Telstra plans outsourcing round

James Hutchinson | Jul 20, 2011 12:59 PM
To move 200 provisioning jobs to India.

Telstra plans to outsource up to 200 jobs to a third party consulting firm in India in coming weeks as part of an ongoing restructure within the company.

The offshoring process is the first in a series of rounds that could result in up to 1200 jobs being moved outside of Australia.

It is expected to be announced later this week and will likely affect 200 positions in Telstra's newly formed customer enablement division.

The division was announced last week in an internal memo from chief operations office Brendon Riley. It is responsible for back-office functions including activation processes.

"We envision this will comprise the functions currently residing within the Consumer business unit and the Service Delivery line of business," Riley told staff last week.

One source within Telstra told iTnews the telco would use a third-party consulting firm in India, but could not reveal which.

Telstra would remain "very hands-on" in the offshoring process and ongoing operations of the India-based unit, the source said. It was unclear whether the move would lead to 200 job cuts in Australia.

The Indian deal could be the first step of a wider process Telstra was reported to have been considering earlier this year.

In March, the Australian Financial Review reported that IBM and HP Enterprise Services planned to bid for an upcoming tender to assume the responsibilities of up to 1200 Telstra jobs.

Those outsourced jobs were in addition to 1200 jobs currently outsourced to the Philippines.

A Telstra spokesperson said the company was close to finalising a request for proposal for the services. "We will make an announcement in due course and our staff will be the first to be advised."

Riley told operational IT staff last week that extensive changes to back-office groups were designed to "achieve a greater collective focus and alignment of effort".

The changes followed an extensive internal restructure, with the company naming new executives to key business groups and consolidating much of the operational staff.

In an announcement to the ASX early this month, Telstra chief executive David Thodey said it would "centralise key internal business support functions with improved accountabilities, eliminating duplication".

The company did not appear to itself be fully aware of how extensive the changes might be following the executive reshuffle.

"My leadership team will work through how we best service the new structure over coming weeks, including whether any changes are required to existing teams or work practices," Thodey announced at the time.

The telco cut about 1280 senior and middle management roles in two rounds in July and October last year.