Telstra promotes Graeme Strange and names Tatham Oddie as new Readify MD

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Telstra promotes Graeme Strange and names Tatham Oddie as new Readify MD
Graeme Strange, Telstra

Readify founder Graeme Strange has been promoted to a wider role within Telstra and handed the reins of the Melbourne-headquartered software developer to Tatham Oddie.

Having sold his company to Telstra in July 2016, Strange now becomes the telco's head of technology and strategy with a remit to "set the direction for technology services in Australia and globally", he told CRN.

Telstra has increasingly looked to IT and cloud technology for its future growth opportunities, underpinned by the 2016 acquisitions of two of Australia's most celebrated Microsoft partners, Readify and Kloud, which was acquired in January 2016.

The carrier's IT services unit was a star performer in its most recent financial results, growing by 30.6 percent to blow past $3.3 billion in revenue.

Telstra's cloud business also had a bumper year, reaching $374 million. The telco singled out Readify and Kloud for their contribution.

"My role is designed to drive that ‘tech’ into the advanced services business," Strange said. He will "set the direction for technology services in Australia and globally as well as ensure the innovation agenda stays at the forefront for technology services – as opposed to the telecommunications – part of the business".  

Strange's new role is global and sits within Business Technology Services (BTS), reporting into Christopher Smith, executive director, BTS, Telstra Global Enterprise and Services.

Oddie becomes Readify managing director after almost a decade with the Microsoft partner, which was founded in 2001 and has more than 300 staff.

He was previously Readify's CIO and head of software development, and before that was principal consultant.

Some of the key Readify personnel reporting into Oddie include chief digital office Steve Godbold, sales director Graeme Armstrong, delivery director Matt Davies and data & analytics director Leah Scholten.

Tatham Oddie, Readify

The handover has been on the cards for some time, Strange revealed, even before the company was acquired. Readify had initially paved the way for a public float on the Australian Securities Exchange before being snapped up by Australia's largest telco.

"I’ve had a strong succession plan that included Tatham for two to three years now so he was a logical choice after seeing us through the potential IPO and eventual acquisition," said Strange.

"He knows the business and also represents a known person to the other 'Readifarians'."

Telstra has a long – and admittedly chequered – history of acquisition in the IT services channel, however, Strange said the telco had got it right with his company. "Telstra has done a great job of the integration."

"Readify has performed really well since the acquisition hitting the key KPIs for the acquisition business case and providing some surprising value in addition."

One example is the Innovation Hub, an online portal developed by Telstra’s chief technology office that the Readify team is taking to market.

The hub is "a place where employees can share ideas and collaborate with colleagues", a Telstra spokesperson told CRN.

"Participants can earn and invest Innovation Dollars in ideas they would like to support.

"In addition to the tool itself, the team will be able to have a complete innovation discussion with the customer using our design, development, data and analytics capability.

"Our team will be able to help organisations develop innovation challenges, take the innovation ideas employees post to the Hub, align them with the organisation’s strategic initiatives, rapidly prototype the idea, and then develop a bespoke solution," the spokesperson explained.

Updated 3.20pm on 4 September with additional comments from Telstra on the Innovation Hub and key personnel at Readify.


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