Recruiter picks Telstra for cloud, telco services


news Recruitment and HR services provider Randstad has signed a three-year deal with Telstra, to provide telecommunication services and transition the company into a cloud-computing model.

Under the agreement Randstad will gradually transition to cloud computing services from Telstra allowing Randstad to maximise the return on investment from its legacy hardware. As part of the agreement, Telstra will also provide Next G mobile phones and 4G enterprise mobile broadband services; manage and connect Randstad’s 50 offices to the Telstra Next IP Network; and roll out Telstra IP Telephony to its 1000-strong workforce.

Chief information officer of Randstad, Kevin O’Neill, said that since much of the IT infrastructure currently at Randstad was reaching the end of its lifecycle, instead of deploying new infrastructure, it was the perfect time for the company to transition to latest technologies like cloud computing. “We now have the opportunity to maximise our existing investments in hardware whilst transitioning to a local, secure and proven cloud-computing model in the mid-term. The scalability and flexibility benefits of the cloud model in particular, support our growth strategy within the Asia-Pacific region,” O’Neill said.

O’Neill also said that Randstad could leverage Telstra’s 4G network to enable its employees to utilise new data-rich services for improving connectivity and collaboration. What the company needed was reliable, secure and consistent network performance across their business, whether its consultants or clients were located in metropolitan hubs or remote locations. He believed that Telstra had the proven capability to deliver this.

Randstad’s disaster recovery capabilities were improved, during the Queensland floods, because its staff was able to work efficiently, albeit remotely, using Telstra’s mobile data network, minimizing the detrimental impact on Randstad’s business.

Paul Geason, Group Managing Director, Telstra Enterprise & Government, said the deal would modernise Randstad’s working practices and lay the groundwork for an IT infrastructure and software model that would prepare the company for the next decade. He also said that Telstra was investing more than $800 million in cloud computing in the next few years and that Randstad would benefit directly from this investment.

Telstra recently received Red Hat Linux certification for its public cloud offering and earlier, had bagged other large contracts in the cloud space including deals with Komatsu Australia, packaging giant Visy etc.

In October 2010, when Telstra announced a flagship cloud computing partnership with IT services giant Accenture, the future of the new generation of cloud computing services in Australia was a little unclear. With some early wins and lessons under its belt, Telstra’s cloud computing offering were seeing enough traction to make the offerings long-term propositions, the telco said at the time.

To be honest I’m a little uncomfortable with Telstra’s description of cloud computing services here. Although it does seem as though the telco is handling some server infrastructure for Randstad, it should be pointed out that mobile broadband services, IP telephony, telecommunications transit and similar services do not constitute cloud computing. These are telecommunications services and should be labelled as such. Telstra’s attempt to conflate these services with cloud computing is misleading — and it’s important to note that in its media release, Telstra doesn’t actually state what cloud computing services specifically Randstad is buying.

Update: A Telstra spokesperson has clarified that the company wasn’t attempting to conflate its telecom services with cloud computing. Randstad, the spokesperson said, will, subject to the lifecycle of its legacy equipment, eventually move into the Telstra cloud. Initially the company has moved to co-location and cloud for redundancy purposes.

Image credit: Fred Fokkelman, royalty free. Opinion/analysis by Renai LeMay


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