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Telstra acquires APAC cloud services company Kloud

Telstra has announced the acquisition of Kloud for an undisclosed amount to bolster its cloud services and managed network applications.

Telstra has signalled its continuing interest in expanding its cloud and managed network application services with the acquisition of Australian company Kloud.

A Microsoft partner, Kloud provides professional and managed services to enterprises for more than 80 corporate and government customers across Australia and the Asia-Pacific region, as well as supplying solutions for productivity, identity, security, application development, and cloud infrastructure for enterprise cloud applications.

According to Kloud managing director Nicki Bowers, the acquisition will make the long-standing partnership between Kloud and Telstra more official.

"The potential for our people, our customers and partners was clear to see. We have watched and worked closely with Telstra in their move into ICT services, and are keen to become a more integral part of it," Bowers said.

Though headquartered in Australia, with employees in Sydney, Melbourne, and Adelaide, some of Kloud's 150 staff members are also located in Manila.

Telstra said it hopes to use the acquisition to leverage Kloud's experience to improve the technology solutions that the telecommunications company offers its enterprise customers.

"We are committed to helping Telstra customers increase agility, lower costs, and increase their competitive advantage," Michelle Bendschneider, Telstra executive director of Global Enterprise and Services, said.

"Kloud's expertise can make it even easier for our customers to transition their workloads and applications to the cloud. Kloud will enhance Telstra's consulting-led capabilities by expanding our professional and managed services, complementing recent acquisitions such as NSC, O2 Networks, and Bridgepoint."

Telstra acquired unified communications solutions and contact centre provider North Shore Connections (NSC) Group in August 2013; network integration services provider O2 Networks for a reported AU$60 million in January 2014; and information security, networking, and data management provider Bridgepoint in October 2014.

Telstra also bought Pacnet for $697 million in December 2014, though it followed this up by retiring Pacnet's branding in April 2015 and then selling off the company's Singaporean and Thai ISP assets to a Singaporean cloud and datacentre company in November 2015.

On the ehealth side of things, Telstra acquired UK health analytics company Dr Foster in March 2015; in April 2015, Telstra Health acquired telehealth service Anywhere Healthcare; and in October 2015, the telco acquired ehealth management system EOS Technologies.

Earlier on Thursday, Telstra also announced that its venture capital arm, Telstra Ventures, had invested in United States application delivery services provider Instart Logic.

The Palo Alto, California-based company provides economical solutions for improving its customers' websites in terms of user experience and performance, as well as providing a multi-layered security approach to protect websites against breaches of cybersecurity, including distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks.

"Given mobility continues to be one of the top trends in the technology space, we are excited to start the year with an investment in Instart Logic. Their end-to-end application delivery platform combines machine learning for performance and security with a CDN for delivery," said Mark Sherman, managing director of Telstra Ventures.

Telstra has also been focusing on investing in tech companies worldwide over the past two years; in March 2015, Telstra Ventures made a multimillion-dollar investment in Taiwanese video big data and analytics company Gorilla Technology Group, saying the company could provide beneficial video analytic software solutions for the government, security, broadcast, and retail sectors.

This followed Telstra Ventures announcing an equity investment in Elemental, a software-defined video solutions provider for multi-screen content delivery, in December 2014, and its minority equity stake in Panviva, an Australian cloud-computing business process guidance software provider.

In August 2014, Telstra also invested $270 million into Silicon Valley-based video-streaming and analytics company Ooyala, taking control of the company in the process. This was followed in September by Telstra contributing to a $50 million Series D funding round for ecommerce platform Bigcommerce, and joining a number of other backers in a funding round for DocuSign, an electronic signatures company.

At the end of last year, Telstra also pledged AU$10 million over five years to aid in the development of the world's first silicon-based quantum computer at the University of New South Wales' Centre for Quantum Computation and Communications Technology, with Telstra CEO Andrew Penn saying the investment reaffirmed the telco's commitment to making innovation and technological advancement a priority.

"Telstra is ready and willing to play a role in building for the future," Penn said in December.

"We must come together to plan for future generations through technological advancements. This partnership is a solid demonstration of this commitment."

The Telstra-Kloud transaction is still subject to satisfaction of conditions precedent, and is likely to be completed by the end of February.

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