Summary: We analyse the aggressive strategy Telstra has chosen to develop its digital healthcare business - which relies heavily on acquisitions across the whole eHealth value chain - and discuss how this fits into a wider companywide digital strategy, what it will take for Telstra to succeed in this vertical, and what insights other telcos can take away about their own digital health strategies. (Cloud & Enterprise ICT Stream, May 2016)
Below is a 2 page extract from this 38 page Telco 2.0 Report that can be downloaded in full in PDF format by subscribers to the Cloud & Enterprise ICT Stream here. The full report includes an Executive Summary, along with further detailed content and figures outlined below the extract. To find out more about how to join or access this report please see here or call +44 (0) 207 247 5003.
Over the course of 2013-2015, Australian operator Telstra has invested heavily in acquisitions, tapping into the A$11.2bn (US$8.52bn) it received from the Australian government for access to its legacy copper network required to connect the country’s National Broadband Network. Telstra spent $1.2bn on acquiring digital businesses during 2015 alone.
Telstra’s stated aims were: geographic expansion of its core telecoms offerings, as illustrated by its acquisition of Asian carrier and managed services provider Pacnet for US$697Mn, completed in April 2015; and growing its digital service offerings, as illustrated by its multiple acquisitions in the digital platforms and applications space.
The telco has taken a particularly innovative approach to building its offerings in the healthcare vertical, where its ‘new digital’ investments have focused.
Telstra’s approach to establishing its digital (and non-digital) healthcare business is a good indicator of its future overall digital strategy, at the core of which is a highly customer-centric approach and a commitment to bringing agile and lean business practices to all parts of its own business.
Telstra, is, of course, not an established healthcare brand, either in Australia or elsewhere. As we discuss below, this has created a number of challenges, both in engendering relevance with healthcare customers and in achieving Telstra’s particular aims in the health space. The operator has sought to collaborate with or acquire health service providers in order to overcome these challenges.
Telstra’s overall strategy in regard to its digital health care investments and partnerships has been aggressive and unusual, both in terms of the telco’s rapidity in developing such relationships, and in terms of the relatively large number of eHealth companies which it has invested in or partnered with. Perhaps unsurprisingly, many industry observers have questioned the approach. Indeed, one could argue that the diversity of the acquisitions and partnerships points to a lack of clear direction, and that the sheer number of these may be difficult for the operator to manage effectively, let alone consolidate into a healthy and growing digital revenue stream.
This report addresses the following:
Telstra has targeted healthcare as the most important focus area for its move into broader digital economy activities, based on the ongoing societal and demographic shifts driving demand for healthcare services and spend on these, and on the high potential for digital technology to be transformative in the sector.
At high level, the primary objective of Telstra’s Health business is to address the central challenges or pain points facing the healthcare industry, and to combine the best features of the services and applications it acquires with the telco’s own core capabilities, to provide relevant digital healthcare solutions. Telstra has identified six healthcare challenge areas its offerings aim to address, shown in Figure 2:
Figure 2: Six Healthcare Pain Points Telstra Health Aims to Address
Source: Telstra Health
Telstra’s business model, its overall strategy in health and its objectives are all centred around using digital technologies to tackle these health pain points. In practical terms, its goal is to bring the advantages of the digital revolution to bear on the specific challenges facing the health industry – and to develop a profitable new revenue stream in the process.
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...Members of the the Cloud & Enterprise ICT Stream can download the full 38 page report in PDF format here. For non-members, to find out more about how to join or access this report please see here or call +44 (0) 207 247 5003.
Technologies and industry terms referenced include: acquisitions, business model, digital, health, innovation, strategy, telco 2.0, Telstra, vertical