The Sydney Water Corporation (Sydney Water) has moved to consolidate its telecommunications (telco) contracts with a request for tender (RFT) released for the provision of consolidated telecommunications services released on August 30.
According to tender documents, the “intent is to take a more strategic approach with a focus on service management and its integration into the Sydney Water environment”.
Sydney Water currently has 16 telecommunication services under 7 separate contracts delivered by 5 different service providers. The current contractual agreements have been extended until the end of March 2011, indicating the time Sydney Water estimates will be required to conduct the procurement, make a decision and implement the necessary transition out and transition in procedures.
The decision to consolidate contracts is one of several better-practice initiatives adopted by the corporation following a critical NSW Auditor-General report, released in November 2009. The audit found that a number of significant IT projects were behind schedule and that the corporation had a negative credit and debt rating.
Sydney Water expects the consolidation will help to support its IT strategy in driving “the operational excellent theme identified as the first stages of the review sourcing strategy”.
The move is also broadly in line with Sydney Water’s objectives:
- Improving corporate support services;
- Ensuring a prudent and efficient procurement process; and
- Pursuing long-term efficiency and financial sustainability.
The corporation is also currently in the process of consolidating its asset management software. This is a $31 million project expected to be completed by October 2010.
Sydney Water is seeking to engage a single prime contractor, with the possibility of engaging subcontractors where appropriate.
The successful tenderer will need at least five years continuous experience in providing data management and voice network services in Australia. The scope of work pertains to all telecommunications activity engaged in by the corporation including:
- IT Service Management (ITSM) covering incident, problem, change, capacity and service level agreement reports;
- Wide Area Networking management;
- Local Area Networking management (including phone services);
- Internet service provisioning and management;
- telephony, fixed line;
- telephony, mobile (including Blackberry devices);
- telephony, mobile data;
- Contact Centre administration, support and configuration;
- network and system management;
- messaging services (including pagers);
- administration and break fix services for the above environments;
- carrier services and carrier management; and
- project support activities.
In seeking this vertical stack of both voice and data (fixed line and mobile) plus a wide range of managed services, Sydney Water has chosen an approach that will favour the traditional managed services offerings of the major telecommunications participants and contrasts strongly with the approach currently being adopted in Canberra where the intent is to separate the commodity supply and management of carriage services and/or the supply of telecommunications equipment from a range of managed services
The Department of Finance and Deregulation’s Australian Government Information Management Office (AGIMO) released a Telecommunications LifeCycle Management Services (TLMS) RFT which specifically seeks to unbundle the services component from what they describe as the ‘underlying products and services’ such as network connections, user access devices, network devices, voice services and converged services. This is to ‘achieve a ‘horizontal’ aggregation of carriage services (NCS) across agencies, rather than the traditional ‘vertical’ aggregation of full bundling within an agency’ (RFT FIN10/AGI005-B).
Similar in concept to the new approach being adopted by AGIMO, the NSW Government’s Telecommunications Agreements (GTAs) Panel contracts which have been in place for some time now, cover the gamut of the services sought by Sydney Water in this RFT, albeit in separate contracts.
The contract will be for an initial period of four years with the possibility of two extensions.
An industry briefing will be held to provide information and discuss the required Services and the Tender Process on 9 September at Sydney Water Head Office, Parramatta, NSW.