Australia largest telco, Telstra, is now making available a range of hosted software application via its T-Suite brand. Interestingly, Telstra is also a big Microsoft customer so have I little doubt there is some sharing of resources going on here.
Because Telstra also provides broadband and 3G access you can appreciate how these Software as a Service (SaaS) model provides a good business model going forward.
Many experienced IT providers know that Telstra doesn’t always have the best name in the business for the services it provides yet it is big enough to overcome that and still be one of the largest ISP’s in the land. Due to their size, implementing something like this is pretty simple.
So what impact does that have on your average reseller? Probably not too much yet but it is a further warning that the landscape is changing. It is an indication that the big boys are able to offer services to traditional reseller customers on a month by month basis. This is not a model that is possible for most current resellers. Also, people like Telstra are going to be able to bundle Software as a Service with broadband, email and web hosting, mobiles and so on. Even if individual services are sub par their combined offering is enticing for many customers wanting the simplicity of a single supplier.
This is only the beginning of the cloud casting a shadow across the current landscape. It won’t be long before you see many other providers doing the same thing. I also expect Microsoft to come to the Australian market with something very soon.
If you are a traditional resellers you need to appreciate that your market is being changed by forces beyond your control. Your time to determine what direction you will take is slowly running out as more cloud offerings are forming on the horizon to blot out the sunshine of traditional IT market. Like it or not the change is coming.