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Telstra deep dives clear the air on cloud

Telstra deep dives clear the air on cloud

Still confused about the cloud? So is Telstra

Flexibility and business value have been keyed as high priorities in discussions around the cloud for CIOs, according to Telstra.

Closed door sessions held over the past year between the telco and 150 C-level executives have been used by the telco to clear up definitions of cloud terminology and formulate go-to-market strategies around cloud compute environments targeted at large enterprise and government business.

“The design point of those sessions was to keep them small, intense and deep so we could go into the mechanics and the detail of what is cloud computing, how does it work, how do you got through a migration,” managing director of Telstra’s Enterprise and Government division, Nerida Caesar, said at the launch of the telco’s latest cloud environment, Network Computing Services.

“It was a closed room environment that allowed the CIO community to ask the questions that they might not ask in a larger forum.

“We got to a very deep level of engagement around understanding their business issues, what is cloud, what actually stimulates a kind of organisation to actually go down this path.”

However, the sessions also highlighted the disconnected between the views of CIOs and the CFOs to which they often report.

“The CIO is saying ‘I just need more flexibility because I can’t get things into the market fast enough, because IT seems to be in the way’,” according to Steve Willis, managing director of Accenture’s Australia communications and high tech.

“Most CFOs are coming out of the financial crisis, they’re trying to downgrade cost on the balance sheet, get capex to opex,” he said.

The common ground between those in the opposing roles, according to Willis, was a desire to extract business value from any move to a cloud-based environment.

The services company’s three-year alliance with Telstra will see it deliver migration strategies for application virtualisation to customers, to be deployed on Telstra’s infrastructure. While neither company has been willing to disclose the nature of the infrastructure or pricing around the new services, unified communications as well as test and development have been keyed as high priorities for integration.

Caesar said the telco had managed to attract interest from 30 to 40 potential customers out of the deep dive sessions, a program she first highlighted at Telstra’s Investor Day earlier in the month.

“Cloud is what is capturing the attention, and to address that market  place we have been bringing customers in for very deep immersive sessions,” she said at the time.

“It is a relatively complex area in terms of how do you transition an entire IP environment into the Telstra cloud. So we are finding clients are wanting to have these deeper sessions around  how do we go about transition, what about my people, how  do we go through the process of managing the ongoing  environment commercially as well.”

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