Cisco and Optus Business have built on their existing 20-year partnership to accelerate the digital transformation of Australian businesses and government organisations.
At the Cisco Live 2017 event in Melbourne, Optus Business said the partnership enables the company to further optimise its cloud, collaboration and infrastructure technologies.
The announcement builds on the commitment of Optus Business and Cisco’s three-year co-investment of $12 million to develop local capabilities.
Key initiatives of this co-investment that was announced last year, include cloud orchestration, collaboration, and cyber security.
Optus Business managing director, John Paitaridis, said both companies have a shared vision in creating the workplace of the future and improving customer experience as disruption is a common theme in the marketplace.
“There is disruption in terms of the way that technology has become an opportunity and a challenge for organisations that are now mastering their capabilities," he mentioned.
"That has completely transformed the way that work is conducted in this country and the way we live our lives.
"So, together with Cisco, we had to find ways to assist these organisations in their customer engagement strategy, workforce productivity, efficiencies, and speed to market."
In line with this, the companies have launched integrated architectures and services.
As part of the collaboration, the latest release of the Optus Business Contact Centre platform, optimised with Cisco, is expected to reduce the total cost of ownership, while allowing businesses to boost customer interactions.
The solution now includes Interactive Voice Response for call steering, self-service and precision routing, in addition to integrating digital-enabled channels, including web chat, social media engagement and email.
Paitaridis said the solution is aimed at scaling into enterprise and mid-market organisations.
Another new integration is with Cisco Meraki. The new capability allows customers to concentrate and reallocate resources, with Optus Business managing the initial deployment, as well as ongoing assurance, change and configuration.
The expansion of the Optus Business and Cisco relationship will also see the development of Optus Video-Conferencing-as-a-Service (VCaaS) in the near future, to provide customers with a hosted video conferencing bridge service.
The VCaaS platform will extend UCaaS to allow customers to perform multi-party video conferences both within their organisation and externally with other organisations using meeting room video units.
In addition, the partnership allows Cisco Spark to be managed end-to-end by Optus Business.
Integrated with Optus’ mobile, data and voice networks, and leveraging the Cisco-Apple collaboration, Optus Business aims to provide customers with a “heightened collaboration experience”.
Cisco Systems A/NZ vice-president, Ken Boal, said both companies believe a smart network is “fundamental” to the business transformation journey.
“That’s been our focus for the past 12 to 18 months, because there has been a lot of modernisation happening around those network platforms, and that’s a big part of the evolution of partnerships.
“Customers have been asking us, instead of each of them having to build these platforms, could we not build these capabilities and deliver them as services through some of our partners. We’ve been working very comprehensively with Optus Business on this,” he said.
According to Boal, it’s all about improving the workplace experience and delivering on the promise to support each customer’s transition to the workplace of the future.
“Whether its applications, security, cloud, collaboration or networks, customers want partners who understand this spectrum of managed technology and services.
“Customers aren’t enjoying productivity as much as they should, so Optus Business and Cisco have embarked on this opportunity to take the latest technology capabilities and deliver that through as a service into the marketplace,” he mentioned.
In creating network-enabled ICT and services for Australian organisations using connectivity and collaboration tools, Paitaridis highlighted the company’s acquisition of Ensyst, and other initiatives in the company’s pipeline.
“Ensyst is a Microsoft-strong workload advisory business that we’ve acquired. We’ve also built our Optus managed cloud on a co-investment with Cisco, and are now unashamedly partnering with AWS for a true public and private cloud hybrid,” he added.
Hafizah Osman is attending Cisco Live 17 in Melbourne as a guest of Cisco.