Enthusiasm for cloud computing in Australia is growing but slowly as CIOs await the arrival of trusted onshore services from at-scale enterprise-grade vendors. Telstra and Accenture announced today that they will partner to bring an offering called Network Computing Services to the big end of town. Cloud is a scale game, big is better, and biggest is best, so the combination of two of the biggest players in strategy, implementation, and operations in Australia will be a confidence booster to CIOs considering their cloud-sourcing options.
A slowly evolving market
The enterprise cloud computing market is still nascent in Australia, but it is starting to pick up. Existing domestic IT outsourcing and managed services players such as Macquarie Telecom and Melbourne IT are in the market, along with some of the global vendors such as CSC and Fujitsu. Optus recently announced the launch of an infrastructure-as-a-service offering called Elevate partnering with its own Alphawest subsidiary for implementation. Verizon has announced its intention to bring its global computing-as-a-service offering to the Australian market in 2011.
A particular issue in Australia is a strongly stated preference by enterprise and government customers for data to remain onshore within Australian legal jurisdiction. This is compounded by the knowledge that the elastic properties of cloud require scale no CIO wants to be a big customer of a small cloud provider.
In this context, the enterprise cloud market in Australia remains largely unexplored territory a market awaiting a dominant leader.
Network Computing Services cloud is all about the network
Telstra has a long relationship with Accenture as a systems integration partner, and has worked closely with the company in recent years to virtualize and automate its own internal ICT operations as part of a major IT transformation project. This new operational capability combined with its managed IP network services has led to the operational platform that Telstra has now launched as its infrastructure-as-a-service offering, called Network Computing Services.
An early test of this new capability was announced last year when Visy Industries migrated its applications into Telstras infrastructure under a utility computing arrangement. Komatsu Australia was a second major enterprise win earlier this year. These are substantial infrastructure-as-a-service proof points both companies are running their SAP systems in the Telstra Network Computing Service.
Nerida Caesar, Group Managing Director of Telstra Enterprise and Government, indicated at a recent Telstra analyst event that $50 million has been invested to date in tools to standardize the Network Computing Services, and that a further $200 million is being allocated during the next two years for people, processes, and technology to build out this offering. Caesar commented that the Telstra board is backing network computing as a key area of growth.
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