Telstra is reputed to have signed up several other as yet unannounced enterprise and government customers to the new service.
Cloud remains a relationship sale at the enterprise level
It is worth noting that the go-to-market approach that Telstra and Accenture have adopted, at least in the first instance, is based on relationship selling, rather than the often-hyped self-service cloud portal (through which cloud services just sell themselves). The focus is on strategic and major sales and on protecting/deepening existing network-centric customer relationships, as opposed to selling cloud computing as a stand-alone IT utility service to new customers.
This is a sensible approach given the cautious nature of the market selling cloud computing is all about persuading enterprise and government CIOs and IT managers that they can trust this new model of sourcing ICT services. The sales process requires considerable handholding to demonstrate the value, to plan and manage the transition of services, and to assist CIOs to manage the new cloud-sourcing model.
Telstras main challenge will be its ability to adapt its telecoms-centric marketing and sales operations to selling and servicing this more complex IT-centric relationship sale. This will take time to develop.
Partnership with a systems integrator such as Accenture fast-tracks Telstras ability to sell and implement these deals. For Accenture, Telstra has the massive computing and telecommunications infrastructure required to ensure that the reality of the cloud lives up to the promises made during the selling.
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