Telstra snaps up Bridge Point in strategic product push

Telstra is working to bolster its position in Australia’s managed network and security services markets with the acquisition of Queensland’s Bridge Point.

Telstra has announced its acquisition of Queensland-based information security, networking, and data management provider Bridge Point.

Bridge Point, which claims 75 employees across Australia — most of which are in Brisbane — provides enterprise and government customers with information security, network integration and management, and data management solutions.

It has strategic partnerships with Check Point, Cisco, NetApp, CommVault, and VMware, and counts the Queensland government, Suncorp, Virgin Australia, and Allianz among its major clients.

The acquisition is expected to accelerate Telstra's expertise in emerging technologies, and to enhance its consulting-led capabilities, while expanding its professional services, according to the company.

Telstra global enterprise and services executive director Michelle Bendschneider said that Bridge Point's capabilities would allow Telstra to align and strengthen its strategic product road map in network and security solutions.

"Bridge Point's expertise and geographical reach will help Telstra continue to grow its leadership position in managed network and managed security services, giving customers access to a broad range of skills and services across Australia," said Bendschneider. "We are committed to giving our customers powerful technology solutions that improve the efficiency of their businesses and enhance the way they serve their customers."

Australia's largest telco has been spending up big in recent months to pad out its expanding product and services portfolio, spending $270 million in August for a 98 percent stake in Silicon Valley-based video-streaming and analytics company Ooyala, and snapping up Melbourne's O2 in January in a deal reportedly worth AU$60 million.

"This complements our acquisition of O2 Networks earlier this year," said Bendschneider. "Both companies share complementary skills in advanced network and emerging technologies, which together provide Telstra with new market opportunities and extends our reach to new customers and geographies."

A Telstra spokesperson told ZDNet that for the immediate future, Bridge Point will continue operating as usual, with the telco retaining its 75-strong employee base.

"In the short to medium term, it will continue to operate as it has been, and progressively over time it may be integrated into the Telstra business more generally," said the spokesperson. "It's certainly our intention to keep all of the 75 staff on board. The human capital is one of the greatest assets you can get in an acquisition such as this."

Bridge Point managing director Rob Siganto said that given Bridge Point's partnership with Telstra since 2000, the opportunity to become part of the group was an appealing prospect.

"We have watched and worked closely with Telstra in their move into ICT services through their NAS group, and we were keen to become part of it," he said.

Telstra's investment in Bridge Point — the value of which remains undisclosed — comes as the telco's venture capital arm, Telstra Ventures, plugs its cash into a $19 million fundraising effort for Singapore-headquartered location intelligence data company AdNear.

The funding, which was completed in partnership with independent Japanese venture capital firm Global Brain Corporation, builds upon the $6.3 million Series A round the company received in 2012, and is expected to facilitate its further expansion in the international advertising technology market.

"Mobile advertising continues to grow rapidly across Asia-Pacific," said Telstra Ventures managing director Mark Sherman. "Telstra Ventures recognises the value that AdNear's probabilistic, data-driven approach brings to advertisers, and we're excited to be able to provide capital to accelerate the expansion of AdNear's operations."

Telstra is no stranger to investing in early stage technology businesses, providing significant funding to local startups through its Muru-D accelerator program , which has just kicked off its second-round intake.

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