Telstra plugs $800m into cloud offering

Summary:Telcos are used to managing risk, so being a cloud provider is just in Telstra's DNA, according to CEO David Thodey, who today announced that Telstra will plug an extra $800 million into its cloud offering over the next five years.

Telcos are used to managing risk, so being a cloud provider is just in Telstra's DNA, according to CEO David Thodey, who today announced that Telstra will plug an extra $800 million into its cloud offering over the next five years.

David Thodey

David Thodey (Credit: Josh Taylor/ZDNet Australia)

"Telcos, like IT providers, have to run at a very high availability," he said. "When you start looking at shared infrastructure for computing ... that's why a telco, it's just in our DNA. It's just part of what we do, it's all about managing risk."

Thodey said that Cisco, VMWare and Accenture had all been selected as partners on an expansion of the telco's cloud infrastructure that will focus on automation and scalability.

The Telstra CEO announced that over the next five years, the telco would expand its T-suite offering to include new applications, a new certification process for applications and a new online account management portal.

Telstra also plans to construct a new next-generation datacentre located in Melbourne. According to the company's chief operations officer Brendon Riley, the new datacentre will be approximately 2000-square metres, with construction underway soon.

"We anticipate this to be commissioned formally in 2013, and it will increase our datacentre capability by more than 40 per cent and it will provide us with the ability to fulfil our cloud requirements for many years to come," he said.

Thodey admitted that the first 12 months since the launch of T-suite in 2008 had been rough, as the telco began to learn about cloud offerings.

"I think probably the first twelve months, it was sort of painful. We were trying to look at how people would buy it, what the proposition was," he said. "And then suddenly, after about 12 months, it sort of kicked up because people got more familiar with the model."

Josh Gibbons, CIO with wine company Australian Vintage, took on Telstra's infrastructure-as-a-service offering when the company moved to a new office earlier this year, and said that the move into the cloud environment has allowed the company to reinvest IT resources into other areas such as Voice-over-IP (VoIP) programs and desktop virtualisation, but has also saved the company money.

"The solution had to be cost-effective, and there had to be cost savings ... the Telstra solution came back and there was probably a 15 to 20 per cent saving based on the options we had."

According to Gibbons, the transition to the cloud was smooth and many didn't even notice.

"The business didn't even know we'd migrated to the cloud, which I think is the best outcome," he said.

At the briefing this morning, Thodey would not take any questions on the pending $11 billion deal between the telco giant and NBN Co. There was renewed speculation in reports this morning that the finalisation of the deal could be announced as soon as Tuesday next week, but Thodey remained tight-lipped.

"You can ask me, but you won't get an answer today, it's just not appropriate."

Topics: Cloud, Telcos, Telstra

About

Armed with a degree in Computer Science and a Masters in Journalism, Josh keeps a close eye on the telecommunications industry, the National Broadband Network, and all the goings on in government IT.

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