Vodafone NZ expands government services

Vodafone NZ has boosted its telecommunications-as-a-service offerings for the New Zealand government, adding more managed security services along with a new fixed connectivity service.

Vodafone NZ had announced being approved to supply additional services under the New Zealand government's telecommunications-as-a-service (TaaS) panel, adding more managed security offerings.

The carrier will also provide a new fixed connectivity service labelled Sector Variant, available under Vodafone Ready Government as part of the government's TaaS service catalogue.

Vodafone had been originally appointed to the government's TaaS panel to provide connectivity, communications, contact centre, aggregation services, and managed security services back in 2015.

"Over the past two years, we've worked hard to enable a significant number of agencies to adopt TaaS services through our government-specific suite of solutions called Ready Government," Vodafone Enterprise director Ken Tunnicliffe said on Monday.

"By being entrusted to offer additional TaaS services, we're in an even stronger position to help government deliver more great outcomes for New Zealand citizens.

"The challenge lies in helping agencies securely and cost-effectively transition existing infrastructure to a future-ready state so they can deliver what Kiwis expect."

The New Zealand government's TaaS portfolio is divided into five "towers": Communications, which involves unified communications and audio/visual conferencing technology; connectivity, including GNet site connectivity, personal mobile connectivity, and PSTN access and calling; managed security, including internet, device, and identity security; contact centre, including automation services, inbound-outbound multi-channel services, and optimisation services; and aggregation, which includes specialist telco aggregation and service management.

More than 240 government agencies are now involved in the TaaS program, according to Vodafone NZ, with the government's chief digital officer at the Department of Internal Affairs overseeing the program.

Agencies involved include Treasury; Inland Revenue; Human Rights Commission; Ministry of Education; Ministry of Health; Ministry of Justice; Institute of Environmental Science and Research Limited; Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment; Ministry of Maori Development Te Puni Kokiri; Department of Internal Affairs; New Zealand Transport Agency; Fire Service; Health and Disability Commissioner; Public Trust; Statistics New Zealand; Civil Aviation Authority NZ; Department of Conservation; various regional, district, and city councils; and multiple educational and financial agencies.

Earlier this month, MNF subsidiary Conference Call International (CCI) similarly announced winning a contract to supply New Zealand government agencies with its audio, web, and operator-assisted conferencing solutions.

The contract was awarded under the communications tower, with MNF CEO Rene Sugo saying that CCI is unique in offering encrypted call conferencing, which is important for government services.

"Voice encryption technology aims to prevent unauthorised listening-in on conference calls. For government agencies, this additional level of protection provided by this type of technology helps ensure call confidentiality, security, and, most importantly, peace of mind," Sugo said.

CCI general manager Andrea Goding said the company has been providing conferencing solutions to government departments and enterprises for over 15 years, but this contract is the first it has gained under the New Zealand government's TaaS initiative.

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