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Telstra wants to become the Uber of Telstra

First step in Uberfication is $50m to head off future network SNAFUs

By Simon Sharwood, 1 May 2016

Telstra wants to become the Uber of Telstra.

CEO Andrew Penn today said, at an investor day, that customer experience is a core concern for the company's future. The carrier's customers don't benchmark Telstra against other telcos, he said, but agains the likes of Uber and Airnbnb. Telstra's therefore going to use those companies as a model for its own future efforts.

How can Telstra do that, we hear you ask, when its networks keep falling over

The carrier says it's reviewed its recent outages, figured out what went wrong and decided the fix is AU$50m to be split equally between new network monitoring kit and tools to allow many users to simultaneously re-connect to its mobile networks. The company's making those spends because one of its recent outages showed it needs better and earlier warnings of messes likely to impact customer experience.

Penn also used the investor day to say Telstra aspires to be a technology company, but added the company cannot be compared to the likes of Microsoft or Google. As a carrier, he feels Telstra is well-positioned to facilitate the distribution and adoption of other technologies.

“We need to lift the level of aspiration to become a world-class technology company,” Penn said. “And we need to accelerate the rate at which we digitise our core business.”

Telstra's many recent acquisitions and partnerships, such as that of PacNet and with Microsoft, “are all closely aligned to that strategy.” ®

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