Topics: Telecommunications; Hardware; IT Services; Procurement; Cloud; NSW.
The New South Wales department of Family and Community Services (FACS) has approached the market to replace the cluster’s existing wide area network (WAN) environment.
The Request for Proposal (RFP) is open to any supplier, or any combination of suppliers, with the capabilities to “replace, augment or upgrade the existing WAN arrangements” currently servicing the ten FACS divisions.
As part of the procurement, FACS requires specific fixed data capabilities to support its ChildStory project. The ChildStory project, the ICT component of the Safe Home for Life program, has been underway since 2014 and been allocated $100 million over four years.
The specific requirements include a cloud hub or virtual exchange that will facilitate private connectivity to ChildStory-related platforms and services.
Complying with NSW Government cloud polices first introduced in 2013, the preferred solution will ideally leverage hosted or cloud technologies in preparation for as-a-Service procurements in the future. The solution will also need to be compatible with existing WAN and local area networks (LAN) and be “flexible, reliable and scalable”.
According to the RFP requirements, the successful vendor will need to supply fixed data connectivity services for WAN links as well as data links connected directly into a virtual private network (VPN). These links will provide access to the FACS data centre tenancies in Ultimo and Silverwater.
Potential suppliers must either respond to all fixed data services described in the tender, or apply solely to the dark fibre component. The contract will last for two years with the option to extend for a further 12 months.
FACS has offices at over 700 sites throughout NSW and approximately 195 are interconnected by technology other than ADSL or NBN. The cluster currently employs as many as 16,000 staff throughout NSW. The Business Services unit, located within the Corporate Services division, will manage the fixed data contract and work collaboratively with the chosen vendor.
The fixed data upgrades will support the 2014-introduced “OneFACS” initiative to break down structural barriers preventing FACS departments and agencies from operating as an integrated unit.
Improving fixed data arrangements at FACS is part of a broader movement in NSW to reform the system of buying and implementing telecommunications services. As communicated in the Digital + 2016 ICT Strategy, the government is focusing on “shifting away from fixed-line and infrastructure-based models” towards “flexibility and increased mobility of services for customers and employees, greater competition and purchasing transparency”.
The RFP closes on Wednesday 22 June 2016.