Telstra Purple expands through $267 million Versent acquisition

16 October 2023 3 min. read
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Australian telecom giant Telstra has advanced the end-to-end capabilities of its business technology consulting wing through the addition of Melbourne-based cloud specialist Versent.

Telstra has snapped up home-grown cloud consultancy Versent for $267 million to further scale its business technology services wing Telstra Purple.

The local telcom reportedly outbid Japanese rival NTT after an almost year-long sales process, although the eventual price tag came in much lower than earlier suggestions of a potential $500 million valuation. The deal also includes Vesrsent’s self-serve cloud management platform Stax.

Telstra Purple expands through $267 million Versent acquisition

“Since launching Telstra Purple four years ago, we’ve seen growing demand for technology solutions as enterprises, governments and whole industries continue to digitise their operations,” said Telstra Enterprise group executive David Burns. “We’re excited by the growth potential this acquisition provides; it will further differentiate Telstra in the market and bolster our capabilities so that we can be an end-to-end technology partner.”

Established in Melbourne in 2014 by former NAB employees Thor Essman and James Coxon and one-time Deloitte manager Eddie Smith, Versent has over the past decade grown to a headcount of 500-plus across Australia and its international outlets in Singapore and the United States.

Originally an AWS specialist, the company earlier this year expanded its cloud offering through a new partnership with Microsoft, which followed an earlier deal struck with Databricks.

Led by former AWS managing director Paul Migliorini, who kicked of his career as a management consultant at Ernst & Young, Versent’s diversified offering across digital applications, data & insights, managed services, and identity and security solutions helped power the ‘born in the cloud’ consultancy to a $130 million revenue take last year, representing a three-year compound annual growth rate of 17 percent with further expansion plans afoot.

“Versent was founded on a belief that the way technology services were delivered needed to fundamentally change,” stated Migliorini. “One principle has governed all our activity, that success for Versent is solely a function of our customers’ success. “With a commitment to customer outcomes alongside Telstra Purple we can achieve greater scale with a consistent growth pipeline, particularly expanding our international presence.”

Telstra Purple was launched in late 2019 to bring a string of earlier IT acquisitions under the one tech consulting and professional services banner – a move which followed the engagement of McKinsey & Company on an organisational efficency project – among them VMtech, Kloud and Readify. The wing is now helmed by Oliver Camplin-Warner.

The Versent deal is expected to close by the end of November, with Burns concluding; “Through the combination of our global partnerships, breadth of our networks, and strength of our deep-domain experts, we have never been better set up to deliver secure, large-scale transformation through technology. Versent will bring additional depth to our strong team of experts and help us meet the growing demand for specialised services.”