AMP moves Exchange, SharePoint into CSC’s cloud


CSC’s heavy push into cloud computing services earlier this year has already paid off, with financial services group AMP this morning revealing it had selected the IT services giant to host its Microsoft-based email and collaboration needs.

In a joint statement, the pair said CSC would provide AMP with Collaborative Online Services – which is a version of Microsoft’s Exchange, SharePoint and Office Communications Server suites that is hosted within CSC’s Australian servers, utilising underlying hardware and software from partners VMWare, Cisco and EMC.

Critically, the service is believed to be ‘multi-tenanted’ – which means that multiple customers will use the same infrastructure, giving rise to CSC’s description of it as a “private cloud” offering.

“For the past 18 months AMP has been exploring strategies to increase the use of cloud based services. Starting with low-risk services, we embarked upon a multi-vendor pilot for e-mail and collaboration services as our first production services to move to the cloud,” said AMP’s IT Director Service Management Sharmini Sivathas in the statement.

“Financial benefits were a key consideration for us, along with interoperability with our current environment, and confidence in our chosen service partner. The Microsoft product suite, the COS solution and delivery by our long-standing IT partner CSC, are key components of AMP’s technology roadmap.”

CSC has long outsourced key components of its technology infrastructure to CSC< including support for its desktops, mainframe and mid-range systems, email and so on. The company is seen as one of CSC's flagship customers in Australia, along with resources giants like BlueScope Steel. The news announced this morning makes AMP one of the first large corporations to make such a massive shift to cloud-based email services since the technology has entered Australia, although there have been a number of larger customers in the education sector. The financial services giant has more than 3,500 employees and also works with more than 2,000 financial planners in Australia and New Zealand. The news comes as there is a growing level of interest from organisations of all sizes in Australia in adopting cloud email services. Many IT managers believe that email has come to be regarded as a commodity service that can safely be shifted to an external provider such as CSC or Google, which is also pushing strongly with its Gmail offering into Australia, although it does not offer servers hosted here. Just several weeks ago, for instance, top-tier telco AAPT revealed it had switched the remainder of its 1200 staff off Exchange and onto Gmail after running a trial of 250 staff on Gmail for the past two months.

Image credit: Robert Michie, royalty free