Westpac renews Telstra, Optus contracts



news Top-tier bank Westpac has renewed long-running contracts with both Telstra and, reportedly, Optus, as the bank continues to source services from both of Australia’s two largest telcos.

In a statement published yesterday, Telstra announced it had won a five-year agreement to provide Westpac’s domestic data network, primary internet access, outbound voice and Pacific Bank telecommunications (services to the South Pacific islands).

Telstra said that for the first time, the St George corporate and branch communications network which Westpac inherited with its 2008 purchase of the smaller bank would also transition to the Telstra network, with 300 sites being upgraded to a fibre-based service.

According to Telstra, its contract will open up “a portfolio of new opportunities for Westpac”, to enable further growth and expansion but most importantly build on Westpac’s current service offering, further enhancing the customer experience – a key priority under Westpac’s ambitious 2017 strategy. To support this transition, services provided by Telstra will include solutions management for the Westpac Group – including network connectivity, digital media solutions, Wi-Fi, audio conferencing and data centre connectivity.

David Burns, Group Managing Director, Telstra Global Enterprise and Services, commented: “Westpac is committed to putting customers at the heart of the banking experience, and we’re excited to be part of that journey – adding another valuable layer to Westpac’s customer service experience.”

“This new chapter sees an expansion of our existing relationship with Westpac, and will support the business with its digital future strategy across all brands within the Westpac Group. It has been a truly collaborative story to date, with our tailored solutions helping the business to put the infrastructure in place, to not only achieve its technology transformation but also to support the wider business objectives for 2017.”

“Our solutions will provide Westpac with the platform, through a single network, to put the business ahead of the pack in a rapidly changing digital world while also maintaining momentum in its broader technology modernisation journey,” Burns added.

Telstra has provided a number of major services to Westpac since at least October 2004, when the bank signed a major contract with the telco. That deal was renewed in December 2005 to a total value of $400 million.

However, Westpac also appears to use services from Australia’s second-largest telco Optus. ARN reported yesterday that the bank had also renewed a deal with the SingTel subsidiary, covering mobile services, international networks and contact centre infrastructure.

No huge surprises here. A bank as large as Westpac is really only going to buy most of its services from Telstra, Optus or both. CommBank, which largely focuses its operations on Australia, primarily uses Telstra. ANZ, which has a major Asian expansion program, primarily uses Optus. Westpac appears to have a foot in both camps, which is probably a wise choice.