Arizona is leading the way for what government telecom should look like. Over the next years, the state will boast a VoIP-enabled wide are network, centrally managed security, and increased bandwidth. The new network, called AZNet, will be built and managed for five years by Accenture under a $98 million contract, according to FCW.com.
Arizona is already a leader. While other states are just testing VoIP, Steve Demarest of Accenture told FCS, 4,000 Arizona employees are already using it and nine state agencies just installed 5,000 Cisco IP phones. In a press release issued this spring, Accenture's David Ross noted, "The management and technology improvements the state desires can be implemented for about the same cost as what the state currently spends for its legacy telecommunications services. This represents significant value to Arizona state government and taxpayers.”
An Arizona spokesman noted that outsourcing the work won't save as much money as originally thought but that "it was worth going forward and doing anyway because we're going to end up with better equipment and better procedures in the future." And unlike the federal government, where budget savings are taken away from agencies, Arizona can invest savings from their VoIP telecommunications back into technology upgrades.
A key part of the project is that is being run according to consistent management practices, improved enterprise business results and the use of metrics and ongoing measurement to assess program results and achievements.