The Federal Government has kicked off the next step in its endeavour to establish a dedicated IT hardware procurement marketplace, calling for enterprise storage providers to step up and offer their wares.
Late last year, the Federal Government’s Digital Transformation Agency (DTA), which handles many of the Federal Government’s IT procurement duties, called on industry feedback to help it develop a new dedicated IT Hardware Marketplace.
The proposed Hardware Marketplace is aimed at allowing government entities to buy IT hardware to support internal business processes.
“We’re planning to have some products and services available from June 2018 with more added over time,” the DTA said in a statement in December last year.
On 10 May, the DTA took another step in its efforts to establish the new marketplace, issuing an approach to market (ATM) for enterprise storage, the first hardware category in its proposed procurement marketplace.
Specifically, the latest application process sees the DTA seek offerings from potential suppliers that meet the requirements for one or more of the sub-categories within Category 1 – Enterprise Storage.
Suppliers that make the cut will be able to tap into a lucrative segment of Government expenditure. According to tender documents, the average annual Commonwealth capex spend on storage infrastructure during the period 2008/09 to 2015/16 was approximately $64 million.
The ATM comes after the DTA engaged with the enterprise storage industry through structured meetings with potential providers and with potential buyers.
For the purposes of the approach to market, enterprise storage is defined as infrastructure storage and enterprise storage solutions that are centralised repositories for business information providing common data management and protection, data sharing functions and the ability to scale without impact on existing storage environments.
These definitions see the ATM split into at least seven subcategories of offerings, including direct attached storage, network attached storage, object based storage, storage area network, backup and restore, consumables and ancillary, and professional services.
The new hardware marketplace is being established to supersede the pre-existing ICT Hardware Panel and expand on the categories of equipment and associated services made available to buyers to procure.
“We intend to conduct separate approaches to market in the future for offerings in other categories. There is no limit on the number of categories that we may decide to add to the hardware marketplace,” the DTA said in tender documents.
The DTA previously said it plans to expand the products and services available from existing whole-of-government panels to 17 IT hardware and related categories in the proposed marketplace.
The move comes as the DTA builds out its relatively new whole-of-government software licensing and services (SLS) procurement panel.
The DTA, which grew out of the Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s Digital Transformation Office (DTO), put the call out on 17 July last year to potential suppliers to provide feedback on the proposed panel.
In March, Data#3 (ASX:DTL) was named as the sole provider of Microsoft licensing solutions on the new whole-of-government software procurement arrangement, seeing the local integrator retain its position as the sole provider for such an arrangement.
In October last year, the DTA revealed that Oracle would to join IBM and SAP in talks with the agency to establish a series of new whole-of-government coordinated procurement arrangements with the technology vendors.
Potential enterprise storage suppliers have until 11th June to respond to the ATM.