Optus today announced it would partner with Google in its move to the software as a service market, revealing it would include Google Apps for Business in its portfolio of digital business solutions for small and medium businesses.
As stated in a media release issued this morning, Optus’ new set of cloud-based business tools will include email, calendaring, office applications, instant messaging, collaboration and videoconferencing. The offer will be launched in the second quarter of this year, but product and pricing details are yet to be revealed. The commercial terms of the agreement are also being kept confidential.
Optus small and medium business managing director Rohan Ganeson said the agreement would help SMBs to move to the cloud with Google. “Our aim is to provide SMBs with an integrated suite of cloud-based business tools that enables them to connect, manage and promote their business more cost-effectively,” he said.
The move — which marks Optus’ entry into the software as a service market — ignites competition with rival telco Telstra, which two years ago signed a deal with Microsoft to offer cloud services to its business customers, through the so-called T-Suite platform.
Ganeson maintained SMBs would benefit from the new offer, as Optus would take responsibility for delivering the services they needed. “Whether it’s establishing an online presence, collaborating within the business, or reaching new customers, SMBs don’t have to worry about maintaining the back-end IT systems,” he said. “We are providing small businesses with the tools and support that big businesses have at their disposal today.”
Presently, Optus is inviting companies interested in the new offer to register their data in order to be contacted previous to the deployment of the new offer and stay updated. In the media release issued today, Ganeson reiterated Optus was proud to collaborate with Google to underpin the launch of their new suite of digital business solutions which – he said – would prove to be cost-effective for SMBs. “Our solutions can help small and medium businesses operate faster and more cost effectively and access their vital business applications anytime, anywhere,” he said.
Google’s Asia-Pacific Enterprise division managing director, Doug Farber, said Optus’ middle-man role would ease the adoption of applications as a service by SMBs. He said often businesses were not informed on the real costs and procedures necessary to join the cloud and thought the practice to be out of their reach.
“Australian SMBs often would like to invest in better communication and collaboration tools, but they assume that it’s too expensive or complicated,” he said. “Our association with Optus today aims to remove these barriers.”
He added the cooperation with Optus would mark a new way of operating business for medium and small companies. “We’re bringing together Google’s cloud technology with Optus’ business solutions, service and distribution network to provide small business owners an innovative yet easy-to-use offering,” he said.