With its fetish for putting a finger in absolutely every pie possible, it was only a matter of time before Telstra made its way into the IT channel for real. Last week the telco demonstrated its admirable ability to wage two wars at once. While in the throes of stitching up One.Tel's fretting customer base, it mustered the courage to leap off the networking periphery, square into the middle of the SME solutions honeypot. This was achieved by the opening of its first purpose-built Telstra business store in the wilds of Sydney's southwest.
Determined to demonstrate the importance of the occasion, Telstra solicited Britain's Absolutely Fabulous duo for comic relief, who in turn solicited the attentions of NRL star Mario Fenech, giving a whole new meaning to Telstra's message for the store: "It's a full service job."
Ever the unrattled politician, Marrickville mayor Barry Cotter took the situation in hand. "If I'm meant to open the joint, then the joint is officially open," he declared. And thus, ladies and gents, Telstra is born into the channel world.