Telstra and Microsoft join forces

Telstra and Microsoft join forces

Summary: Telstra and Microsoft today announced a deal which will see the pair link their products and brand names to target small business customers.

TOPICS: Telcos, Mobility, Telstra

Telstra and Microsoft today announced a deal which will see the pair link their products and brand names to target small business customers.

Tracey Fellows
(Credit: Suzanne Tindal/

"Our goal is to make the combination of PCs, mobile devices and the web something that is significantly more than the sum of its parts," Tracey Fellows, MD for Microsoft Australia said at a media briefing in Sydney. "We believe that with this partnership with Telstra, we are well on the way to doing this."

The companies have announced three areas in which they will integrate their products. The first is hosted business applications where Microsoft's online services offering hosted applications will take pride of place in Telstra's newly launched software as a service portal T-Suite, although Telstra's group MD product management Holly Kramer insisted that other vendors wanting to sell on T-Suite wouldn't be short changed.

"It won't change the opportunity for other applications to be a part of the portal at all... [Microsoft's software] we think will obviously be a hero application," she said.

Deena Shiff, group managing director of Telstra Business clarified Kramer's statement. "Hero means... we've obviously needed to make some choices between best of breed. We've clearly made the choice that Microsoft represents that and so we wouldn't be seeking to replicate those particular types of services." Local software vendors could have a part in developing specialised applications in areas such as compliance, Shiff said.

Holly Kramer
(Credit: Suzanne Tindal/

The second area of collaboration for Microsoft was mobile, in which Telstra has been developing a skin for Windows Mobile devices which will cut down the number of steps to reach and use applications such as email.

Telstra will also be offering a pay per month Outlook mobile email service using the firm's existing server infrastructure, or an advanced management option which would also include having software upgrades pushed out to phones or applications deployed.

The third area of collaboration was unified communications, where Telstra's hosted internet protocol-based (IP) telephony service will be integrated into Microsoft Office, allowing click to call, the ability to see when contacts were available or offline, as well as instant messaging and video-conferencing.

The companies would not disclose how the revenue would be shared between the companies, saying the percentage wasn't set."For us both, we see it as a bigger pie," Microsoft's Fellows said.

"The real principle behind the alliance is that if we can make [products], you know, represented by two strong brands that people trust and make them simple to buy and purchase, as Tracy said, we can grow the pie," Kramer added.

"We want to make it easy to purchase, easy to use and easy to manage," Fellows said. "That's the aim of this whole alliance."

This was the second deal Telstra has entered into this week with a global company. Google also shook hands with the telco as Telstra subsidiary Sensis allowed its Yellow Business Listings to be integrated into Google's search.

Topics: Telcos, Mobility, Telstra

Suzanne Tindal

About Suzanne Tindal

Suzanne Tindal cut her teeth at as the site's telecommunications reporter, a role that saw her break some of the biggest stories associated with the National Broadband Network process. She then turned her attention to all matters in government and corporate ICT circles. Now she's taking on the whole gamut as news editor for the site.

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  • be very worried

    two such renowned standover merchants joining forces to help small business - what a joke
  • Helping Small Businesses

    Visa is a massive corporation and they help small businesses perform transactions for their customers. Alot of corporations help small businesses.
  • PAH

    VISA might have a business ethic in that way but both Microsoft and Telstra are synonymous with screwing people over.
    I agree, be worried.
  • Be very worried.

    Especially if you are an opponent of Telstra.
  • Or

    a customer, especially a customer
  • Facts please Barry.

    Barry your argument is nonsensical when you see the progress in customer numbers that Telstra produce. Why do you dream? Better you face reality and just lose and laugh.
  • lol

    syd, where exactly did you get your cust figures from? agree, telstra's customer base is increasing, hell the populations increasing, it'd be hard to stay static, whatI'd sayto you syd, telstra is losing market share, so while cust is increasing, a higher proportion of new custs are choosing to not go with telstra
  • Oh how they try

    I source my facts from reputable sources rather than merely repeating what your foreign masters kaboptus pay you to say! telstra's Next G network has had phenominal growth recently, no doubt due to telstra's excellent coverage and stunning download speeds
  • next g

    and by turning off the other netwrok..
  • Moving Foward

    Once again another optus supporter cowering behind the 'do not show details button', It was a wise decision of telstra to finally close down that aged network to allow a better, faster service in its place... are you saying you would rather have CDMA still going and deny mobile broadband to the bush? thats rather selfish, While i did enjoy my own CDMA mobile, I am very happy with the move I've made to the Next G network,
  • OH BOY (in this case girl)

    Is it a fact that Suzanne Tindal (ZDNet) is the same Suzanne Tindal who is Optus Managing Director of products.

    If so all is revealed.
  • Not true.

    OOps my apologies Suzanne my information was incorrect. You are not the M.D. of products at Optus. Sorry once again.
  • My two cents

    I think Telstra has the large customer base simply due to the fact that they have control of the majority of network services and phone lines in Australia.
    As far as CDMA goes, I, personally thought it to be a fantastic service. I, as a Next G user, also think that is a good service, but, technology is moving way faster than I am able to upgrade my phone.
    It seems that I lock myself into a contract every 24 months just to get a mobile phone that can run with the pack. My next G phone is a piece of garbage though, as ZTE seemed to be what telstra wanted to flog off to it's customers because it, and Nokia were having a little tanty (from what I hear), with neither wanting to play nice. Glad to see they have become friends again though.
    Now all I need is for the Nokia N97 to be available for Februrary so I can upgrade to a phone that has technology enough to keep me going past the two year mark and that should see me contract free for a little while.
    Telstra have proved that bully boy tactics aren't below them whether it be companies or individuals, Telstra has show it's colours on many occasions over the years. Unfortunately they don't have any equal in the mobile carrier stakes, to offer them the challange they need, to start some healty competition.
  • twice the power

    Is that like pushing two wheelbarrows of the proverbial up a hill?

    Just the kind of schlock the telco consumer needs.
  • unavailable through telstra

    I'm using the telstra wireless in Sydney airport, and it has no access to a sign of things to come!