ASX companies partner up in cloud, mobile and network deal as Kelsian Group targets further expansion following transformative Transit Systems acquisition
14 March 2022
Macquarie Telecom, part of Macquarie Telecom Group (ASX: MAQ), today announced it has signed a new multi-year, multi-million-dollar contract with Kelsian Group Limited (ASX: KLS), supporting the company’s drive to expand with a simplified, robust cloud and telecoms network.
Kelsian Group is Australia’s largest integrated land and marine, tourism, and public transport service provider. It operates fleets throughout Australia, the UK and Singapore and moves more than 207 million people every year. The current company was formed following a $635 million acquisition of Transit Systems before the pandemic. It now has its sights set on further expansion through major deals and other potential acquisitions.
Macquarie Telecom had previously provided SD-WAN, mobile and cloud services to Transit Systems, but needed to prove its worth in the new company. Ultimately, it secured a much larger deal switching the majority of Kelsian Group’s mobile services held primarily by a major telco and Singapore-based cloud services company to Macquarie’s network.
Kelsian Group CIO, Chris Benson said Macquarie Telecom’s service and reliability stood out as key reasons to trust the company and expand its previous agreement with Transit Systems.
“In a transformative merger like we had with Kelsian Group and Transit Systems, there’s a lot of going back to the drawing board to ensure supply partners are equipped to service the new structure.
“Macquarie Telecom really had to justify its position in the new Kelsian Group and ultimately Macquarie’s efficiency and customer service made all the difference,” he said.
The new agreement provides additional cloud services, including engaging Macquarie’s Azure expertise to help manage Australian workloads, the migration of a Singapore-based production environment, and the critical applications that manage the core operations for our people and bus networks.
“The team has become an extension of our own, and is helping to educate our IT personnel, particularly in Azure skills, which are in high demand,” said Mr Benson.
SD-WAN services are being extended across 35+ locations of Kelsian Group’s Australian Public Transport Division, maximising network visibility, reliability, and control. The company’s public transport mobile services are now under Macquarie’s Optus-backed 5G network, with Kelsian Group also considering Optus for the rest of its fleet. It follows Macquarie securing a $34 million exclusive agreement with the carrier last year.
“Communications reliability is essential from a safety and efficiency perspective across our teams. Admittedly, we were sceptical about Optus being able to provide the coverage we needed. Macquarie expertly guided us – using the Optus roadmap, giving us the confidence and flexibility to ensure it would meet our needs – while significantly reducing costs,” added Benson.
Macquarie is also working with specialist mobile partner Mobile Mentor on a proof-of-concept (POC) trial rolling out 200 tablets to Kelsian Group buses. The tablets track GPS position and communicates back to the operations centre, with the real-time data used to keep buses on schedule and provide better service reliability to customers in Australia.
Deal to enable further growth
With Kelsian Group remaining strong despite the pandemic, and recently entering the ASX 200, the company sees Macquarie as a key part of continuing that growth.
“We’re continuing our expansion, growing a secure and profitable portfolio, with over 83 per cent of the Group’s revenue base now fully contracted by governments or large corporate entities,” said Benson.
“Macquarie’s team and environment make it easy for us to scale. It’s one provider we deal with across all our network and cloud infrastructure, and we’re a Microsoft shop, so the Azure partnership is a good fit.”
Luke Clifton, Group Executive, Macquarie Telecom said this is two great ASX companies collaborating to help each other grow.
“Once again, our commitment to homegrown, industry-leading customer service has paved the way for an even stronger partnership with a thriving Australian company. We look forward to seeing Kelsian Group continue to go from strength to strength and we’ll continue to develop new cloud and network services to help it achieve that.”
The deal follows the recent Azure Expert MSP status awarded by Microsoft to Macquarie Telecom, an achievement held by only a handful of companies in Australia and just over 100 worldwide, which provides customers with greater access to Azure’s product roadmap.