NEC Australia has been handed a 12-month contract by the NSW Department of Finance, Services and Innovation (DFSI) to deliver a proof-of-concept for a software-defined wide-area network (SD-WAN) as a fully-managed service.
NEC has partnered with Silver Peak and Cisco Meraki for the project, in a bid to explore the potential of the technology in reducing carriage unit costs and improving service performance, especially in regional areas.
The deal sees NEC manage SD-WAN across a number of areas, including network design, testing, installation and commissioning, a 24/7 helpdesk and network operation centre, and professional services to connect DFSI throughout NSW.
Broadly, the proof-of-concept is expected to let the DFSI test the capability of the new technology and its capacity to increase the service and operational benefits to NSW Government agencies.
“The NSW Government is a leader in digital government services,” the Department’s ICT procurement executive director, Tony Ritchie, said. “We’re continually looking for better ways to engage and interact with citizens.
“New technology like SD-WAN enables us to achieve these goals by making IT systems powering digital services more reliable and cost effective,” he said.
According to NEC Australia, depending on how the project unfolds, the results of the proof-of-concept may be used to shape future agency WAN strategies.
"The agreement with DFSI is another example of NEC’s leadership and expertise to provide innovative solutions such as SD-WAN to enable the NSW Government to test the capacity to reduce operational cost and deliver operational benefits,” NEC Australia sales and solutions director, Andy Hurt, said.
NEC said its Australian-based workforce and technical service centres will deliver and support the services undertaken as part of the contract.
The deal comes just over a year after NEC Australia was appointed by the NSW Telco Authority as a key supplier in the state's Critical Communications Enhancement Program (CCEP).
As part of the program, which was allocated a budget of $63 million in 2016/17, NEC Australia was awarded a three-year standing offer to supply wireless backhaul technology, professional services, network management systems and ongoing support.
In June last year, the local arm of the Japanese tech company revealed plans to undertake a local employment drive following the official opening of its multimillion-dollar Cyber Security Centre in Adelaide on 31 May 2017.
With the centre up and running, the company said at the time it plansned to make good on a previous promise to hire dozens of highly-skilled workers to fill out its ranks in the Adelaide operation’s offices over the coming months and years.
NEC Australia was also named as one of three prime contractors to be selected in late 2016 as part of the Western Australian Government’s wider GovNext-ICT initiative, along with Datacom and Atos.