Telstra and Microsoft to announce joint product push to SMEs

Microsoft and Telstra will tomorrow announce a strategic alliance that is expected to see both companies push new products online to Australia’s small and medium businesses.

Microsoft and Telstra will tomorrow announce a strategic alliance that is expected to see both companies push new products online to Australia’s small and medium businesses.

The Telstra and Microsoft joint press conference is scheduled tomorrow at 11:00am AEST in Sydney, where the giant software and telecommunications companies are expected to announce details of the strategic alliance.

The alliance is expected to include Telstra’s T-Suite software-as-a-service business that will launch next year, and offer a range of SaaS-style software, including email, customer relationship management, collaboration, financial applications and security products. Telstra has stated that it is in discussions with more than 50 local and multi-national software developers that could sell their technology through T-Suite.

The announcement also comes as Microsoft reveals details of its new strategy, including the latest operating system Windows 7 and the Azure cloud computing platform.

Microsoft is expected to come under pressure next year as companies turn to outsourced services in order to cut costs. In response, Microsoft is offering its own version of “cloud computing”. Cloud computing basically allows users to access technology-enabled services without knowing who is supporting or providing the technology infrastructure.

Microsoft announced last week that its new Azure is an alternative for developers and will let them write programs that live inside Microsoft’s data centres.

Instead of talking about software as a service delivered online, which is the Google maxim, Microsoft has adopted the “software plus service” line. “It’s a transformation of our software and a transformation of our strategy,” says Ray Ozzie, Microsoft’s chief software architect, although the company is yet to announce when either Windows 7 or Azure is on sale.

While Microsoft dominates the SME marketplace in software, it is looking at Telstra to reach the many SMEs that it does not deal with directly.

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