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Telstra is negotiating with Microsoft to allow it to host Office 365 in its Australian data centres, to overcome some client concerns that at present the cloud based service is hosted in Microsoft's Singapore data centre.

Speaking at the Security 2011 conference in Sydney today Telstra chief technology officer Dr Hugh Bradlow said that the current situation, where Telstra provides access to Office 365 as a cloud service, but with client data hosted in Singapore was only ever intended as an 'interim measure'. 'Our intention is to host the data in Australia,' he said.

He acknowledged that there were concerns from some organisations that the Office 365 cloud was operated out of Singapore. He said that he believed it would take a long time to establish international conventions which might provide a measure of comfort to users regarding the security and privacy of their data when it was held offshore.

Rather than wait for that, 'Our intention is to migrate to locally held data,' he said.

Dr Bradlow was unable to say when that might be achieved. However he said Telstra already had the data centre capacity it would require to offer the service locally.

He said that the speed at which Telstra could move on its plans was controlled by Microsoft.

Responding to iTWire's questions about the plans a Microsoft spokesperson said; 'Microsoft is in ongoing discussions with its Office 365 partner Telstra. Those discussions are commercial and in-confidence and as a result it would not be appropriate to comment at this time.'

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Beverley Head

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Beverley Head is a Sydney-based freelance writer who specialises in exploring how and why technology changes everything - society, business, government, education, health. Beverley started writing about the business of technology in London in 1983 before moving to Australia in 1986. She was the technology editor of the Financial Review for almost a decade, and then became the newspaper's features editor before embarking on a freelance career, during which time she has written on a broad array of technology related topics for the Sydney Morning Herald, Age, Boss, BRW, Banking Day, Campus Review, Education Review, Insite and Government Technology Review. Beverley holds a degree in Metallurgy and the Science of Materials from Oxford University and a deep affection for things which are shaken not stirred.

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