The print and online magazine was launched in mid-2012 and was originally produced from the respective homes of Phill Terry (business manager), Rod Bruem (editor) and Mitch Morgan (designer); plus contractors selling advertising. Of the three main team members, Phill is the only one working on Roam full-time. Rod works during the day for Telstra and edits Roam stories after hours, while Mitch runs a graphic design business.
Phill notes that while he loves print, online had to be part of the mix from launch: “I’ve worked in magazines for more than 20 years and in the last 10 I’ve heard advertisers and readers alike ask ‘Is it online, too?’ These days you can’t just have a print magazine. You need the online element, including social media, because it’ll drive subscriptions, it’ll drive followers, it’ll support ads – it’s a full circle of reach.”
Right from the start, the team decided to have most of the production technologies for the magazine online, including file sharing for images and layouts; cloud-based accounting, ad sales and subscription management systems; and video-conferencing for meetings and interviews.
Telstra helps keep roam connected
These technology choices soon proved incredibly useful; they support collaboration from multiple locations made it easy for Rod and Phill to pursue another dream – a tree change to a beautiful farm on NSW’s north coast.
“We’re both from the country and wanted to get out of Sydney,” explains Rod, “so we did a trip to the north coast and discovered this amazing farm, just out of Lismore and near the airport. So we thought we’d move the business at the same time.”
According to Phill, creative businesses like Roam can practically be run anywhere as long as you have access to high-speed broadband and reliable mobile services.
“With a laptop and access to the internet we can work from home, we can work on the road at a caravan show or from the office – it doesn’t make a difference to our clients as long as we’re accessible".
Local support from Telstra makes all the difference
Rod says he was confident Telstra could deliver, as he’s been across the telco’s corporate relations for years. But as he hadn’t set up a small business before he was very glad to have a local Telstra Business Centre in Lismore to help Roam get connected.
“Life is much easier when you’re getting everything from one communications provider,” says Rod says, and adds that setting up on nbn™ was straightforward. “The Telstra modem is fantastic. It gives us great range all around the house, even out on the veranda. And I know if there is any problem with any of our services, Telstra has a local Business Centre in Lismore, plus the 24-hour, seven-day-per-week online support. That is really important because in business, downtime is deadly.”
Phill adds that using nbn™ with Telstra is an eye-opener, as the team members can now share files and collaborate a lot faster than previously. “In the old days, sending two megabytes of data took a long while. These days you’re sending five megabyte files through very fast – there’s no looking back now. “We can share big design files and images with our graphic artist in Sydney, I can easily download photos from our contributors and access our databases. It saves us a whole lot of time. Next, we’re looking for a CRM [customer relationship management] system that is cloud-based, too. “Everyone is with Telstra that we deal with generally, because it’s a company that you can rely on to make it all work.”
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