Telstra tackles staff issues in Qantas deal

Telstra tackles staff issues in Qantas deal

Telstra's biggest challenge in fulfilling its $300 million network upgrade contract with Qantas is not managing technology, but people.

In the deal, billed as one of the largest ATM sites in the south- ern hemisphere, Qantas awarded the blue-chip contract to Telstra to completely revamp its domestic networking and telecomms infrastructure.

Denis Mullane, Telstra's general manager, WAN products, data services products and marketing, said the biggest battle is avoiding internal staff problems.

Mullane said the massive project has mobilised a number of diverse Telstra business units. But despite the complexity, he claims the initial preparation and testing phases for the rollout are running successfully with very few staff problems.

Telstra began rolling out Qantas' new network last week, with executives reporting it is due to go live in the airline's Sydney offices on October 30 and days later in Melbourne. It will then be extended across 130 Qantas sites nationally.

Critical time

Telstra is installing Cisco Catalyst 5505, Cisco Lightstream switches and Nortel Networks' Passport voice and data switches.

He said the next few months will be critical as Telstra beds down the upgrade: "Getting the project right is more important than winning the deal. This is a leading project that has taken Telstra and Qantas into a whole lot of new space."

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