The Australian Government Information Management Office's (AGIMO) whole-of-government telecommunication panel arrangements could ultimately yield millions of dollars in savings for some member agencies, according to first assistant secretary, John Sheridan.
Addressing Australian Computer Society members in Canberra this week, a bullish Sheridan revealed the panels had already yielded significant savings, with one large agency paying almost 75 percent less than what it expected for internet requirements.
The first two contracts established under internet-based network connections, first established in July, would save “six or seven figure” amounts per agency per year for two or four-year arrangements, he said.
The internet connection panel currently comprised eight service providers.
Sheridan declined to detail the amounts and agencies involved, as their disclosure may prejudice AGIMO’s future negotiations.
Previous arrangements for an Optus-provided mobile phone plan to government agencies were also “some 25 times higher" than the price negotiated under AGIMO-led arrangements.
The new mobiles panel had turned over some $1.8 million worth of deals between February and July this year.
About 40 percent of deals involved were on carriage and 60 percent on handsets.
However, it had not been a completely easy road. Sheridan said the Internet Based Network Management panel had particularly been “problematic”, as several agencies had historically established vertical contracts with one provider.
Telco providers had cost-shifted arrangements, making it hard to disaggregate what the real costs were, he said.
Sheridan noted the role played by Teledesign, a Canberra-based SME, as one of three contractors for mobile phone hardware on the mobile phone panel, as an example of smaller companies receiving business under the panels.
Several major providers had sought briefings from AGIMO to understand why they did not get some of the work.
“This is an indication to them that we are serious about running rock-solid procurement in this area and getting good results for the Commonwealth,” he said.
The first interim panel for data centres had yielded a 30 percent reduction on their lease costs for the small number of agencies.
“It’s not that agencies could not do this previously," he said. "It is just that they could not aggregate demand."