Optus Business MD, John Paitaridis, laid out the company’s new ICT focused vision for 2015, which is seeing it move away from traditional telco operations, at the company’s annual partner conference, Optus Vision 2015, held at Sydney’s Town Hall.
In an era of disruption, Paitaridis said that only one-in-four Australian businesses are prepared for this change, as part of Optus’ newly released Future of Business Growth Report 2015. The report looked at 502 organisations, across 12 sectors, testing the direct relationship between readiness, performance and growth.
This was measured across people and culture, systems and processes, the external environment and the technology behind key products and services.
Nearly 60 per cent of ‘change ready’ businesses are performing more strongly than their competitors, these companies are twice as likely to see rapid growth than the others, he said.
“The harsh reality is that most change programs fail. In Australia, that’s one-in-three. What are the implications of change programs failing? You’re slower to market, you’re less competitive, it costs you more to implement change, it jeopardises your return on investment, it jeopardises your financials. That’s how important being able to cope with change is,” he said.
Paitaridis was blunt in his assertion about the state of the telecommunications market, and Optus’ role therein.
“Gone are the days when we dictated to the customer,” he said.
“I’ve challenged our team to be business navigators for you, our customers.”
The company also laid out its new Cloud vision, which sees it focus on delivery spanning Infrastructure, Software and Network as-a-service, featuring partnerships with Microsoft, AWS and Cisco.
He said the company has focused itself on being an ICT company, backed by its 12 per cent ICT revenue growth between fourth quarter 2014 and fourth quarter 2015. The company has seen mobile services revenue and equipment sales rise by 7.4 per cent across the same period, and customer advocacy is up 5.2 per cent.
He said this has been backed by the company pulling in 30 per cent more ICT deals in 2014, specifically multi-year, managed services deals across organisations including General Electric, Westfield, the Australian Federal Government, and major long term deals with Suncorp (seven years) and Westpac (six years).
This had also been boosted by the security-focused acquisition of Trustwave, and the Cloud-focused Ensyst buy.
“I want our business to be differentiated and meaningful across five different areas, beyond our traditional voice, data and mobile, even as they are critical foundation blocks to our business,” he said.
The company’s new focus will be on cybersecurity, Cloud and datacentres, unified communications, contact centres, and apps.
“We will continue to invest in our capabilities, putting capital into the business, investing in the right personnel to attract the very best in its five key areas. We will also continue to make inorganic moves, such as Trustwave and Ensyst.”
“These are the portfolios that are igniting our growth. We’re back at 11 per cent growth, and once these portfolios start to fire, we will be differentiated.”