Simplifying Operations and Reducing Costs: Insights into Telstra’s New Global Business Service Function



Simplifying Operations and Reducing Costs: Insights into Telstra’s New Global Business Service Function

Telstra, Australia’s largest telecommunications company, announced their new strategy – Telstra 2022, or, as it is more commonly known, T22. The strategy, built around four strategic pillars, aims to simplify operations by reducing the business’ product set, improving customer experience and reducing costs.

The strategy will fundamentally change the nature of telecommunication products and services in Australia by eliminating many pain points for customers.

Crucial to the delivery of this strategy is the creation of the Telstra Global Business Services group (GBS). This function will be a point of consolidation for all of Telstra’s large scale ‘back of house’ processes and functions, and will harness technology to reduce costs for large repetitive functions.

The implementation of Telstra’s Global Business Service combined with accelerated simplification of processes, moving to more agile ways of working and product simplification is expected to lead to an overall reduction in labour costs of more than a third. 

Ahead of the 23rd Annual Shared Services and Outsourcing Week we chat to David Burns, Global Business Services Group Executive at Telstra. David and his team at Telstra have been responsible for establishing the GBS itself as well as bringing all of Telstra’s people together into one function. In this article David shares insight into the GBS, as well as his lessons learned throughout the transformation.

Could you explain Telstra’s Global Business Service model?

Telstra’s Global Business Services is a point of consolidation for all large scale operational processes and functions, with the specific intention of building scale, and using process and technology to reduce costs and improve the customer experience for large repeatable functions such as billing, procurement, reporting and global service delivery.

Our Global Business Services function operates in a matrix creating ‘healthy tension’ between vertical capability and horizontal delivery units. Our vertical teams span everything from People Services and Property Services, to Assurance and Activations, whilst our horizontal streams focus on delivery across Australia & Internationals, India and the Philippines.

How far through this transformation journey are you?

We’ve been working on this for a few years in our Enterprise team to align our support functions and we expanded it across the company as part of our T22 strategy that we announced last June 2018.

The strategy was announced in an effort to to simplify operations by reducing our product set, improving customer experience and reducing costs.

Why was a GBS the right move for Telstra? What challenges/changes/opportunities was GBS deployment a response to?

Telstra is facing increased pressure due to the roll out of the national broadband network across Australia. As a result, our new strategy is focused on how we can lead the Australian market by simplifying our products and services to improve customer experience, simplify our operations, and reduce our cost base.

Our GBS approach is designed to help us achieve these targeted areas through innovation, automation and process improvements. By bringing together 12 key service areas we can really understand the end to end customer experience and where there’s opportunity for us to use new ways of thinking and working to make improvements. Having the right teams together and aligned is key.

What benefits (cost, time, customer experience, employee experience, agility etc.) has/will Telstra see as a result?

It’s too early for us to share any hard metrics but we’re starting to really see some tangible change that’s leading to improvements for both customers and our people. We’re not just looking for the big bang changes – in fact we’re finding that it’s the smaller changes combining that’s delivering real benefit for our people.

What lessons have you learned throughout the process? What tips would you give to other businesses exploring the GBS model?

Crucial to the success of any GBS model is its people. You have to take the time and investment in making sure they understand why you’re doing this, be honest with them about the challenges and benefits and get them on board. They’re the ones who will actually find and make the changes necessary for your success.

Interested in Learning More?

Join us at the 23rd Annual Shared Services and Outsourcing Week 2020.

The event, held in Melbourne on the 15th – 18th of June, brings together over 50 local and international shared services transformation experts from the likes of NAB, NBN, Commonwealth Bank, Suncorp, Monash University, TAL, BHP, Bluescope, AMP, Metcash, Meridian Energy, World Vision, Department of Finance, Seek, UNSW, Woolworths Group, Melbourne Water and many more!

To secure your ticket to the event, register here or email