Optus bolsters managed services offerings with new appointments

Optus Business is getting serious about becoming a key service provider announcing the establishment of a collaboration centre and a number of executive appointments.

Since finalising the split between its consumer and ICT divisions back in October 2012, Optus Business has aggressively been pushing hard to be noticed as a service provider.

In fact, in the last 12 months, the company has locked in almost AU$700 million of integrated IT contracts with Westpac, ANZ , UGL , Virgin Australia , and the Australian Government Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry.

Speaking at the annual Optus Vision customer event today in Sydney, Optus Business managing director John Paitaridis explained there are three key trends in which the company is responding to and is aligning its enterprise strategy with: The hunger for a consumption based IT infrastructure model provided by third-party providers for its flexibility and cost savings; the mobilisation of workforces; and the growing demand by businesses to connect their telco network with IT service.

Continuing on this strategic roadmap, Optus Business has appointed former HP South Pacific managing director , David Caspari, to head up its ICT division as the vice president of product and ICT.

Caspari will be responsible for overseeing and driving the company's on-going 'as-a-service' product offering , including its recently launched Contact-Centre-as-a-Service (CCaaS) that is on Cisco's hosted collaboration technology platform, and Unified-Communications-as-a-Service (UCaaS), its hosted suite of voice, video, messaging, and presence collaboration products.

He said CCaaS and UCaaS are "just the start" of Optus' as-a-service offerings in the unified communications and contact centre space, as workforce optimisation and customer feedback analytics as-a-service will be next to come.

Paitaridis echoed the importance of Optus' as-a-service line.

"We see it as a major trend of consumption for enterprise, business and government. What the benefits [are] that it's consumption-based, it's opex-based, you pay for what you consume, it's a more flexible model, it also allows the organisation to focus on their core business," he said.

"Contact-Centre-as-a-Service and Unified-Communications-as-as-Service are two examples of the way they can drive greater productivity, greater efficiency, improve their revenues, manage their cost structure, and deliver better customer experience."

Security will be another aspect Caspari will be focused on, with Optus announcing its investment into a security consulting service that will be focused on assessing and advising, building defences with implementation, and providing managed security services.

"Security is becoming more business critical, and becoming more of a boardroom issue, reputational risks, direct financial risks, it's all wrapped up under security, unlike previous generations," he said.

"If you look at the Australian security market it's growing very quickly, both in consulting and managed security services. What we see is customers are looking for a single point of accountability from network all the way to end point. Our strategy is to target enterprise and government customers."

Other new appointments to Optus Business include Jennie McLaughlin, who takes on the role as the vice president for business applications and solutions, and former Alphawest chief executive officer Ian Smith who will serve as vice president for managed services and delivery.

In further delivering its commitment to be a key player in the service provider space, the telco said it will deliver a new online self-service portal, currently in pilot phase, towards the end of the year; continue to work on its AU$1.2 billion investment to bring 4G coverage to 90 percent of the nation over the next 12 months; and establish ThinkSpace, a customer collaboration centre, at the Optus campus in Macquarie Park, Sydney.

Paitaridis said it's a "multi-million dollar investment" to engage with C-level executives to help them "map out a technology strategy and address there needs to create an in innovation agenda".