Nortel scores in Optus' ATO deal

Nortel scores in Optus' ATO deal

Summary: Optus yesterday revealed Canadian vendor Nortel, among others, would be a major winner under the Australian Taxation Office's (ATO) network and telephony upgrade that has been scheduled as part of its managed services deal with the telco.

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Optus yesterday revealed Canadian vendor Nortel, among others, would be a major winner under the Australian Taxation Office's (ATO) network and telephony upgrade that has been scheduled as part of its managed services deal with the telco.

John Simon, managing director of Optus' Enterprise and Business Group, yesterday said Nortel would be a key supplier for the network and telephony upgrade planned for the ATO over the coming six months. "We're using Nortel CS2K switches, which are high-end switches, and IP [internet protocol] phones from Nortel," Simon said. Juniper and Enterasys are also understood to be benefiting from the deal.

The deal would be welcome news for Nortel, which last year reassured Australian customers that its Canadian parent's financial woes would not impact them.

The ATO's current network suppliers include Nortel, Cisco and network security vendor Enterasys. A spokesperson said that the ATO owned its PABX system and handsets, while Telstra managed hardware.

The four-year, $186.5 million contract the ATO signed with Optus formed the base value of the deal, according to Simon, but the ATO's typical annual spend on managed network services is likely to see the deal increase in value to around $240 million over the term. The ATO will continue to use its current Telstra network until Optus has built the first portion of the new network, which is due by the end of the year, said Simon.

"We'll immediately commence the transition, including new equipment in offices and call centres. It's not just cutting over from one network to another. It's a transition and transformation," he said.

Topics: Outsourcing, Cisco, Networking

Liam Tung

About Liam Tung

Liam Tung is an Australian business technology journalist living a few too many Swedish miles north of Stockholm for his liking. He gained a bachelors degree in economics and arts (cultural studies) at Sydney's Macquarie University, but hacked (without Norse or malicious code for that matter) his way into a career as an enterprise tech, security and telecommunications journalist with ZDNet Australia. These days Liam is a full time freelance technology journalist who writes for several publications.

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6 comments
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  • Nortel Win

    Congratulations to Nortel. This win says alot about Cisco, Avaya and Alcatel. These so called giants of telephony can't even win deals against a competitor in Chapter 11 and a competitor who struggling to survive.
    anonymous
  • Nortel telephony

    It's great to see decisions made on capability rather than marketing and vapour ware. Some vendors just don't understand telephony and being TCP/IP evangelists doesn't cut it.
    anonymous
  • Nortel

    Not affected by the Nortel U.S.A./Canada Chapter 11 situation? Of course, it doesn’t have any manufacturing plants to run. The laughable part of this story is that Nortel Australia manufactures nothing whatsoever of the IT&T hardware required by projects such as the ATO, it is simply a branch/sales office. If the parent cannot supply then the Australian operation will become a useless shell!!
    anonymous
  • Nortel

    This is a joke
    anonymous
  • Nortel & TO

    Yep, great, good to see the Australian Government taking on a contract for an overseas company, this is by the way chapter 11. So what support are you gonna get from this!!!!
    anonymous
  • re Nortel & TO

    Your an idiot mate, what kind of comment is that. Name one Australian vendor end to end that could supply this contract.....0. Chapter 11 is the way to clear your liabilities, Nortel will start selling its assets to the likes of Cisco, Nokia, AL etc and the contract will be as good as any......clueless idiots you lot.
    anonymous