At the time, both companies refused to be drawn on precisely what technology they were using to take cloud computing to customers, or what applications they would focus on. The focus in general was on the customer, rather than the offering. 'We're going into each client environment to really understand that environment, their triggers to make a move,' said Telstra Enterprise & Government chief Nerida Caesar at the time. 'They each have a different reason as to why they're heading down this path.'
It was a similar case in mid-2009 when the telco launched its partnership with Microsoft to offer the software giant's technology (including collaboration, CRM packages and so on) to small to medium enterprise customers as its T-Suite software as a service model. Would Australian business take up the offering from a telco? The future was unclear.
Fast forward to today, with some early wins and lessons under its belt, the picture for Telstra's cloud computing offerings is starting to firm up.
According to Telstra's general manager of cloud services, Mark Pratley, in both of its two major cloud computing product areas, Telstra is seeing enough traction to make the offerings long-term propositions.
'What we were testing in those early days,' says Pratley of T-Suite, 'was just how relevant a carrier could be in this space '” how software would be delivered, from and to. What we've learnt is that there is certainly a place in the domestic market for that model '” the businesses that are interested are showing early signs that indicate a carrier branding and positioning makes sense.'
Pratley says T-Suite for Telstra is evolving rapidly from a novelty in its business to a point where '” like the half-yearly numbers it discloses around mobile phone and broadband connections '” it's a capacity, SIO-type (service in operation) growth discussion. And T-Suite is growing fast, with the executive citing 100 percent levels of growth quarterly.