Telecom service providers are expected to be the natural channel of choice for many ICT vendors, given that all enterprises have relationships with telcos, and no other channel has the same extensive reach and installed base of customers.
Telcos have something of a checkered history when it comes to partnering, and some still harbor reservations about partnerships, but most now recognize that they need partners to strengthen their ICT capabilities and solution portfolios. However, the onus is still on ICT vendors to convince telcos that partnering with them can be mutually beneficial and serve their larger overall interests.
Cisco was one of the earlier ICT vendors to understand the strategic benefits of telcos as an ICT channel, and it has shown real steadfastness in carefully building what is today the largest and most extensive network of telco channel partners in the Asia-Pacific region. Some of its most significant partners in Australia include Telstra and SingTel Optus.
With cloud, mobility, M2M, security, collaboration, and Big Data expected to dominate ICT spending priorities over the next 12 months, telcos are well positioned to profit if they can enhance their ICT credentials – most of these technologies are fundamentally on telcos’ home ground. At the Cisco Live event, held in Melbourne on March 17–19, 2014, a series of announcements indicated the extent to which Cisco is strengthening its existing partnerships with telcos in Australia.
SingTel Optus to offer collaboration-as-a-service
SingTel’s Optus business unit is to partner with Cisco to offer unified communications-as-a-service (UCaaS). This will include voice, messaging, telephony, and video solutions, and it will be built over the SingTel Optus Evolve network, which relieves existing customers of the burden of integrating with SingTel Optus ICT solutions.