Telstra, a leading telecommunications company in Australia, wanted to create a new cloud-based business productivity offering that would provide key customers with more customization and flexibility than the standard Microsoft Office 365 service.
It engaged Microsoft Services in an Enterprise Strategy Program contract to get the new offering to market as quickly as possible. By working with Microsoft Services, Telstra was able to get the first phase of its offering to market in just three months. Telstra
plans to accelerate the delivery of the full solution by nine months with the help of Microsoft Services Consulting. Microsoft Services gave Telstra single-point access to a vast array of Microsoft expertise that contributed to rapid project delivery with
minimal costs and rework.
Telstra boasts one of the best-known telecommunications and information services brands in Australia. It provides landline and mobile phone service, Internet access, television products and services, and business services to millions of Australians.
Telstra had 2011/12 revenues of AUS$25.4 billion (US$26.4 billion) and employs more than 39,000 people around the world.
As traditional voice revenue streams decline in the telecommunications industry, Telstra is further developing alternate revenue sources in the business and enterprise segments. Through its superior Telstra Next G® and Next IP™ networks that provide Australia’s
leading network reliability, reach, performance, and security, Telstra is complementing existing data center services, including hosting and email messaging, to business and government customers. It also became a reseller of Microsoft Office 365 in Australia.
Office 365 unites familiar Microsoft Office applications with the power of Microsoft Exchange Online, SharePoint Online, and Lync Online into one connected, online solution.
||By partnering with Microsoft Services, we were able to get a new collaboration solution up and running in just three months to meet the immediate needs of our customers. This was significant.
| Kevin Kennedy
Director, Cloud Engineering, Telstra
Telstra provides Office 365 to its customers from a Singapore data center. However, many of its enterprise customers require that their data reside in Australia. They also wanted the ability to customize the Office 365 services.
To help partners like Telstra build cloud-based communications and collaboration solutions on the Microsoft platform, Microsoft launched the Microsoft Partner Hosted Productivity Cloud Initiative. This initiative enables partners to deliver partner-hosted
services powered by Microsoft Exchange Server, Microsoft SharePoint Server, and Microsoft Lync Server running in a private cloud infrastructure anchored by the Windows Server 2012 operating system and managed using Microsoft System Center 2012. Telstra wanted
to get its new productivity cloud offering to market as quickly as possible—within weeks—to meet the needs of existing enterprise customers.
Telstra turned to Microsoft Services for assistance. “We looked at other consulting firms but figured that when it came to running Microsoft Exchange Server, Microsoft had the best expertise,” says Marcin Coles, Enterprise Application Product Manager,
Cloud Computing at Telstra. “We wanted to be able to tap into the deep Microsoft product knowledge, align with Microsoft road maps, and gain access to Microsoft Technology Adoption Programs. Only Microsoft could provide all that.”
Telstra participated in a Microsoft Services Enterprise Strategy Program engagement to gain strategic guidance in creating its new cloud-based productivity offering. A Microsoft Enterprise Architect served as the cornerstone of the engagement, liaising between
Telstra and a variety of Microsoft expertise.
The Enterprise Architect for Telstra engaged across three work streams: executive, business, and technical. He brought Microsoft and Telstra executives together and facilitated communication throughout the project. In the business work stream, he helped
Telstra product teams understand the key differentiators and benefits of Microsoft technology and how it could enable their strategy. He also helped Telstra define a business model and service constructs. Through the technical work stream, the Enterprise Architect
helped educate the Telstra technical team on the reference model, reference architecture, testing methodology, and high-level architecture for the productivity service. Telstra and the Enterprise Architect worked together to integrate Microsoft products with
other Telstra systems and to understand how to automate and provision services.
“The Enterprise Architect had deep technical expertise, but he always put our business objectives before technology,” says Anna Barton, General Manager, Cloud Development and Architecture at Telstra.
The Enterprise Architect worked with Telstra to assess its existing environment, define the target environment, and create a road map for getting from one to the other. He also helped to address the company’s concerns about managing existing customers who
were eager for the new offering. His recommendation was to roll out the new service in phases, quickly creating a preliminary offering for existing customers and taking more time to build the private cloud infrastructure and the complete offering on top of
Within three months, Telstra had its preliminary productivity cloud service up and running. It then began working with Microsoft Services Consulting to build the complete offering, using Windows Server 2012 as the foundation. “Microsoft Services Consulting
has a deep knowledge of Microsoft products and can help us understand how they interact with one another and with our other products. It can also provide a guiding hand in deploying the solutions,” says Barton.
Throughout the Enterprise Strategy engagement, the Telstra technical team had access to Microsoft product experts in designing the infrastructure and understanding the latest Microsoft software. The Enterprise Architect brought in many subject matter experts
from across Microsoft and also pulled from an extensive library of intellectual property. As part of the Partner Hosted Cloud Initiative, the Enterprise Architect had access to Reference Architectures and Product Line Architectures to accelerate solution development.
“These documents helped us understand industry trends and gave us access to reference architectures that helped us accelerate our time-to-market,” says Kevin Kennedy, Director of Cloud Engineering at Telstra.
||Having Microsoft Services involved helped us define the service definitions and connected us to a global network of experts. This really helped us do things the right way the first time.
| Kevin Kennedy
Director, Cloud Engineering, Telstra
Microsoft also enrolled Telstra in Microsoft Technology Adoption Programs (TAPs) for several new Microsoft products. “We needed our engineering team to quickly tune in to the latest capabilities of the Microsoft products, and being part of the TAP gave us access
to the people developing the products,” Barton says. “The training provided was critical to making sure that we fully utilized the software.”
By working with Microsoft Services and the Partner Hosted Productivity Initiative, Telstra got its cloud productivity offering to market quickly. By using the Enterprise Strategy Program led by the Enterprise Architect, Telstra gained single-point access
to best practices and expertise, and it was able to launch a premium service with minimal costs and rework.
Accelerate Time-to-Market by Nine Months
As a result of its Enterprise Strategy Program engagement, Telstra delivered phase one in just three months and will be able to accelerate its go-to-market phase by six to nine months. “By partnering with Microsoft Services, we were able to get a new
collaboration solution up and running in just three months to meet the immediate needs of our customers,” Kennedy says. “This was significant. We definitely would not have been able to move this quickly without Microsoft Services.”
Gain Single-Point Access to Microsoft Resources
Through the Enterprise Architect, Telstra benefited from a variety of Microsoft resources and subject matter experts. “Our Enterprise Architect was able to turn around product questions really quickly, usually within a day,” says Scot Symmons, SaaS Product
Engineering Team Manager at Telstra. “Having access to all of Microsoft through one person was extremely advantageous, considering the timeline we were working with.”
Launch Premium Service with Minimal Costs and Rework
By partnering with Microsoft Services, Telstra created a premium productivity cloud offering with minimal costs and rework. “’Getting it right the first time’ is a key motto of Telstra,” Kennedy says. “The cost of rework is significant, so we wanted
to get the product right at launch. Having Microsoft Services involved helped us define the service definitions and connected us to a global network of experts. This really helped us do things the right way the first time.”
Adds Cole, “Anyone can launch a hosted email offering, but we wanted to have a premium solution that was built in such a way that it would succeed in the market. Our engagement with Microsoft Services enabled us to get our solution to market sooner. From
a risk mitigation perspective, we were also able to make sure we had an offering that was fully aligned with Microsoft road maps.”
Getting it right the first time helped Telstra lower costs, too. “The faster we can define, test, and deploy an offering, the lower all our other costs,” says Symmons. “Costs like project management are lower the earlier a project is completed. And our own
technical resources are more efficient when we have access to product experts.”
Microsoft Services is the strategy, consulting, and support organization of Microsoft. We are the architects, consultants, engineers, and support professionals, who with our partners, help customers make the most of their Microsoft technologies.
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