Business and Enterprise |

Adaptive Networks explained: inside our enterprise network self-disruption

By Sanjay Nayak October 9, 2020

2020 is a time of disruption. That could be said of every year now behind us, but this year presents significant challenges to businesses needing to adapt and get stuff done quickly, securely and reliably. To ensure the best connectivity solutions for our enterprise customers, we know it’s time we self-disrupted to deliver flexible and market-leading connectivity tailored directly to our customer’s needs, with no lock-in contracts. Adaptive Networks from Telstra is our new category of network connectivity solutions.

There are three ingredients that bring Adaptive Networks to life:

  • Adaptive Connectivity: Flexible month-to-month, no-lock-in contracts with a choice of network and connectivity options, allowing customers to adapt their technology at speed as their needs change.
  • Adaptive SD-WAN: Investment in Software-Defined Wide Area Network (SD-WAN) capabilities to help customers harness the potential of hybrid networking, and smart integration of 4G and 5G with fixed networks.
  • Adaptive Core Networks: Investment in Telstra’s core networks, including expansion of Telstra’s flagship Next IP fibre network, Telstra Programmable Network, NBN connectivity and 5G to enable a move toward API-based flexible IT infrastructure.

Let me tell you a bit more about each of these ingredients.

Adaptive Connectivity

Flexible, modular and scalable networking on your terms

In business, our customers face many known and unknown challenges. More than ever during the age of COVID, these challenges often remain unknown until the very last minute. Without the ability to pivot your primary business enabler, connectivity, these last-minute consequences could wreak havoc on your business in a short stretch of time.

That’s why simplicity, choice and flexibility is at the heart of our new Adaptive Networks product. It gives customers the right product at the right time for the right need, wherever they need it.

Our Adaptive Networks products will be entirely flexible and totally modular so you can select the service you need for your business at a time you need it. You can select the right fiber access to suit your business, add on top an allocation of private connectivity or public Internet connectivity to allocate the right level of priority for your enterprise applications.

We’re also confident in our offering, and as a result, we’re introducing new month-by-month commercial terms, which means our customers do no need to enter into the typical multi-year contracts. This is aimed at giving you even more peace of mind that you’ll be able to do what’s right for your business when you need it. Aside from a few exceptions, customers on Adaptive Networks can add, reduce or even cancel their services without incurring early terminational penalties.

The ability for an employee to access their enterprise applications in a secure and reliable manner directly impacts productivity. These applications are hosted in the cloud and are designed to be used anywhere and anytime. With the proliferation of cloud services now working at scale to power the world’s email, entertainment and more, employees expect their enterprise networks to do the same.

This places real pressure on network connectivity as a whole, so businesses need to be able to rely on their network provider to deliver when the pressure is on. COVID-19 has placed enormous pressure on the world in a variety of ways, including (believe it or not!) to the world’s connectivity.

The need to be able to radically scale-up your network stack when opportunities present themselves is now as important as a need for security, speed and reliability.

The need for simplicity and flexibility is one we can solve with Adaptive Networks.

Adaptive Networks is a multi-year transformation program for our business, and we’re excited to show what we have today and tease what’s coming next.

Adaptive SD-WAN

Our Adaptive SD-WAN portfolio combines the best partnerships with the best technology and the know-how you need to get your organisation moving quickly through the transformation process.

Telstra’s Adaptive Software-defined Wide Area Networking (SD-WAN) enables hybrid networking. With the choice of private versus public network (or a blend of the two); fixed and/or wireless connectivity and smart integration with our partners means that we have the right solution for just about any sized enterprise.

We know that the SD-WAN market is also crowded, which is why Adaptive SD-WAN is much more than meets the eye. It’s SD-WAN combined with security, mobility and availability, wrapped inside a blend of automated and managed services to help connectivity become more accessible and scalable for enterprise. We curate the best technologies, and deeply integrated SD-WAN gateways into our core networks to ensure that as a business environment changes, we can be there to alter the network to enable growth.

This allows you to intelligently route traffic based on application type, priority and business policies, streamlining your network to avoid congestion and keep your applications always-on for your staff and customers thanks to automation and orchestration. It’s also a highly resilient product, monitored by automation tools, engineers and monitors, backed by our vast global infrastructure and Australia’s best mobile network, if required.

Our partnerships with Cisco, Meraki and VMWare allow us to service a broad range of needs for your SD-WAN deployment, and our vast geographic reach means you can do more business in more places.

Not only dowe have strong technology on offer for Adaptive SD-WAN with Telstra, but we also pair it with our people and their market-leading expertise. Transformation is typically complex and can bog down an organisation for years if executed incorrectly. Thankfully, through professional services offered through Telstra Purple and our Partner ecosystems, we have the know-how to tailor an SD-WAN solution to your businesses needs to guide you through the implementation and roll-out of everything you want and nothing you don’t, thereby minimising risk.

We can not only help you implement and maintain a service, but also pick the right ones for your business to help with transformation at scale. And with the combination of automation and managed services, we can ensure your service is both highly available and highly flexible.

Adaptive Core Networks

Our core networks power Adaptive Connectivity and Adaptive SD-WAN. We’ll also be bringing together the speed and flexibility of our NextIP, Programmable Network, NBN, and Australia’s best 4G and 5G mobile networks for truly flexible and dependable enterprise connectivity.

So, how did our Core Networks become “Adaptive”? Telstra continued investments in our core now enable programmability that allows our core networks to operate at traffic peaks with latency detection to reroute traffic across geo-diverse paths. This enables high resiliency, allowing us to offer 99.9995% availability.

We have achieved ISO27001 for some of our core products that enable Adaptive Networks, which means security is at the heart of everything we do.

Leveraging our network orchestration capability, our customers can now connect within minutes to over 170 cloud service providers across 35 data centres globally.

And there is more in the hopper with 400G Wavelengths, tight integration with our 5G mobile core, mmWave, network slicing, Edge Compute, Cyber Security, and increased investments in our IT stacks that will continue to offer new features for our customers to evolve how networks can truly influence enhanced application performance for their employees.

The investments behind our Adaptive Core Networks portfolio represents more than $100 million of investment to make sure it’s ready when you are.

Bringing this all together

Having a deep kit bag of connectivity options and no lock-in contracts, latest technology choice, and continued investments into Adaptive Networks means that our customers have in Telstra a trusted partner who can truly help their business adapt to the changing needs of the future.

A business with seasonal offices, for example, could burst up and down as required. A holiday resort, similarly, can move its data needs up and down depending on guest numbers. Retailers can host pop-up events – with our mobile network – for customers to transact quickly and securely. It’s whatever you need it to be in a more cost-effective way.

And not only can businesses get great, reliable speeds from our Adaptive Core Networks, they can get up and running even faster. We know that it takes time to extend a new physical fiber services to premises that do not have it, so we are now enabling rapid activation through Australia’s best network that leverages our 4G/5G connectivity to ensure your business is up and trading quickly.

Adapting for what’s next

We are super excited by Adaptive Networks in what will become an evolving and exciting enterprise connectivity suite for our customers.

As we release the above to market, we’re still innovating on the promise of Adaptive Networks to create truly game-changing technology that powers business of the future.

We have an exciting roadmap ahead of us with new Adaptive Networks capability being introduced almost every quarter, the next one in December where we will introduce NBN access to Adaptive Networks along with enhancements to our SD-WAN and Digital Managed Services (DMS) offerings.

Customers place an enormous amount of trust in us to help them achieve their long-term goals. That’s why we need to continue to think what’s coming up next and disrupt ourselves in this moment to support those goals as they evolve.

Business and Enterprise |

Adapting for a flexible future

By Michael Ebeid AM September 30, 2020

Work is no longer just a physical place but a virtual one driven by connectivity. Today’s workforce doesn’t rely as much on desks and meeting rooms but instead on applications delivered from the cloud. Connectivity now saturates every part of an organisation. It’s the brain. The heart. The backbone that binds ideas together to deliver business outcomes.

We are witnessing a once-in-a-decade shift in the way businesses are engaging with technology and networking. This change is bigger than just a “G” shift such as the move from 3G to 4G. It’s about a new way of working in an increasingly competitive market where connectivity can deliver the entire margin of victory.

When we sat down to think about how businesses would rely on connectivity for the next decade, we knew we had to deliver solutions with the utmost flexibility, simplicity and reliability. So rather than simply continue to iterate our enterprise network offerings, we’re turning over the table to bring you something new. It’s called Adaptive Networks, and it does what it says on the box: provides business with networks that adapt to their needs.

This is a huge commitment from Telstra to radically change the way our teams deliver connectivity solutions to businesses. We’re being bold, disrupting not only the market, but ourselves, by removing complicated contracts to provide you with a leading solution that fits your vision for the next decade and beyond.

Meeting uncertainty with flexibility

Adaptive Networks enables us to lay out a menu of connectivity options for our customers to pick and choose from, with the ability to easily change or scale those solutions up or down.

Phase one of Adaptive Connectivity, launching today, includes Telstra Fibre access, Private networks and a range of Internet options, including Telstra Internet Direct Premium Adapt and Telstra Internet Direct Lite Adapt, with new NBN options to be introduced in December. Next year, the addition of Telstra 4G and 5G mobile integration will introduce enterprise-grade rapid start connectivity and further boost network resiliency, as well as offering wireless-only solutions.

When COVID-19 began to sweep around the world, businesses were forced to rapidly shift their thinking and do what we always do when crisis strikes: adapt.

It’s hard to know what the landscape will look like in three months, let alone in three years. With that in mind, we’re moving to month-to-month services with no lock-in contracts and simplified pricing to give customers the flexibility they need to adapt to their changing business needs.

The ability to pick and choose services with no lock in contracts will give our customers the agility to pivot to meet challenges head-on, such as the mass move to remote working we saw earlier this year. This is a significant change to today’s environment of bundled, less flexible solutions.

A software-defined future

As companies around Australia grapple with the accelerating need to digitise every aspect of their organisation, their network – and increasingly SD-WAN – are key enablers of transformation.

That’s why we’ve invested heavily in our Adaptive SD-WAN solutions and paired them with our deep technical expertise from Telstra Purple to guide our customers through the journey to software-defined networking.

Our investments, experience and partnerships with leading vendors including Cisco and Meraki and VMware make us a leader when it comes to our SD-WAN offering. In a world where transitions to SD-WAN can be difficult and time-consuming, we have the expertise, partnerships, automation and services to make it easy.

The right fit for the right future

In unveiling our vision for the next decade of enterprise networking, today is just the beginning. Over the coming months and years, we will continue to expand our Adaptive Networks solutions.

We are developing an edge compute environment using Telstra fibre, 4G/5G network capabilities with a range of technology partners and we will continue to invest millions in our networks. Ultimately, we’re giving our enterprise customers the right fit for the right future, arming them with the flexibility to roll with any changes as they occur.

The world has changed. Demand for bandwidth has never been greater, and the importance of powerful reliable core networks has never been as important to deliver the digital experiences employees and customers expect.

Adaptive Networks will meet these changes, giving businesses a multitude of reliable, powerful and secure connectivity options. The power to adapt; to thrive.

We’ve worked with businesses using SD-WAN to find out what these adopters truly value, and published the findings in a whitepaper report you can read from Omdia.

We’ll also have more to share on Adaptive Networks at our annual Vantage conference. Don’t miss out on virtual front row seats.

242 Exhibition St, Melbourne, VIC - Telstra
Business and Enterprise |

An update for our Enterprise & Government customers in Australia on COVID-19

By Michael Ebeid AM March 16, 2020

A message from Telstra Enterprise Group Executive Michael Ebeid for Telstra’s Australian Enterprise and Government customers on how Telstra is preparing for COVID-19 and the steps we are taking to minimise wherever possible any impacts on them.

Updated 2 April, 2020:

I would like to update you on how we are supporting you to ensure your business is ready and able to adapt to the ever-changing COVID-19 (coronavirus) situation.

COVID-19 is fundamentally changing the way we are all working and interacting. When it comes to minimising the impact on your organisation, the well-being of your people and maintaining their connectivity is paramount to your business continuity plans (BCP).

Over the last few weeks our team has helped a large number of customers move to full remote working, stand up virtual call centres and design full BCP strategies. We’ve documented some advice on innovative suggestions to help your business and I’d encourage you to have a conversation with your Telstra Account Executive if you need any assistance. We’ve also worked with our partners to develop a number of offers to support you through this transition. They include:

  • A special mobile broadband offer to help enable remote access and ensure your teams are at their most productive
  • A free, 6-month trial of Microsoft Teams – which brings together chat, meetings, calling, and Office 365, all-in-one – through Telstra Apps Marketplace
  • Free Virtual Meeting Rooms – which allows organisations to connect staff to each other, their team, partners, and customers, through video and audio conferencing

We are continuously reviewing how the global effects of COVID-19 may impact our operations and the services we provide to you. Like many businesses, COVID-19 is impacting the way some of our global people, partners and suppliers operate. While this is unfortunately outside our control, I would like to assure you, like you, we are focused on business continuity and security and remain committed to minimising any impacts. For example, we have in place arrangements for personnel of some of our impacted partners and suppliers to continue to work remotely and we’re accelerating use of our digital assurance tools.

As the COVID-19 situation has resulted in reduced capacity in our global service centres, we apologise if you experience longer wait times. During this period, Telstra Connect – our online self-service tool – will be the fastest and most reliable way to ensure your issues, requests or queries are addressed. We have been progressively rolling out Telstra Connect to our Telstra Enterprise customers and are now fast tracking the remainder, with all customers expected to be enabled by this Friday, 3 April.

We know you depend on Telstra’s networks and we are closely monitoring and optimising these networks to manage the current surges in demand. CEO Andy Penn also announced last week we will bring forward $500 million in capital expenditure from FY21 into calendar year 2020 to accelerate our network expansion and 5G build.

We remain focused on continuing to supply services to you to the best of our ability. If at any time you have any concerns, including about any of the steps we are taking to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on the services we provide to you, please contact your Account Executive.

Despite all the uncertainties and worries, one certainty is the enduring, innovative and collegiate spirit within our government agency and business community as we all work together to continue to provide our services to customers during this period of massive disruption.

I hope you and your families are keeping well.

Originally published March 16, 2020:

We have been actively monitoring and managing risks associated with the COVID-19 outbreak for our people, customers and our business. As we prepare and respond, our number one priority will always be the safety of our employees, and the employees of our suppliers and partners. We also want to ensure that the same health and safety policies apply to Telstra employees who operate at our customers’ premises.

Telstra has a well-established Business Resilience Program to provide effective response and recovery capabilities in the event of any disruption to our business operations. Our operations, workforce and call centres are located across a broad geography and in most cases, our employees can work remotely. Our delivery and network operations are located diversely across the globe and we have the capability to execute contingency and failover arrangements if needed.  

In response to COVID-19, we have introduced additional safeguards to reduce the risk of disruption to the services we provide you. To date these include:  

  • the activation of our Crisis Management Team, which is meeting daily to adjust our contingency arrangements as needed; 
  • moving to work from home arrangements for all office-based non-critical teams; 
  • requiring employees who have returned from countries with a high rate of human-to-human transmission of COVID-19 to enter Telstra’s Health Isolation Protocol, which includes self-isolation at home for 14 days; 
  • introducing a new policy to provide additional paid leave to employees, including casuals, impacted by the virus; and  
  • suspending all non-critical international and domestic business travel.

In countries that have registered a high rate of human to human transmission, we have also: 

  • implemented flexible work arrangements where people in non-business-critical roles are working remotely to safely support our operations; 
  • introduced team load balancing as an additional contingency measure; and 
  • further protected our front-line teams in order delivery and network operations with mandatory temperature checks on-sites at the beginning and end of day and guest visits are suspended. 

Many companies are seeing a global impact to supply chains as a result of COVID-19. At this stage, there are only minimal impacts for Telstrawith no impact to our infrastructure build and maintenance programs. 

We know many of our customers are reviewing and implementing their own business resilience and continuity plans. We have been talking to our customers about how they may effectively manage potential situations where, like us, employees are required to work from home. This includes service availability, bandwidth usage, network management and service restoration requirements. We’re also advising customers on additional measures they may not previously have considered like security for remote working. 

Telstra’s Networks team is continuing to review infrastructure and consider a range of changing demand scenarios, as we work to optimise our network. We expect this unprecedented event and surge in network traffic to have an impact, however, we are confident our fixed services, particularly our Telstra Fibre services, have sufficient capacity to manage, although there may be times when the service is slower than usual. When working from home mobile device users should use their fixed broadband Wi-Fi connection where possible. 

If you would like more information or need assistance with business continuity planning our professional and managed services team from Telstra Purple will be able to advise on best practice options to consider, or you can refer to the below tips and Q&A for remote working. We are also working to prioritise and fast track customer requests for increased bandwidths across our networks. 

We will continue to monitor the situation and will keep you notified of any material adjustments we make in the way we do business with you.  

                             

Frequently Asked Questions

How is Telstra helping customers with their BCP planning? 

We’re talking to our customers about service availability, bandwidth usage, network management and service restoration requirements. We’re also advising customers on additional measures they may not previously have considered like security. 

What is adaptive infrastructure? 

Adaptive infrastructure enables the workforce to move outside of the organisation’s physical location at scale and ensures that there is enough connectivity to core systems to support the increased demand for secure remote access. Strategies that underpin a reliable adaptive infrastructure focus on:  

  • enabling staff with appropriate connectivity, tools and training to effectively communicate with each other and customers reliably    
  • how quickly infrastructure can scale up and back down as needs change over time  
  • having resilient network and access systems with an awareness of any critical points that exist  
  • remote connectivity performance across concurrent and overall data usage  
  • seamless authentication and authorisation of a remote workforce   
  • device management practices that enable people to work across their devices    

What should businesses consider when preparing staff to WFH? 

A short checklist may include:  

  • Ensuring employees have a safe working environment and correct ergonomics (chair, desk)  
  • Basic tools like laptops, chargers and headsets  
  • Great collaboration software – MS Teams, Yammer  
  • Video conferencing – VMRs, Cisco Jabber, WebEx, Skype for Business  
  • Infrastructure – cloud. If your business operations, information and compute are stored in the cloud then it makes it much easier for employees to work from anywhere with an internet connection. 
  • Network – Your network must have the ability to support employees remotely. These days business must be able to provide users with the connectivity experience of the corporate network, no matter where they are (mobile or broadband access). IT teams should review how existing infrastructure could manage an increase of traffic from internet-based working to remote working. 

What about the security risks? 

Moving to remote working can bring up security challenges. 

Businesses shouldn’t rely on username and password alone. Your remote working solutions should use multi-factor authentication and be configured correctly using Virtual Private Networks (VPN’s) to create a secure tunnel over a standard internet connection.  

Businesses should also ensure employees can operate across multiple devices outside the office. Mobile device management or endpoint security can be enhanced for example by disabling laptop USB ports or malware protection on tablets and phones. 

Employees often have accounts across a number of different service providers. As multiple accounts can make it difficult to contain breaches if an account is compromised, your cloud infrastructures and SaaS solutions need to be integrated into a central source of identity to disable accounts quickly if need be. 

Which network connection should employees use at home? 

When working from home employees should use their fixed broadband Wi-Fi connection where possible. 

If employees don’t have a fixed broadband connection, what’s the best mobile plan to use? 

Telstra recommends the Enterprise Mobile Broadband solution, on the Corporate Mobile Plus Local Plan.   

What are the best technology options for communicating with employees during an issue or crisis? 

The Whispir platform is a great BCP tool that allows you to quickly communicate with staff via a number of different channels.  The platform is easily accessed via a web interface and comes with pre-built message templates that you can customise. The platform also allows you to manage responses, for example allowing acknowledgement and updating their status.  

What if you haven’t done this before and need help?

If you would like more information or need assistance with business continuity planning our professional and managed services team from Telstra Purple will be able to advise on best practice options to consider.  

How are we dealing with new customer requests to increase bandwidth etc? Will we be able to fulfil these orders? 

We have put a team together to help prioritise and fast track customer requests and we expect an increased reliance on Telstra’s Fixed Data and Mobile networks and are planning for additional bandwidth demands. 

Can I upgrade my Telstra network quickly if required?  

Telstra Enterprise customers can make some service and network changes such as speed upgrades on selected IP and Internet products via the Your Telstra Tools or Telstra Connect Portal.  

What other network products could I easily spin up? 

Telstra Programmable Network also provides customers with opportunities to enjoy secure, flexible and on-demand connectivity to virtual network services around the globe and across Australia with automatic provisioning in minutes. Telstra Programmable Network gives you Network as a Service using a flexible one self-service, software-defined networking (SDN) platform.   

How quickly can Telstra increase capacity on NBN Fibre based services?  

We are in ongoing engagement with NBN Co as part of our day-to-day network capacity management for nbn related services. We regularly adjust our provisioning to adapt to changing customer demand and will continue to do so as the current situation develops.  

How will the network cope when we are all working from home? 

Telstra’s Network team is conducting a review of infrastructure to consider a range of scenarios and how we will manage the anticipated increase in demand. We expect this unprecedented event and surge in network traffic to have an impact however we are working to optimise our network and have a well-established business resilience program. We are confident our fixed broadband services, especially Telstra fibre services, have sufficient capacity or can be quickly optimised to manage a significant increase in network traffic, although depending on what eventuates there may be times when the service is slower than usual. When working from home mobile device users should use their fixed broadband Wi-Fi connection where possible. 

Will Telstra’s internet network have sufficient capacity to support the anticipated increase in demand?  

We have strong and resilient networks that are designed to manage surges in demand. We have been planning for a range of scenarios and we are confident our networks can be optimised to manage a significant increase in network traffic as a result of people being at home, although depending on what eventuates there may be times when the service is slower than usual.  

What options do I have to change incoming calls to my business? (I’m using a Telstra 13/1300/1800 Inbound Service) 

We can quickly change the destination answer point; or you can self-serve using ‘IN-Control’. 

What options do I have to change incoming calls to my business (direct to staff)? 

If you have a traditional phone system with ISDN or SIP trunks, we recommend that you do not advise all staff to forward their phones to mobile, as this will likely use up all available ISDN/SIP capacity and result in loss of calls. 

If you have a Telstra SIP service, Telstra has mobility packs that can be applied to allow for diversion of individual numbers from the cloud. 

If you have a Telstra SIP/TIPT and Telstra corporate mobiles, you can self-activate Liberate to receive calls directly from the cloud and make outbound mobile calls on your landline numbers. 

How do I ensure employees working from home can make outgoing business calls? 

Telstra customers can ensure that your staff can still call from recognisable business number, from their home landline, mobile, or laptop.  

What if I need to play a recorded message to say that the building is closed and to give the caller some alternative contact options? 

A cloud-based serviceis available to help with your needs. This is facilitated through a TIPT Auto Attendant (IVR). 

What if I have a call centre in a building that becomes physically isolated? 

We can help set up a temporary cloud-based call centre, where all calls can be diverted to reach agents at home (via landline, mobile or laptop). This is facilitated through a TIPT Call Centre that allows a replacement queue and agents to be quickly set up. 

What if I don’t have enough available agents to answer all calls in real-time (e.g. due to sickness)? 

The caller can leave a recorded message, and the audio file can then be sent to you via email (direct to a team distribution email).This feature is ‘voicemail to email’ via the TIPT platform. 

What options do I have for Virtual Meetings (audio or video conferencing)? 

Telstra’s Virtual Meeting Room (VMR) service is ideal for audio conferencing, with only one number to dial and no complicated PINs or account numbers to enter. It also comes with the Telstra VMR Companion app that you can download via the Play Store or App Store that lets you see who is in the call, mute noisy participants, secure the call to prevent uninvited callers from joining, and more. 

Telstra VMR is also video-capable, ideal for those using their laptops and who want to see other participants and shared content.Staff can join calls right on their Chrome browser, without installing additional software. 

Are there any solutions for remote contact centres? 

Yes, Telstra PureCloud Contact Centre is an effective Omnichannel contact solution for Business Continuity scenarios, as it is site-independent is pre-configured to your contact centre business requirements and is available on-demand. PureCloud uses the Telstra Next IP network and PSTN and Internet. All that your remote workforce needs is their PC, Internet connection to login into the intuitive web interface, a headset or a phone (fixed line or mobile).