Australia Post has sealed a deal with telecoms firm Telstra to host its IT systems and services on secure cloud-based servers, including the forthcoming Digital Mailbox service.
Telstra, the telecommunications company that originally split from the Australian postal service back in 1976, said it will be moving Australia Post’s product-based infrastructure to a new managed services network.
The new system will mean the Post will be able to develop new products and services, it said.
Telstra is also providing its expertise for the rollout of Australia Post’s IT network transformation project.
Catriona Larritt, Australia Post’s general manager for post digital, said the agreement was part of the company’s expansion of capabilities through digital services.
“We’re excited to be working with Telstra to make it even easier for customers to access our services all across the country,” she said.
Telstra signed a memorandum of understanding last month that paved the way for this week’s deal, in which it pledged to become an early customer of Australia Post’s new Digital Mailbox service.
Paul Geason, group managing director at Telstra, who said his company had recently invested $800m ($824m USD) in its cloud computing capabilities, confirmed that his firm would be using the Digital Mailbox.
“Australia Post has selected our cloud to hose their Digital MailBox service and Telstra will also use the Digital MailBox to complement our existing digital options such as our website and mobile applications,” said Geason.
Australia Post will be using technology from US firm Pitney Bowes to drive its new Digital MailBox service, using a white label version of Pitney Bowes’ Volly platform.
The service expected to launch by the end of 2012 is set to go head-to-head against a private sector consortium, Digital Post Australia, in which financial services technology firm Computershare, marketing firm Salmat and US digital mail firm Zumbox are involved.
Australia Post has had a legal bid to prevent its rivals using the name Digital Post Australia, with courts deciding the brand was not close enough to its Australia Post name.
At the end of May, Salmat revealed to the Australian Stock Exchange that it has received an unsolicited and conditional offer to buy its Business Process Outsourcing division.
The company described the offer as coming from a “credible party whose identity is confidential”.
Salmat is reviewing the offer with its advisers Macquarie Capital and Clayton Utz, but analysts have suggested the mystery bidder could be Australia Post itself, looking for a way to block its rival digital mail project.
“There is no certainty that this approach and subsequent discussions will lead to any agreement being reached between the parties or a transaction occurring,” said Salmat to investors.