Optus to provide managed services for Hastings Deering

Hastings Deering, which supplies Cat equipment to the mining and construction services industry, will source its security, unified communications, and contact centre solutions from Optus Business for the next three years.

Optus Business has announced signing a three-year contract with Hastings Deering to provide managed and telecommunications services across voice and data.

Under the contract, Cat equipment supplier Hastings Deering will be provided with managed security, data protection, unified communications, and unified contact centre solutions across 50 company sites.

Mobile services will also be delivered to 1,000 users, and telephony call-processing solutions for 2,500 users, while Optus maintains the company's private cloud and enterprise resource planning (ERP) infrastructure.

"The managed service will enable Hastings Deering to reduce costs associated with overheads, at the same time increasing productivity and scalability by delivering round-the-clock monitoring and on-demand support," Optus explained.

The deal covers Hastings Deering's IT business operations both overseas and in Australia, with Optus Business MD John Paitaridis saying the telco will also support its "digital transformation strategy".

Hastings Deering CEO Dean Mehmet cited "rapid changes" in the mining and construction services industry, saying his company has been investing in improving its IT capabilities for almost 10 years.

Optus Business has this year also signed managed services deals with power utility Energy Australia, health services company Uniting, and travel agency Flight Centre, along with ANZ Bank last year.

In August, it also announced extending its managed services contract with the Australian Department of Agriculture and Water Resources over the next three years for AU$13.6 million with a similar emphasis on digital transformation.

Under the contract with the government agency, Optus will continue delivering mobile, data, and voice services across the 5,500 mobile and tablet devices used by the federal government department, along with managed telephone, video conferencing, Skype for Business, and a contact centre solution for the department's 150 sites.

Optus' focus on small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) last month saw it launch Yes Business, a community for SMBs providing an online platform for connecting owners and employees with "information, ideas, and tools to solve problems".

The free community includes articles and advice columns written by business owners and professors, with pieces on the platform including information on search engine optimisation, finance, auditing, business systems, enterprise social networking, outsourcing, and business grants.

Optus has been focusing on the SMB segment for the past year, launching the Optus Smart Shop marketplace last year with access to SMB cloud apps and technology, as well as a 24-hour technical support line.

Its smart shop includes access to Microsoft Office 365, Microsoft SharePoint, Sage One, Xpenditure, MozyPro, PlanHQ, Act Cloud, Cloud Flow, and security tools for identifying malware and viruses across files, emails, websites, and social media accounts.

In May last year, Optus also opened 126 SMB specialist stores as well as an SMB call centre in Adelaide, and introduced "premium" support services for SMBs in addition to launching Optus Loop earlier this year.

A cloud-based telephony system for SMBs that provides hybrid mobile and fixed-line services, Optus Loop was launched in partnership with unified comms provider BroadSoft in May, with the latter's BroadCloud running the system.

Optus Loop provides voice, instant messaging and presence, voice, file sharing, and video conferencing services, with a soft client for desktops and tablets. According to Optus, the service could save costs for SMBs annually by removing the need to purchase, manage, and maintain infrastructure.

This followed Optus launching a series of cloud, collaboration, and infrastructure technologies for the purposes of creating a "smart workplace" for enterprise and government customers with Cisco in March.

Under the partnership, Optus integrated Cisco Spark, which can now be managed end to end by Optus Business through Optus' unified communications solution; and Cisco's Meraki cloud management system.

The two companies also worked on developing and implementing a contact-centre-as-a-service solution, including an interactive voice response system; and a video-conferencing-as-a-service solution for Optus Business to create a hosted video-conferencing bridge service for use with Cisco's Jabber software.

Optus Business added cybersecurity prevention, detection, and monitoring capabilities to its managed security services portfolio in September.

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