Telstra has been named as the managed services provider for Centrelink’s voice infrastructure in a deal worth $185 million over five years.
Under the new managed voice services deal, Centrelink would expand speech recognition services, introduce smart outbound dialling systems and keep developing SMS for customer communications, Telstra said in a statement.
Telstra said it had worked with Centrelink since 1997. But now, Australia’s largest telco would manage all underlying telephony, inbound and outbound calling for Centrelink, the Department of Family and Community Services and CRS Australia, the company said.
The contract covered the management of some 1000 sites across Australia, including Australia's largest single call centre operation, which had 26 sites operating as one virtual centre, Telstra said.
David Thodey, business and government group managing director at Telstra, said the new deal would give Centrelink more flexibility.
“For instance, to set up new sites in regional areas. Telstra offers the same voice calling rates, provisioning times, features and functions no matter where in Australia Centrelink chooses to locate a new call centre,” he said.
Thodey said winning Federal Government business was important to Telstra. The deal followed recent wins with the Department of Employment and Workplace Relations, the Australian Tax Office, Australia Post and the Australian Customs Service, he said.