Telstra CEO signals more alliances with tech vendors

Telstra CEO, David Thodey, expects more partnerships over the next 12-18 months

Telstra CEO, David Thodey, has signalled more alliances and partnerships with major tech vendors over the next 12 months during an event in Sydney.

Thodey was speaking at an Australia-Israel Chamber of Commerce lunch when he told the audience about the telco’s engagements with Microsoft and Google.

“The orientation of a company like Telstra needs to be more flexible,” he said. “I think you’ll see us do quite a few different types of alliances going forward.

“I would expect to see quite a few different relationships over the next 12-18 months.”

The CEO said Telstra was currently in talks with Apple on how to get more out of the relationship. Thodey claimed his company was the vendor’s biggest customer in Australia.

The comments come on the back of deals signed between Telstra, Microsoft and ASX-listed integrator, Data#3 (ASX:DTL) in early September. In November 2008, Telstra and Microsoft came together to offer Software-as-a-Service to SMEs as part of T-Suite.

Rival telco, Optus, recently took a different approach and side-stepped resellers to offer infrastructure-as-a-service to customers through its wholly-owned integrator, Alphawest, using VMware, EMC and Cisco technology.

Thodey didn’t comment on the Optus deal, but said services through the cloud were challenging products that had finally become a reality.

“I think it’s an incredible opportunity that works across the consumer market, the SMB market and the enterprise market,” he said. “We are slowly getting better at knowing how to sell it SMB because selling it to them takes time.”