CenturyLink SIMPLE Targets Small Businesses

PHIL BRITT | November 13, 2018

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CenturyLink, Inc. today launched CenturyLink SIMPLE for Business, designed to simplify and streamline the purchase of business services for small business customers. CenturyLink customers can take advantage of the first offering under this new service by signing up for CenturyLink SIMPLE Internet, which the company says provides small businesses with the highest available internet speed in their area with no promotional pricing or long-term contract. However, the service does require the purchase or lease of an advanced modem. Small business is constantly evaluating their Internet speed needs, according to CenturyLink, citing a report from analyst firm International Data Corp. that says that nearly one third of small businesses will be prioritizing investments in faster broadband access over the next year. Additionally, during the next 12 months, more than half (55%) of these businesses cite reduction of costs and expenses as a key business priority, so faster internet access is a “must have.”

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Treasury management or more generally Supply Chain Finance management is still a neglected topic at many SMEs. While large international corporations make the investment into expensive treasury management solutions (often part of their ERP solution) and even setup their own In-House Banks, this is considerably more difficult for the mid-corp segment and even more so for the smaller segment of the SMEs. Often SMEs lack the funding, time and expertise to deploy those platforms and often those platforms lack the flexibility required by an SME. Nonetheless in this globalized competitive market with fast moving cash, even SMEs are in need of an effective treasury management. Every SME has its own specific challenges, due to its specific payment cycles and cash reserves. Nonetheless most SMEs (estimated to about three-quarters) still do their treasury management via (complex) Excel sheets, requiring a lot of manual effort. 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Usage of solutions for cash management (e.g. international cashpooling, sweep accounts…) and more general treasury management services offered by banks to their customers. These can be incumbent banks or new Fintechs, which specialize in the niche of serving SME customers. 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