Operators need to be “more mature” in their attitude toward partnerships if they hope to drive new revenues, Telstra’s Head of EMEA has said.

Speaking to European Communications, Tom Homer (pictured) said that businesses had to give up the illusion that they could “go it alone” if they hoped to stay relevant amongst rapidly-changing industries driven by technological disruption.

Talking of telcos specifically, Homer said that those that wished to be anything other than a “pure pipes” player had to partner.

Homer said: “Most telcos are big and complicated. What this means is that if you want to fix business problems…your digital partnerships need to be maturing and you need to be partnering with organisations that are big and complicated like you, but also be willing to partner with smaller, more nimble organisations.

“If you want to be a technology business, you cannot avoid partnerships and you have to be more mature, and embrace them to an extent that many telcos haven’t done.”

[Read more: Operators need to strike right balance between OTT partnerships and in-house R&D]

Homer was speaking to European Communications following the publication of global study by Telstra on strategic partnerships.

The report, commissioned by the operator and conducted by the Economist Intelligence Unit, revealed that 60 percent of business executives expect partnerships to generate at least 10 percent of their revenue over the next 12 months.

The survey contained the responses of more than 1,000 senior business leaders across 20 industries from Asia, EMEA, the US and Australia.

Half of those surveyed said their digital partnerships had already proven their value “beyond doubt”, while 40 percent said they were looking at partnering with a competitor.

Homer said: “This is a big shift. Companies are now starting to look at new entrants or potential competitive threats as a partnership, rather than instinctively leaning toward a directly competitive response, which we probably would have leant to in the past.

[Read more: Operators told to open up and partner with, not procure startups]

“It’s also around us complimenting our own journey into digital. The better we understand that, the more likely we’re able to execute on it.”

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