Canberra's AU$150m-plus annual hardware spend up for grabs

The Digital Transformation Agency has opened its hardware marketplace to sellers, covering enterprise storage, network equipment, and data cabling.

The Digital Transformation Agency (DTA) is calling for vendors to join its hardware marketplace, a place touted by the government as making it easier for government agencies to buy IT hardware products and services.

The DTA has split the hardware marketplace into three categories: Enterprise storage, network equipment, and data cabling, with optional common requirements, including asset sanitisation and disposals and "professional services".

According to the DTA, annual Commonwealth capex spend on the items covered by the hardware marketplace, excluding software and services, is approximately AU$150-AU$200 million per annum.

In a request for tender, the DTA defined requirements under enterprise storage as infrastructure storage and enterprise storage solutions that are "centralised repositories for business information providing: Common data management and protection; data sharing functions, through connections to numerous, and possibly dissimilar, computer systems; and the ability to scale without impact on existing storage environments".

Sub-categories include direct attached storage, network attached storage, object based storage, storage area network, backup and restore, complementary products, asset sanitisation and disposal services, and professional services.

The network category covers network routers, network switches, wireless access points and controllers, security appliances, complementary products, asset sanitisation and disposal services, and professional services.

Associated equipment and services includes WAN accelerators, load balancers, data centre fabric technologies, blade switching, filtering and aggregation services, and high speed interconnects.

Data cabling, meanwhile, covers modifications, repairs, and testing of existing cabling infrastructure as required by the buyer; the performance of audits and reviews of existing cabling systems; the design, installation, and testing of new cabling infrastructure; the supply of related equipment and materials to ensure the cabling is functional; the provision of professional advice and recommendations regarding cabling solutions and related technologies; the provision of other related infrastructure services as requested by the buyer; the provision of underground cabling; and the provision of power, to telecommunications and equipment rooms.

The DTA also announced it was approaching the market to create a new cloud marketplace panel (CMP) sourcing arrangement.

It said the new arrangement would better suit industry developments and respond to the changing needs of agencies.

The CMP would replace the existing cloud services panel, which the DTA said currently hosts over 500 cloud services from more than 240 sellers. The DTA said it has facilitated over AU$134 million in government cloud contracts since 2015.

The DTA in July went to tender for its digital marketplace panel, looking to stand up a new master agreement and create three new categories for government procurement.

In attempting to spread the AU$6.5 billion spent annually on IT by the Australian government, the marketplace aims to simplify the procurement process and make it easier for businesses of all sizes to access government contracts.

The agency at the time was hunting for sellers of digital services in the following areas: Strategy and policy; user research and design; agile delivery and governance; software engineering and development; support and operations; content and publishing; change and transformation; training, learning, and development; marketing, communications, and engagement; cybersecurity; data science; and emerging technologies.

It followed the government in January kicking off a refresh of the whole-of-government telecommunications panel.

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