered programs that can help you run your small business without having to install software on your PC, and that can also be used from a smartphone or tablet.
We've previously mentioned Shoeboxed, a service that digitises receipts and other documents, extracts the data (eg, to feed into accounting software) and stores the resulting files for later retrieval.
While Shoeboxed starts at $16.95 per month, that plan does not include reply-paid envelopes for submitting your documents or the return of those documents after scanning. But all of the plans allow you to scan or photograph and then upload your documents.
If Shoeboxed plans haven't been quite right for you, you might be tempted to buy it through the Telstra Apps Marketplace instead. That's because while the monthly subscription is the same either way, Telstra customers are allowed more documents for the same money, whether they pay monthly or - to get a 16% discount - annually.
Direct subscriptions give you 50 documents a month for $16.95, 150 for $49.95, 500 for $129.95, or 1000 for $249.95. These limits are on the number of new documents each month: Shoeboxed will store all of the documents you've ever uploaded, regardless of the plan you're on.
Going through Telstra increases those limits to 70, 200, 600 and 1250 documents per month. That's a bonus of between 20% and 40%, but there is a catch: if you exceed the limit for your plan, each additional document will cost you more. Telstra customers pay a flat rate of 50c per document, while Shoeboxed's prices start at 44c on the cheapest plan, falling to 27.5c on the most expensive.
So make your best estimate of how many items you expect to process each month, then do the arithmetic.
Another service that's just arrived in the Telstra Apps Marketplace is the Deputy rostering system (we've previously discussed rostering systems such as Roster with ROSS).
Deputy is designed to simplify rostering, collect time and attendance information, and pass the data on to accounting software or payroll systems.
Telstra charges slightly more for Deputy ($1.10 per employee on a plan designed for businesses with workforces that don't vary much from week to week, or $2.20 per active employee for businesses with significant seasonal or other variations in the number of people working in any particular week) than the $1 or $2 you'd pay by going direct. We couldn't see any extra benefit from buying the service through Telstra. Either way, roster notifications sent to employees via SMS cost 5c each.
And if you're a very small business with no more than 10 employees, Deputy offers a free plan for the basic rostering capability (no notifications via email or SMS, no time and attendance features, and no payroll integration). This is not available via Telstra.