Telstra and Cisco are set to extend their strategic collaboration to offer Telstra's domestic and global business customers a unified, on-demand suite of cloud and managed network services.

Telstra and Cisco are looking to focus on four key areas to deliver virtualised managed network and cloud services based on an open architecture.

The first is to offer a unified customer and product experience across cloud, network and value-added services.

Secondly, to offer improved speed to market with rapid product development.

To offer near real-time, dynamic and elastic provisioning of services, on premise and in the cloud.

Lastly, to give customers operational efficiency and simplification.

Cisco senior vice president, service provider group, Kelly Ahuja, said the open architecture would be built on Cisco's Evolved Services Platform (ESP), a comprehensive virtualisation and orchestration software platform, which creates, automates and provisions services in real time across compute, storage and network functions.

The result will be new Telstra 'ready to consume' services that can be rapidly deployed through a single self-service portal, and will enable customers to connect private and public clouds and managed network services.

"Cisco is honoured to work with Telstra," Ahuja said.

"Using our collective breadth of innovation and capabilities, we are co-creating new solutions that will address key business challenges through a transformational architecture.

"Together, we intend to bring to market an open platform that will transform the customer experience and revolutionise the way cloud, network, and managed services are deployed, delivered and consumed.

Telstra chief operations officer, Kate McKenzie, said while cloud and software services had turned traditional server, storage and application use and provisioning upside down, the network had remained fairly static when it came to service provisioning.

"In a nut shell, we want to transform our network services so they become instantaneous -- purchased and provisioned in the same manner as cloud," she said.

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"The new services are a direct response to our customers' need to rapidly respond to changing market dynamics that pose direct challenges to IT.

She said business customers were being asked to adapt to a competitive business environment by quickly developing and implementing differentiated business services in an application-driven, digital economy.

"As such, they're sensitive to the need to rapidly innovate and deploy using the cloud in a highly secure and controlled way, but at the same time, reducing and managing costs," she said.

"To assist them, Telstra is building innovative services in a way that our customers have told us they want to consume them -- on demand.

She said the company was looking to create a world-leading open network platform and software defined experience so customers could bring together the benefits of cloud and managed network services all through a single, self-service platform, with drag and drop functionality.

"Our vision is for our customers to no longer be restricted by operational complexity, rigid processes, lengthy delays or long provisioning, installation and repair cycles," she said.

"The launch of these next generation network products will enable the consumption of network services to be as easy as consuming cloud and apps."

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