The Department of Foreign Affairs has offered industry the opportunity to tender for the first piece of work under its $216 million global communications network upgrade, this week inviting tenders for a new IT service desk and support integrator.
The department’s global support centre - which acts as the first port of call for all IT service issues - has for a number of years been staffed by Fujitsu.
The centre also provides desktop support for the Secure Australian Telecommunications and Information Network (SATIN), as well as IT asset management and licensing, voice services, testing, desktop and VIP support.
The SATIN connects DFAT’s 145 global points of presence and 6000 worldwide users with telecommunications, desktop and device infrastructure to allow DFAT's global workforce to perform tasks across national borders.
It was introduced in 2000 and is the Australian Government’s largest international network, in use by more than 40 government agencies.
SATIN consists of low and high security access networks — the ‘Satin Low’ business network and the ‘Satin High’ diplomatic communications network — as well as a ‘Satin Voice’ telephony network and a video conferencing network.
DFAT has spent the last few years planning the replacement of the network, which will reach end of life next year.
It received $215.9 million for the years to 2019 to relace SATIN with the new international communications network (ICN).
DFAT first offered a glimpse into the project last year when it issued pre-release tenders for seven bundles of ICN work, including ICT service desk and related support.
Fujitsu was contracted in 2009 to provide 24 hour desktop support of SATIN as well as the department’s overall IT service desk under a three-year, $6 million deal.
DFAT is now looking for a replacement supplier to staff the global support centre, and implement a new service management tool to replace its current Marval v8.0 commercial-off-the-shelf solution.
The new contractor will need to provide GSC support 24/7 under a “follow the sun” model. The integrator can expect a minimum of 44,000 emails and 118,000 contact volumes each year, DFAT said.
The agency expects services under the new contract to commence from mid-May next year.