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Optus considers redundancies across finance and HR under outsourcing

Optus is continuing to 'reshape' its workforce, with back office roles in HR and finance being targeted by outsourcing plans.
Written by Corinne Reichert, Contributor

Optus has confirmed that it is considering outsourcing back office roles across its HR and finance departments and is planning to choose a vendor over the next few months, although the resulting redundancies have yet to be revealed and would not occur until next year.

"Optus continually reviews its operations to ensure it has the right organisational structure in place to achieve its goals. We are currently reviewing our back office HR and finance operations to identify potential activities that could be outsourced over the next 12 months," an Optus spokeswoman said.

"We are also looking at ways that we can enhance our finance and HR functions through better analytics, systems, and technology to evolve service delivery across our business. While we are talking to a number of parties, we have not finalised arrangements with any vendors.

"Specific roles which may be affected have not yet been identified, but we will work with employees who may be affected by these changes."

The news of upcoming redundancies follows Optus' announcement in April that it would be restructuring its Enterprise and Consumer divisions through a series of redundancies, with a "reshape" of its workforce planned in order to support its transformation into a multimedia company rather than a pure telecommunications carrier.

Under that restructuring, Optus was set to consolidate and make redundant a number of jobs, with a company spokesperson telling ZDNet that depending on "redeployment opportunities", the upper limit on the total jobs to go would be 480.

"Optus Business, and the Wholesale and Satellite divisions [will] rationalise roles and optimise resources in response to the increasingly competitive trading environment," Optus said in a statement at the time.

"These changes require Optus to reshape its workforce with the skills required in an increasingly digital world and to invest in the capabilities required to bring ideas to market more quickly. As a result, Optus is proposing to make a number of roles redundant."

Optus rationalised the process by saying it would allow Optus to become more streamlined and "innovative".

"These changes will create a structure that allows the business to operate as a highly integrated, innovative, and content-driven multi-media brand; streamline Optus' customer service functions, by simplifying systems and processes, multi-skilling front line staff across products and services, and resolving customer issues more quickly and with fewer handoffs; evolve the way we work so that Optus can bring new products, services, and innovations to market more quickly; and enable Optus to reshape its workforce with the skills required in an increasingly digital world."

In February, Optus was also forced to deny reports that it was planning to axe 1,000 jobs in the immediate future to help fund its English Premier League (EPL) exclusive broadcast deal.

It had, however, conceded at the time that it would need to make changes to its organisational structure in future.

"Optus continually reviews its operations to ensure it has the right organisational structure in place to achieve its goals," an Optus spokeswoman told ZDNet in February.

The telco in November announced that it had won the exclusive Australian broadcast rights to the English Premier League for the next three seasons beginning August 2016, taking the most-watched football league worldwide away from pay TV provider Foxtel's Fox Sports.

Optus in May reported a net profit of AU$901 million for the 2015-16 financial year, up 7.1 percent from the AU$841 million recorded for FY15, on earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortisation (EBITDA) of AU$2.77 billion and operating revenue of AU$9.12 billion.

"The strong results which Optus has reported over the last year reinforces that our focus on providing convergent mobile, fixed, and multimedia services, combined with our innovative offers, is gaining traction with Australians," Optus CEO Allen Lew said in a statement.

"We are well on track to achieve our three-year targets, which will see us transform our core business by investing in mobile networks and content services."

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