DTA to create govt-wide telco marketplace

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DTA to create govt-wide telco marketplace

Plan to consolidate existing panels moves forward.

The Digital Transformation Agency has revealed more details about its overhaul of the government’s telco buying arrangements, with the planned panel now expected to take the form of a marketplace.

The government’s peak IT agency this week released its second discussion paper as part of a request for information for the proposed panel ahead of a market approach later this year.

As revealed by the agency earlier this year, the panel is intended to shift the government’s telco buying scheme to a “flexible outcomes based” converged services model.

It is the latest in a series reforms to co-ordinated buying schemes sparked by recommendations by a ICT procurement taskforce in August 2017.

The panel will replace the government’s existing telecommunications services panel, which the government considers a traditional, siloed services panel construct.

That panel, which was only introduce in 2016 and still has another four years of life, consists of Macquarie Telecom, Nextgen Networks, Optus Networks, Sliced Tech, Telstra, TPG and Verizon.

The new panel will also replace the expiring mobile panel and expired telecommunication management panel, while a number of new service categories will also be included for the first time.

These include newer technologies such as dark fibre, unified communications, and software-defined WAN or networking as a service (NaaS).

But since the original discussion paper was released, the DTA has renamed the proposed panel the telecommunications marketplace panel, which will launch early next year.

“The DTA plans to establish a new telecommunications marketplace panel to make sourcing telecommunications services and solutions simpler, clearer and faster for buyers and sellers,” the discussion paper states.

It is not understood whether this structure will mean a greater number of suppliers will be appointed, much like the DTA has done with the hardware marketplace, which is now home to 94 suppliers.

“Alongside internet, fixed voice and data carriage providers, the DTA is looking to establish a panel of managed service providers who can provide ‘full service’ telecommunications solutions to agencies,” the discussion paper states.

“Therefore, Applicants will only be admitted as panellists to categories where they are able to supply every subcategory of goods/services under that category.”

Some of the pricing models being proposed by the DTA is “a monthly fixed price for an agreed number of services, with project work priced separately and a monthly variable performance fee that is adjusted based on achievement of service levels”.

The panel is expected to cover ten common service categories, including data carriage, internet carriage, fixed line voice carriage, managed network, unified communications, managed voice, dark fibre, contact centre, secure internet gateways (in the future) and enterprise mobility.

Submissions to the RFI giving suppliers the opportunity to help the DTA refine the panel will close 8 October 2019.

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