Telstra bulks up unified communications group with NSC acquisition

Deal sensible but could hold back NSC innovations, says telecom analyst Paul Budde

Telstra has acquired unified communications and contact centre integrator North Shore Connections (NSC) Group.

NSC Group has 230 staff and 600 customers across the Asia Pacific region. The integrator’s chairman Craig Neil said existing NSC customers will gain access to a broader range of products as a result of the acquisition.

Telstra did not disclose the price of the acquisition because it’s commercial in confidence.

“We’re really proud of the business that we’ve built at NSC Group,” said Neil. “We recognise our business is a terrific fit for Telstra. We know our customers will continue to receive outstanding service and our people will add great capability to Telstra.”

NSC Group will join Telstra’s network applications and services (NAS) division, which reported strong revenue growth in full-year results for the 2012-13 financial year.

The NAS division increased revenue by 17.7 per cent year over year to $1.5 billlion. Telstra said that part of the growth strategy for the division will include expanding into Asia and other international markets.

Earlier this year, Telstra announced a $1.1 billion contract with the Department of Defence for communications services including UC.

“This acquisition fits nicely in Telstra's new strategy as a value added infrastructure (ICT) provider, together with cloud computing [and] big data,” said telecom analyst Paul Budde. “It most certainly is Telstra’s area of the future.

“The only worry I have is that Telstra has a habit of smouldering the entrepreneurship, nimbleness and related innovation of companies such as NSC,” the analyst said. “Kaz is a good example but not the only one where these entrepreneurs are incorporated in the bureaucracy, where they can’t be innovative and properly operate and than leave the organisation.

“That is not such a problem if you just buy the company for its technology for the purpose of integrating this into the bureaucracy and nothing more. However, if the acquisition is aimed at creating a new spearhead into the market than that certainly will become a problem and in that case Telstra’s track record is not good.”

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Tags unified communicationsTelstracontact centreacquisitionstelecomNorth Shore Connections (NSC)

More about Department of DefenceNASNorth Shore ConnectionsNSC GroupNSC GroupTelstra Corporation

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