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Wednesday, 26 October 2011 12:46

Jamcracker cloud platform to keep powering Telstra's T-Suite

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Telstra has renewed its contract with Jamcracker - the provider of the cloud services enablement platform underpinning its T-Suite offering of a range of applications as a service, target at SMEs - for a further two years.

Telstra announced plans for T-Suite in June 2008, billing it as a one-stop shop where established software names would share virtual 'shelf space' with up-and-coming Australian companies. The service was soft launched in November 2008 with an initial range of offerings from McAfee, Microsoft, MessageLabs and Iron Mountain. The full service launched in April 2009 with these and other applications. More have been added since.

The Jamcracker platform "enables different types of cloud service offerings to be delivered with a single point of provisioning, access, security, billing, administration and support."

Steve Crawford, Jamcracker's vice president of marketing and business development, told ExchangeDaily: "There is a new term that has come out in the last couple of years called the cloud services brokerage model coined by Gartner chief analyst Daryl Plummer.

"There is exponential growth in the supply of cloud services; startup cost is very low and demand is growing exponentially as well, both in SMEs and enterprise. But if a business has a number of employees using different cloud services you pretty soon start running into some pretty serious management issues: multiple, billings, password management, where data is going. They want one throat to choke. That is where the cloud services brokerage comes in. Services like T-Suite provides single billing and singe access.

While the end customer has only one relationship, with Telstra, in some cases Telstra's commercial relationship is with the application owner and in some cases with Jamcracker. Later in 2009 Telstra announced a relationship with Microsoft under which it added Exchange Online, Office Communications Online, SharePoint Online and Office Live Meeting to T-Suite. Although Telstra's commercial relationship is with Microsoft and these services are hosted by Microsoft, they accessed through the Jamcracker platform.

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According to Crawford, "Cloud services brokerage is a very hot topic in the telco world. Telstra has been a long time partner of ours and they have very much been an innovator in the telco world and an early adopter, before the terminology really existed."

He added: "A few years ago the common wisdom was that telcos would never be successful selling cloud services but I think Telstra has demonstrated that telcos can be very successful selling cloud services. It is a great poster child for what a telco can do selling these cloud brokerage services."

In its press release announcing renewal of its Telstra contract, Jamcracker quoted Mark Pratley, general manager Telstra Cloud Computing, saying: "Annualised sales of software as a service through T-Suite have grown more than threefold."

Such a statement without a base value is meaningless. At Telstra's annual investor day in September 2010, chief marketing officer, Kate McKenzie, was only slightly more informative. She said: "In our investment in T-Suite we are already starting to see benefit from our first mover advantage. We have seen SIO growth over the last six months of 226 per cent and revenue growth of 186 per cent, albeit off a quite low base.

"The early indication is that T-Suite is also improving customer churn. In fact, T-Suite customers are 65 percent less likely to churn broadband services than broadband only customers. 22 percent of T-Suite customers without a Telstra broadband service take up a Telstra broadband service within 12 months."

She added: "We are also expanding our T-Suite offerings because we know the appetite is there from our customers. We are seeing more and more customers take on two or more applications. In fact, more than 50 percent of the base now have multiple applications. Right now there are more than 20 applications and Microsoft is high on the favourites list, with T-Suite featuring in Microsoft top ten channel sales world wide."

Telstra is Jamcracker's only customer in Australia, and likely to remain so for some time. Crawford told ExchangeDaily: "They were exclusive for some period of time. Telstra has had very good success selling these cloud services and if we have a very strong partner in one geography, there is no incentive for us to disrupt that. There are plenty of geographies we have not yet penetrated."

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