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Telstra bets on a software future

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Telstra has announced a new software unit it hopes will deliver revenue streams to help replace the doomed old-telco income from fixed line services – and to protect its mobile business against the threat posed by app businesses.

The fixed line network, once a river of gold, is already under pressure from mobile and naked DSL services, and will fade away as the copper network is decommissioned and customers moved to Australia’s National Broadband Network (NBN).

Telstra announced yesterday that its new Global Applications and Platforms business will be led by Group Managing Director Kate McKenzie, under the carrier’s Innovation, Products and Marketing business unit.

The carrier says it will spend three years building the unit.

“The core of the group will include the current Applications Marketplace and Experience Design team led by Freddie Jansen van Nieuwenhuizen and the E2E Industry Verticals team led by Andy Solterbeck,” McKenzie said in Telstra’s announcement.

Charlotte Yarkoni has been head-hunted from vendor-land (where she’s held senior roles at EMC and VMWare) and been appointed executive director for the new group.

According to The Australian, the group will exist outside Telstra’s normal bureaucracy, and will be briefed to identify acquisition targets as well as develop its own apps. ®

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