I recently visited Telstra’s “Let’s Connect” Analyst Summit 2014 in Sydney, the analyst event of Australia’s incumbent telecom provider, Telstra. CIOs of MNCs who have been tasked with finding the right provider in Australasia need to balance their requirements for true end-to-end solutions that many tech services providers promise with the need for reliable collaboration and connectivity services as well as cloud and services solutions. Telstra brings attractive assets and strengths to the table regarding these core focus areas. My main takeaways are that:

  • Telstra is a strong network services provider in Australasia. European CIOs who require a strong network service provider in the developed markets of Asia and Australia find a solid partner in Telstra. There Telstra stands out through high-quality network infrastructure and local teams on the ground.
  • Telstra provides telco industry benchmark offerings in healthcare. Telstra is dedicated to becoming a strong provider of healthcare solutions that rely on connectivity. CIOs in the healthcare sector should look to Telstra for solutions such as hospital-in-the-home partnerships, medical care in remote communities, as well as telemedicine services.
  • Telstra takes organizational and cultural transformation very seriously. Telstra is fully aware of the need to transform its organizational structures and operating culture and to transform toward a more service- and software-focused telco. Although this transformation will take time to implement, CIOs will find a network service provider that is committed to transformation at the very top of management.
  • Telstra’s slogan “It’s how we connect” underlines that Telstra views connectivity provisioning as its core asset. However, Telstra is far from a dumb-pipe provider. And while Telstra’s CEO David Thodey recognizes the dominant role that software will play for businesses, he also emphasized that Telstra’s ambition is not to become an IT services firm or to compete directly with them.

Forrester survey data shows that the top two network and telecommunications priorities for business and technology decision-makers in Asia Pacific are to increase network bandwidth capacity and to provide more mobility support for employees. These two priorities reflect Telstra’s strength and weakness. My new report summarizes my main observations concerning the suitability of Telstra to address the most pressing CIO priorities.