Telstra expands US sales efforts

Telstra is expanding its efforts to support US multinational corporations with the creation of a global account management team in New York.

Telstra has created a new position - Senior Vice President of Sales and Global Accounts - and appointed Andrew Morawski into the role. Morawski will lead a global sales team with offices in five U.S. cities as well as London, Hong Kong, China, Singapore, Japan, India and Australia.

"A good portion of our corporate business comes from U.S.-based multinationals," Morawski says. "Where better to centralize our global sales operation than in the U.S.?"

"If you look at the top 500 multinational corporations in the world, the majority have headquarters in the U.S.," adds Dan Kerth, president and COO of Telstra. Kerth says Telstra will be more active and aggressive on RFPs released by U.S. multinationals due to the creation of this new global account management team.

Telstra is adding global account managers in Los Angeles, Houston, San Francisco and Chicago. These managers will offer customized network services for U.S. companies rather than selling Telstra's off-the-shelf products.

"Lots of carriers try to fit customers into a box," Morawski says. "We're trying to be unique in customizing our services to the customers."

Kerth says Telstra will offer more flexibility when it comes to contracting and billing to meet the needs of the companies that fall under the global account management team's perview.

Within six months, all of Telstra's major U.S. accounts such as Hyatt International will fall under the carrier's new global account management team.

"What we found is that a lot of these multinational corporations that we're doing business with are looking to build their own [Multi-protocol Label Switching] IP VPNs over the Internet," Morawski says. "They're looking for a single carrier per region or globally to provide Internet access and to limit the number of hops to keep their latency numbers down. This global account management team is all about engaging these customers properly around the world so we can make a more coordinated offer."

Telstra says its U.S. business is on track to grow more than 20% in 2004.

"One of the points of this global account management team is to maintain our growth in the 20% to 25% range," Morawski says. "With bandwidth prices falling and contract renewals happening every year, this is a bit of a strategic move to help keep our revenue growing."

In other news, Telstra is expected to launch VoIP services in February 2005.

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