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Programmed for growth

Stephen Bell | Dec. 13, 2011
To be faced with a complete restructure of your company and to have your entire ICT infrastructure taken away would be a severe test for any CIO -- more so as Allister Lowe did not know, when he became IT manager of transport and logistics company Toll Tranzlink in 2008, that the big change was only 12 months away.

As Toll NZ group IT manager he is part of the senior management team, a recognition of the importance of ICT. "The general managers of each business unit sit on the management team alongside me as do human resources and finance and we all report to the group general manager of Toll NZ Greg Miller."

Acquisition continues to be an important strategy for Toll, crucially affecting ICT. "You never know which [acquisition proposals] are going to land, and typically when they do land, we need to effect them quickly."

Immediately [after] the deal is struck, the consequences become top priority with the ICT team. "Depending on the nature of the acquisition, that can vary from a full-blown ICT project, with applications integration, to just infrastructure. They're always bubbling away and part of our strategy," says Lowe.

The other major priority is "the evolution of the foundation laid with TelstraClear", he says. "We're two years into a five-year contract and always looking at how we can improve what we've done and use the new technologies that are out there."

Infrastructure as a service is a major avenue of exploration with TelstraClear, potentially enabling Toll to use only the capacity it needs when the need arises and reduce depreciation cost on fixed assets.

"That opens up other opportunities; there could be desktop as a service, voice as a service, and others. Those are discussions I've been having with CIOs within Telstra," a move whereby Toll could contribute to productive evolution of TelstraClear's ICT business.

"Because of our strategic relationship, it makes sense for us to work together. They're keen for that kind of model; we're keen to look at it; so it would make sense for us to partner up."

 

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