TAFE Queensland has begun the process of market testing its 15-year managed-services deal with Unisys in an effort to squeeze every dollar it can from IT.
In January the TAFE/Unisys relationship was extended by another two years at a value of just under $30 million, which will take it to 31 October 2014.
TAFE Queensland says it hopes to have a shortlist of suppliers ready and begin taking tenders by the end of the year.
Documents released by TAFE Queensland explain that the organisation needs to become “more agile and flexible” ahead of significant reforms to the state’s vocational education system that come into effect next year.
TAFE was legally transformed into an independent statutory body on 1 July 2013.
From 1 July 2014 the Queensland government will open as much as $200 million worth of TAFE funding to competition from private sector training providers, which is expected to force the TAFE network to dramatically rationalise its operations in order to compete.
“Increasing revenues and operating cost reduction are a prime focus,” the organisation said in a guide released to interested vendors yesterday.
The organisation also hopes that new capability will allow it to “be more agile and flexible in the increasingly contestable VET marketplace with a greater focus on anywhere/anytime self-service, blended learning and on-line relationships with its current and prospective students and business clients”.
The education provider will look towards cloud solutions to provide flexibility and to accommodate shifts between physical campuses, which are set to reduce in number by roughly half. By mid 2014 13 institutes and 90 campuses will become six institutes and approximately 50 campuses.
The end-to-end managed services deal is anticipated to cover:
- Service desk
- Applications support and development
- Project management
- Network services
- End User Computing
It is also likely third party training providers who have successfully competed for training contracts will also be using the TAFE facilities such as computers and audio-visual capability.
The new deal will be expected to provide BYOD capability across nearly 200,000 enrolled students plus staff.