MacTel cloud services approved for NSW government

Macquarie Government's cloud and cybersecurity offerings have been added to the NSW government's GovDC Marketplace.

Macquarie Telecom has announced that its government-focused arm has been added to the New South Wales government's GovDC Marketplace, allowing it to provide cloud and cybersecurity solutions to state government agencies.

Macquarie Government MD Aidan Tudehope pointed towards the company's tier 1 datacentre offerings it provides for the federal government, including the Australian Taxation Office and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, saying its "cybersecurity credentials" and onshore staff makes it an ideal option for government services.

"The GovDC Marketplace is focused on assisting government agencies to deliver fast, cost effective and reliable solutions to NSW citizens through as-a-service cloud capability solutions," NSW GovDC and Marketplace Services director Derek Paterson said on the announcement.

"Our pre-qualified suppliers are a vital part of that, with agencies able to choose the right solution for them based on the hybrid value proposition of each supplier."

Macqaurie Telecom as a result said it will focus on building government datacentre infrastructure over the coming year.

"We are investing even more heavily in building the infrastructure for government," Macquarie Government head of Business Development Angela Anderson said.

The NSW government had in January said it was looking to "considerably" extend datacentre capacity at its two GovDC facilities during 2017, in Silverwater, Sydney, and Unanderra, Wollongong.

Metronode had been signed to construct additional data halls.

GovDC was first launched in October 2013 to consolidate 130 government datacentres into two, with all state government agencies required to migrate their IT into GovDC by last month.

The GovDC Marketplace, launched at the same time, provides NSW agencies with a variety of telecommunications, cloud, managed services, software providers, and infrastructure to choose between.

"Demand was growing at an unprecedented rate, chief information officers were entering contracts which included unused capacity to ensure continuity of expansion, contractual conditions were problematic, and risk allocation unfair, which resulted in hidden costs and risks to the state," the government said when announcing the GovDC launch.

"No existing facility could meet projected government demand over the 15 years."

In June, the government then said that it has been looking into process automation in an effort to reduce response times in its datacentres, with Paterson pointing towards artificial intelligence (AI).

GovDC utilises a ServiceNow portal and service catalogue, with Paterson saying this provides more automation and less human intervention.

"Consider where the world is going to and the amount of data captured that can be processed and analysed using anything from AI to machine learning. Then imagine what you can do with that data," he said.

"To be able to pick trends around who is doing what and when they're doing it -- can we do it quicker? Can it make itself do it quicker? That's the world I want to be in."

Macquarie Telecom last month announced a jump in earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortisation (EBITDA) by AU$8 million to AU$40.3 million -- up 25 percent -- for the FY17 fiscal year.

During the year, it doubled its capex to AU$38.5 million, with revenue climbing to AU$220 million thanks to its cloud and government units, which booked AU$82 million in revenue alone.

At the time, it flagged an expansion of its Canberra datacentre to keep up with demand from the high number of agencies on its books. It will also decide over the next six months whether to build or purchase additional datacentre capacity.

"There will be further investment in expansion in Canberra and our cloud platform, with an increase in opex of around AU$3 million and capex by AU$1.6 million across FY18," the company said.

The provider completed the expansion of its intellicentre bunker in Canberra in February, and was awarded Unclassified DLM certification by the Australian Signals Directorate (ASD) for its GovZone cloud offering in March.

Macquarie Telecom was the first Australian cloud provider to be listed on the federal government's certified list by the ASD back in May 2015.

"Our Canberra datacentre is purpose-built to meet the security needs of federal government customers, providing them a secure government to host data and deploy cloud services. The government's need for security has never been higher, as was highlighted in review of the eCensus failure last year," Tudehope said earlier this year.

"The right cloud solution can be much more secure than legacy government systems ... Macquarie Telecom has made a deliberate decision to keep our datacentres on Australian soil to keep all sensitive data within the country and completely under the Australian jurisdiction."

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