Orange gets rolling in Australia

Orange gets rolling in Australia

Summary: France Telecom's international enterprise telecommunications arm Equant has flagged plans to increase its Australian headcount from 250 to 400 as the group re-brands globally as Orange Business Services. The company's local managing director, Ian McCallum, told ZDNet Australia in a telephone interview today he would set up an integrated solutions team to address the needs of his group's core market of multinational organisations.

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TOPICS: Telcos
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France Telecom's international enterprise telecommunications arm Equant has flagged plans to increase its Australian headcount from 250 to 400 as the group re-brands globally as Orange Business Services.

The company's local managing director, Ian McCallum, told ZDNet Australia in a telephone interview today he would set up an integrated solutions team to address the needs of his group's core market of multinational organisations.

      Ian McCallum

"Over the next 18 months we're going to bring on 150 new people," he said.

McCallum's aim is to get a "critical mass" of capability in Australia. "What our clients want to do is to call in specialists that actually live and work here in Australia and can go and stand in front of them," he said.

The extra manpower, composed of both pre-sales and actual services delivery personnel will focus on a few sectors: security services, managed network services, infrastructure management and converged communications. "Those are the four key areas that we're going to invest heavily in Australia," said McCallum.

He said the moves came after his group conducted extensive research into the Asia-Pacific and Australian telecommunications markets.

"We talked to a lot of our existing multinationals and looked at their investment plans, and what would add maximum value to their business," he said.

McCallum acknowledged it would be hard to find good staff but said he wanted to take "all the top people in the market" as well as bring some resources over from Europe and conduct internal training.

That brand
The managing director said he didn't anticipate any confusion about the re-branding move despite the fact mobile carrier Hutchison had been using the Orange name in Australia until February.

"As we build the business services arm around this, I don't think the previous positioning will have much effect at all," McCallum said. "I detect over the last six months, there's actually been very little in the market about it."

"The Orange brand in Australia had been a franchise brand we issued to Hutchison and withdrew about last Christmas," he continued.

"I think it was actually due for renewal around that time -- it was the end of the franchise, and Hutchison was doing their own thing, and they as you know went under a new brand." Hutchison has brought all of its operations under the "3" brand.

McCallum said the expanding headcount would be of more interest to his company's clients.

In terms of suppliers, Orange Business Services in Australia is keeping its options open.

"We tend to work across Cisco and Avaya, potentially Alcatel, we do some business with them in IP telephpny, NEC already have a large base, so we're looking at how we work across them also." said McCallum. "On the other areas of performance acceleration across the network ... Riverbed, Packeteer and Juniper."

"We might actually need something else like maybe disaster recovery or something," he continued. "We will simply plug in other smaller third parties who we will actually take as partners within Australia." He said the company works with a large range of telecommunications infrastructure owners.

While McCallum said Orange will continue to focus on servicing multinationals, he expects other opportunities to pop up that will be dealt with on a case-by-case basis.

Topic: Telcos

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