Microsoft, Telstra seal landmark Skype partnership

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Microsoft, Telstra seal landmark Skype partnership
Gianpaolo Carraro (Telstra) and Giovanni Mezgec (Microsoft)

Microsoft has forged an alliance with Telstra to deliver Office 365 integrated with voice services.

The deal will see Microsoft's productivity and collaboration services combined with Telstra's network to create a unified cloud collaboration and voice calling solution.

Customers will have access to Skype for Business paired with Telstra's managed voice services and network assessments. The two companies will also partner to co-develop unique solutions for Australian customers.

Telstra director global applications, global products Gianpaolo Carraro said the deal would help in the telco's transition into a technology company.

"When you combine this partnership, our core network and mobility capabilities, and our recent acquisitions of Kloud and Readify, we can provide customers with truly unique employee produtivity solutions, designed specifically for their requirements," said Carraro.

"This is also a great example of how Telstra is innovating from our core strengths, transforming our product suite from traditional voice to IP services, on our journey from being a telco to a technology company."

Giovanni Mezgec, Microsoft's general manager, Office 365 partners, said customers will have everything they need to embrace cloud productivity with the new partnership.

"Our partnership with Telstra will build on our objective to bring workplace communication into the modern era, by putting meetings and voice at the heart of Office 365. The option to integrate voice services will bring enhanced value to the millions of users enjoying Office 365 cloud services in Australia," said Mezgec.

Telstra customers can begin deploying Office 365 with managed services starting today.

The tie-up is not the first time Microsoft and Telstra have forged a significant partnership around Office 365. In fact, Telstra previously had exclusive rights to resell Office 365 to small and medium businesses.

The agreement ended in 2014 when Microsoft opened up sales of its cloud productivity suite to all SMEs.

Telstra got a major boost to its Microsoft cloud business through the acquisition of Microsoft award-winning partner Kloud in January. The telco also picked up another Australian Microsoft player when it acquired Readify in July.

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