Optus Business drives Govt push through Canberra Data Centres deal

Optus Business drives Govt push through Canberra Data Centres deal

Links up with ACT-based data centre provider as it eyes lucrative tenders

John Paitaridis - Managing Director, Optus Business

John Paitaridis - Managing Director, Optus Business

Optus Business is placing a bet on private cloud to win more Federal Government deals, following an agreement with ACT-based data centre provider Canberra Data Centres (CDC).

CDC, previously owned by ASI Solutions founder, Ken Lowe, operates four centres across two data centre campuses in the nation’s capital and boasts more than 40 government departments as customers.

The business was sold for for $784 million to a conglomerate of Australian government pension fund provider Commonwealth Superannuation Corporation and New Zealand-based infrastructure investment company, Infratil, in May 2016.

Optus Business said the deal will allow it to deliver a “Federal Private Cloud solution aimed at delivering a cost effective, highly secure private cloud service as Federal Government agencies move multiple services to the cloud as part of their digital strategies.”

Many government departments now have a mandate to choose cloud first with new technological deployments.

One of the most notable shifts came from the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) which revealed its intentions to put all "mission critical" workloads on Amazon Web Services (AWS) in 2016.

However, the country's data retention laws preclude government agencies from putting certain data in a public cloud platform, health and financial records.

“As government and enterprise accelerate their digital transformations, we are seeing a rapidly increasing demand to transition services to the Cloud,” Optus Business managing director John Paitaridis said.

“This new partnership with CDC enables Optus to offer secure private cloud solutions including Infrastructure as a service (IaaS), managed storage and disaster recovery as a service immediately and a facility to house our unified communications as a service (UCaaS) and contact centre as a service (CCaaS) offerings for the local Canberra market, showcasing Optus’ ICT credentials to deliver an expansive range of services for Government (and enterprise) clients of the CDC.”

CDC CEO Greg Boorer said the company was “very excited” about working with the telco’s reseller arm. 

"As we build our data centre services in a cloud native world, offering Government enhanced options to seamlessly interconnect between their traditional infrastructure, private cloud, protected cloud and public cloud environments in one data centre ecosystem is unique and only available from within the CDC ecosystem,” he said.

“Optus Business will deliver a private cloud ‘as-a-Service’ commercial model that is scalable and agile, meeting the needs of customers, both Government and enterprise, who require highly flexible and reliable cloud solutions for their ICT and other services in a secure environment,” Paitaridis added.

Losing deals from within

Optus Business is increasing its government push and attempting to increase its cyber security credentials after a period of heavy investment from the company.

The company invested $10 million in a Sydney cyber security operations centre in November 2016 to lay the foundation for its cyber security ambitions.

However, during the same period, the company suffered a big loss from an unlikely source.

ARN understands that Optus Business lost its firewall contract with parent company, Optus, in late 2016 to another Sydney-based reseller.

The telco had a 25-year contract with Alphawest which became Optus business following a buyout in 2005. The company had been using CheckPoint firewalls for this period but made the switch to a new reseller offering Fortinet technology, according to individuals familiar with the matter.

The company did not deny the loss of the business but instead sent a statement regarding the matter.

"Optus Business is and will continue to be actively involved in the supply and delivery process of services to Optus Networks, including firewall, as part of the same organisation," an Optus spokesperson told ARN.

"As an ICT provider, Optus Business regularly partners with a range of technology providers, including Fortinet, to provide solutions for Optus' internal requirements and our customers."

The loss is a big blow for the telco’s reseller arm and raises questions regarding its value proposition as it aims for more government contracts.

In addition, it opens the possibility for other resellers to win deals with a company many in the Aussie channel believed was out of reach.

This article was updated at 12:04 pm on Friday 16 June to include comment from optus business

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