ATO spells end of Optus reign as network services supplier

ATO spells end of Optus reign as network services supplier

Optus has overseen contract since 2009

Credit: ATO

The Australian Tax Office is to end Optus’ decade-long dominance as its sole network services supplier after more than a decade.

The agency has relied on Optus for its data, telephony, WAN and LAN services and call centre infrastructure since 2009 when it beat Dimension Data, Computer Sciences Corporation (now DXC Technology) and Telstra for the contract.

However, the ATO now plans to move away from a single supplier model and instead will split the arrangement into six new managed network services bundles following the end of Optus’ contract in June 2020.

Over the 10-year-period, the deal has accrued a value of $986.8 million, including amendments. 

Outlining the reasons for the procurement changeover, the ATO cited the rapid growth in the consumption of network bandwidth, data storage and API features due to increased use of mobile and internet services. 

“Behind this massive backdrop, two important trends were observed,” the agency said in a request for tender documents. “Firstly, as Australian government agencies are experiencing a strong expectation from Australian communities that government services should be digitalised and delivered through multiple digital channels.”

The agency also claimed the shrinking taxpayer workforce meant the government needed to operate in more “efficient and effective” ways. 

Each of the service bundles, which span network managed, unified communications, contact centre, mobile and bulk SMS, data carriage and internet connections and fixed voice, will be supplied by one service provider.

Two of these services --  network manager, unified communications and contact centre services and fixed voice services -- will be procured by separate open tenders.

Mobile and bulk SMS will be sourced from whole-of-government mobile services panel, while data carriage and internet connection services will come from the Telecommunication Services Panel (TSP).

The latter was recently launched by the Digital Transformation Agency (DTA) to replace and expand on the services available under the existing Mobile and Telecommunications Services panels. 

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