Victorian govt to combine its two telco buying schemes

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Victorian govt to combine its two telco buying schemes

In refresh of $126m-a-year panel.

The Victorian government is preparing to combine its $126 million-a-year telecommunications panel with the state's office telephony service contract to create a single omnibus buying scheme.

The Department of Premier and Cabinet on Wednesday issued a request for information to inform the creation of a future Victorian telecommunications service contract (VTS) next year.

The arrangement will replace the mandatory telecommunications purchasing and management strategy (TPAMS) contract, which was only introduced back in February 2017.

TPAMS consists of five 'towers': data, internet, mobile, unified comms and voice, which are serviced by seven suppliers: Telstra, Optus, Vocus, NEC, MyNetPhone, Mitel and R-Group.

However, only Telstra and Optus can provide services across all five 'towers', though at least two suppliers are present on each service 'tower'.

When TPAMS was established in 2017, the lesser-known Victorian office telephony services (VOTS) contract with NEC - part of the former TPAMS arrangement - remained separate.

VOTS covers the provision of PABX and desk phones and the Victorian government switchboard operation, and - unlike TPAMS - is non-mandatory for agencies.

But with both TPAMS and VOTS due to expire in February 2021, the department is planning to merge the two to create the VTS.

It is currently conducting a survey of the industry to “ensure a future telecommunications agreement includes products and services that are in line with market service offerings”.

The survey asks telcos about their experience with the current arrangement and calls for feedback on “potential changes to the service tower structure”.

“The objective of the market research is to help inform the process to create and specify the new VTS arrangement,” the RFI states.

DPC is planning to issue an invitation to supply at “a later stage”.

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