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Singtel gives Optus more 'autonomy' to run enterprise unit

Move is part of the Singapore telco's reorganisation efforts that began last year to "decentralise" its operations and will give Optus direct accountability of its enterprise division.
Written by Eileen Yu, Senior Contributing Editor

Optus soon will have more autonomy to run its enterprise business, giving the Australian telco direct accountability of how it wants to navigate the unit's growth path. 

Its enterprise division would be transferred from Optus' parent company Singtel, so it would have "more operational autonomy" with the unit under its direct management, Singtel said in a statement Wednesday. Optus' enterprise revenue clocked at AU$1.21 billion ($843.69 million) in its financial year, ended March 2022.

Effective from July 1, the move is part of Singtel's reorganisation efforts that began last year to "decentralise" the Singapore telco's organisational structure and "empower" its businesses to tap commercial synergies and capabilities for growth. 

Singtel Group CEO Yuen Kuan Moon said this was essential in the current volatile macro-economic environment where business units needed greater independence and agility to better navigate the market.

Yuen said: "Optus has been part of the Singtel stable for two decades and a leading player in the Australian consumer market. Given the hyper digitalisation that enterprises are currently experiencing, this is also timely as Optus can focus on advancing its growth as a B2B (business-to-business) player."

Optus CEO Kelly Bayer Rosmarin noted that a "more unified and collaborative" model would allow the Australian telco to support its enterprise customers' localised needs and push products and services more quickly to the local market.  

She added that the company not only would have the autonomy to make decisions quickly, but also still be able to tap Singtel's global reach and knowledge.

Singtel last year kickstarted a business transformation it dubbed a "strategic reset", which also saw its ICT business unit NCS spun off from its enterprise business and positioned as a pan-Asia B2B digital services provider. NCS' growth strategy was focused on Australia and Greater China, as well as on diversifying beyond its stronghold in Singapore's public sector into the enterprise space.

According to Singtel, these efforts had pushed its digital revenue to account for almost half of overall revenue in the last fiscal year. 

In its announcement Wednesday, the telco also announced that Bill Chang would assume a new role as CEO of the group's data centre business, effective July 1. Chang would retain his current role as CEO of Singtel's enterprise unit. 

Both its data centre unit and NCS had been earmarked as growth engines for Singtel's digital businesses. NCS last October acquired a majority stake in Australian cloud consultancy, Eighty20 Solutions, as part of efforts to expand its footprint in the country. The move followed the purchase of another Australia-based cloud services vendor, Riley, which service offerings were specialised on Google platforms and comprised cloud-native transformation, data supply chain, and cloud operations. 

Singtel in February unveiled plans to spend at least SG$2 billion ($1.49 billion) to redevelop its global headquarters, pitching the new site as a smart building that would showcase sustainable workspaces for employees and future tenants. Called Comcentre, the building has sat on its current plot since 1979 and occupies an area of 19,252 square metres. 


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