Telstra creates R&D, tech, products supergroup

Telstra has brought its technology, innovation and product development areas together into a new group expected to assume responsibility for much of the AU$600-$800 million in cost savings targeted by the telecommunications company over the next three years.

Telstra has brought its technology, innovation and product development areas together into a new group expected to assume responsibility for much of the AU$600-$800 million in cost savings targeted by the telecommunications company over the next three years.

The carrier announced today the creation of Telstra Technology, Innovation and Products, a group which brings Telstra Technology together with business unit product development areas, network technologies, information technology systems and Telstra Research Laboratories.

Chief executive officer, Dr Ziggy Switkowski, said in a statement the changes would build on several announced last year, "to continue aligning the company's structure with customer needs and its corporate strategy".

Switkowski announced several changes in November 2002, including the creation of the consumer and marketing division and the Telstra enterprises division, headed by David Thodey.

In the changes announced today, Ted Pretty, the carrier's current group managing director, consumer and marketing, moves to head the new unit, with chief financial officer and group managing director, finance and administration David Moffatt shifting into Pretty's old post.

The new changes are effective from 1 October.

Dr Switkowski said the objectives of the new unit were to:

  • stimulate and commercialise innovation from Telstra's research and development programs;
  • provide a stream of new products and services to contribute to profitable organic revenue growth;
  • optimise Telstra's relationships with its technology providers and develop relevant partnering models;
  • lower the total cost of doing business for customer-facing units;
  • engineer Telstra's physical networks to world-class levels of service and reliability;
  • lead the company's technology, network and systems strategy;
  • accelerate the company's information and knowledge process improvements and;
  • deliver productivity gains in Telstra's information technology platforms.

Moffat told a briefing in Sydney on 29 August the company had more than 150 projects underway using the Six Sigma process improvement methodology and toolset, with the transformation of information technology functions among those.

Telstra chief information officer Jeff Smith is leading a charge to slash information technology costs by 50 percent over three years, with the use of open source software key to his program.

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