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Telstra sets sights on apps

Telstra is moving away from being just a telecommunications provider with its new Global Applications and Platforms division.
Written by Josh Taylor, Contributor

In an effort to combat stagnant mobile revenues. Australia's largest telecommunications company, Telstra, is building a new global applications and platforms business.

Charlotte Yarkoni 1
Charlotte Yarkoni (credit: Telstra)

 The company announced today that the new division will be part of the Innovation, Products, and Marketing unit headed up by Group Managing Director Kate McKenzie. Telstra has said that the company will operate as a start-up within Telstra from February and will be led by Charlotte Yarkoni as its executive director from March. Yarkoni is a veteran of the IT industry, and is currently the senior vice president for cloud services with VMWare. She has also held executive roles with EMC and AT&T.

McKenzie said that it was vital the new business be agile to cope with rapid changes to the industry.

"Telstra is moving from providing mobile and internet services to encompassing applications and integrated services. This new software defined world presents many opportunities, not least the ability to move faster," she said.

"The new business will operate as a startup company drawing on the considerable assets of the broader organisation. Importantly, it will have global accountability, drawing from the best in the world, and tailoring solutions for the local market and abroad."

The company will recruit new employees and bring over some existing staff, including the applications marketplace and experience design team, and the E2E Industry Verticals team.

"The team will work alongside our Applications and Ventures group, which will continue to focus on important ventures activities," she said.

Telstra has long seen over the top applications as being a lucrative area for the company. CEO David Thodey has previously said that he has mulled the idea of Telstra developing a WhatsApp-style app for sending messages over data, rather than through traditional SMS.

The company has also been heavily investing in cloud services, including most recently into Melbourne-based cloud company Whispir.

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