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Optus Business has announced a major restructure that it hopes will help it become an ‘ICT powerhouse’, with networking, services, mobility, and cloud under one roof.

Optus Business has announced a completely revamped structure, with Alphawest’s IT services arm being merged into the broader business, and with closer cooperation with SingTel IT services subsidiary, the Singapore based NCS.

“The integration of Alphawest into Optus Business creates a single IT organisation that is designed to serve the end-to-end needs of the Australian business and government market,” John Paitaridis, Managing Director of Optus Business. “In the new structure, Optus Business will align with NCS in Australia with a specific focus on delivering business application services for its customers.”

When companies restructure it usually means either that things haven’t been going well, or that business conditions have changed so much that the old way of doing things just won't work anymore. In Optus’s case, both are true. Optus revenues are down (though Optus Business has done well). The demise of Alphawest as an independent entity is sad, but is the increased integration with NCS a sign of things to come?

“The integration of Optus Business and Alphawest, and the alignment of NCS in Australia, brings together the strength our telecommunications and ICT capabilities under one roof. When combined with the leadership and scale of the SingTel Group, our customers can leverage leading regional solutions, managed services and the Group’s global network reach for a more seamless ICT experience across the Asia Pacific region.

“We now serve the needs of more than 3,000 business and government customers across Australia, from medium-sized businesses such as Suretek, right through to some of the largest enterprises such as Toll and the Australian Tax Office,” Paitaridis said.

“An integrated Optus Business will offer customers a one stop ICT experience: from fixed and mobile connectivity, right through to a comprehensive suite of network-centric ICT solutions and managed services. With Alphawest now forming part of Optus Business, customers will benefit from the strength of Alphawest’s heritage in working with leading technology partners to design, deploy and manage ICT solutions. The appointment of Ian Smith, former CEO of Alphawest, to the role of Vice President, ICT Solutions of Optus Business, will ensure that Alphawest’s expertise and strong track record in managed services will be maintained.” The Alphawest name will be retained in a "dual banding" exercise, at least in the short term.

Paitaridis said under the new structure, Optus Business will also have a stronger focus in meeting the needs of medium-sized businesses – one of the fastest growing segments in the market – by extending its existing capability in serving large multinationals with complex and sophisticated integration requirements through to the mid-market.

“Our strategic partnerships with some of the industry’s leading technology companies, such as Microsoft and Cisco, enable us to deliver high quality end-to-end solutions as well as the technology choice and flexibility that our customers want.”

As part of the new organisation, Optus Business announced a Centres of Excellence program which will operate in a number of areas:

  • Business Application Services: Focused on helping organisations navigate the world of big data and software-as-a-service to create bespoke applications to meet their customer or business objectives.
  • Cloud and Data Centres: Focused on leveraging Optus’s expertise in cloud both locally and through our extensive regional capabilities.
  • Collaboration: Focused on the delivery of innovative solutions via business video, enterprise content management and digital collaboration suites.
  • Contact Centres: Focused on contact centre solutions that provide sophisticated inbound service management options.
  • BYOD: Focused on helping business and government organisations managed the new demands of BYOD on business networks and services.
  • M2M: Focused on M2M services in applications including vehicle telematics, m-health, smart metering, security, asset tracking and m-commerce.

“Through the newly established Centre of Excellence for Business Application Services, Optus Business will offer NCS cloud and mobility solutions direct to Optus Business customers in Australia,” said Paitaridis. Services will include cloud aggregation, mobile analytics, mobile application development and network supply chain.

“With NCS Australia now joining Optus Business, we can strengthen our focus in delivering ICT applications and services in three key areas - cloud brokerage and aggregation, mobile business intelligence and mobile application development. These new capabilities complement our existing suite of cloud and mobility solutions to help customers maximise their cloud investment and further mobilise their workforce.”

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Graeme Philipson

Graeme Philipson is senior associate editor at iTWire and editor of sister publication CommsWire. He is also founder and Research Director of Connection Research, a market research and analysis firm specialising in the convergence of sustainable, digital and environmental technologies. He has been in the high tech industry for more than 30 years, most of that time as a market researcher, analyst and journalist. He was founding editor of MIS magazine, and is a former editor of Computerworld Australia. He was a research director for Gartner Asia Pacific and research manager for the Yankee Group Australia. He was a long time IT columnist in The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald, and is a recipient of the Kester Award for lifetime achievement in IT journalism.

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