Optus chooses Cisco for new headquarters

Luxury of greenfield site

Data and telecommunications carrier Optus has done a deal with Cisco Systems to fit out its new Sydney headquarters with infrastructure and software from the networking vendor.

Two years ago Optus announced it was moving from its North Sydney offices to North Ryde in a new purpose-built, campus-style complex housing about 6500 employees from July 2007.

The six-building complex will cover eight hectares and offer 84,000 square meters of office space, according to the company.

Optus will join Nortel Networks, CSC, and a host of other IT companies that form the tech hub of Macquarie Park in Sydney's north west.

As with any new building, Optus had the luxury of deploying a greenfield network infrastructure to provide IP telephony, wireless, and call centre services.

As part of the deal Cisco claims to be providing about 7500 VoIP handsets, wireless access points, and its contact centre and collaboration solutions.

The potential exists for about 15,000 IP handsets if the whole company were to go VoIP, according to Cisco.

Cisco Systems' Australia and New Zealand managing director, Ross Fowler, was excited about the deal which was made public at this year's Networkers conference on the Gold Coast.

Fowler said the deal was a "terrific" win for Cisco and a big blow for rival Nortel, also an Optus partner.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, but Optus intends to invest up to $150 million to fit out the new facilities, spread over two financial years.

"Because the campus will be purpose-built, we will have the opportunity to use and showcase the innovative technologies, systems, products and services we sell to our customers," Optus chief executive Paul O'Sullivan said.

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