Telstra is set to build a new 2000-square metre datacentre in Melbourne as part of its $800 million, five-year Cloud services agenda announced this week. The expenditure will also include modernising the facilities at existing Telstra data centres in Sydney and Melbourne, expanding the telco’s enterprise applications, launching an online partner portal, and enhancing T-Suite software-as-a-service (SaaS) capabilities. Telstra's chief operations officer, Brendon Riley, said the company’s objective is to have the biggest network integration of Cloud in Australia. "We are now completing expansion of our Sydney datacentre facilities to accommodate our next generation data centre,” he said. “We also want to build a new state of the art data centre in Melbourne to support our expansion. “It will be of modular construction for maximum Green capabilities and I anticipate it will be commissioned in early 2013." According to Riley, the new Melbourne facility will increase its data centre capability by more than 40 per cent and provide Cloud requirements for "many years to come". "Cloud is not all about data centres, but they are important,” he said. “On top of that we are going to provision a highly scalable network. “We all want efficient and scalable infrastructure to adapt to the demands we have." To achieve the Cloud services, the telco has partnered with Cisco, VMware and Microsoft, while integration partner Accenture will build the next phase of its integrated Cloud platform. Telstra chief executive David Thodey said that while Cloud services were nothing new for the vendor – as the telco began offering T-Suite software-as-a-service (SaaS) in 2008 – the investments were made due to increasing customer demand. "We are also experiencing strong sales in our Cloud voice and video services, which are exceeding 80 per cent year and we now manage more than 100,000 IP telephony services delivered from the Cloud,” Thodey said. "With this Cloud computing platform we can provide Cloud services that are integrated into our networks, which means they are secure, monitored and can be accessed in more locations across the country." He also said that the company wanted to offer customer Cloud so they could focus on other areas of their business. "This is part of a bigger transition within Telstra from being not just an access provider, but a company capable of offering different services to SMEs, enterprise and corporations,” Thodey said. Telstra’s announcement has been brewing for a while, when in May 2011 its chief technology officer, Hugh Barlow, urged businesses to outsource their IT functions to Cloud operators in order to get with the 21st Century and reduce overall costs. Customers who have recently implemented Telstra's Cloud include Australian Vintage, Komatsu, the Salvation Army Employment Plus and Tabcorp.