Telecom giant Telstra empowers citizen developers with Oracle APEX

Telstra consolidates dozens of custom internal tools on Oracle Application Express, saving millions per year in IT costs.


We’re able to offer our customers a single pane of glass to do all their app development without provisioning a single virtual machine or database. We give them a managed environment where they can create and deploy applications quickly—and we have saved millions doing it.

Tony KirnTeam Engineer Senior Lead, Telstra

Business challenges

Telstra, an international telecommunications and media company, has built Australia’s largest and most reliable mobile network. In the early 2000s, the company discovered that internal applications built using Microsoft Access were clogging network bandwidth due to the chattiness of Forms.

Telstra saved big by consolidating these internal apps and replacing them. A community platform called Telstra APEX Central comprises an Oracle Application Server and a three-node Oracle RAC database.

The company turned 3,000 Microsoft Access databases, costing AUD$15,000 per compute instance to run, into a two-instance Oracle APEX deployment—shaving AUD$51 million off Telstra’s data center costs.

If it weren’t for Oracle APEX, it would have taken $1 to $2 million to recreate this using another solution.

Tony KirnTeam Engineer Senior Lead, Telstra

Why Telstra Chose Oracle

Not only did Oracle Application Express save tens of millions in IT costs, it enabled employees to easily create and spin up their own internal APEX apps for such things as customer satisfaction and data, pay phone orders, and IT environment provisioning. Oracle RAC allows Telstra to run a single database across multiple servers in order to maximize availability.


Since installing its on-premises data center in the early 2000s, Telstra has enjoyed using Oracle APEX, which comes at no additional cost with the Oracle Database, to develop apps. Today, the company continues to reduce maintenance costs by consolidating and moving new applications onto Telstra APEX Central.

The largest of these is for 5G rollout. DBTECH is another large internal tool, running 20 to 30 applications for a mix of IT and business users on a single APEX workspace. But that’s not all: On APEX Central platform, Telstra’s citizen developers are able to create their own solutions quickly, without having to make a formal IT request for provisioning or custom coding.

Published:November 13, 2020