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Data#3 gets AU$600k to replace Govdex file-sharing service

The Australian Department of Finance's new 'collaborative' platform will be hosted in the public cloud.

Australian-listed business technology solutions firm Data#3 has secured a contract from the Department of Finance to create and manage a cloud-based file-sharing and "community collaboration" solution, replacing the existing Govdex platform.

The software-as-a-service solution on the public cloud using Microsoft Office 365 and Microsoft Azure will set the department back AU$656,524.

According to department CIO and CISO John Sheridan, finance will use an agile approach to deliver the service, working closely with Data#3 and several government agencies.

"The aim is to design, develop and evolve a service offering that is driven by, and responsive to, user needs," Sheridan wrote in a statement from the department.

Data#3 said the new solution will see the department enable greater interconnectivity, file sharing, and collaboration between government agencies and organisations across the public, private, and not-for-profit sectors.

It is also expected to deliver cost savings to participating agencies and provide a trusted environment for government to work with both internal and external parties.

The cloud service, used by around 90,000 individuals, will provide a single point for government employees and industry partners to work together, allowing them to share files, host discussion groups, manage tasks, conduct video broadcasts, run polls, and translate messages in real-time, among other tasks.

"We are delighted to work with the Department of Finance on this innovative initiative," Data#3 CEO and MD Laurence Baynham said in a statement. "It is a great example of how leveraging people and technology can help to drive digital transformation in the public sector."

In choosing Data#3, finance published a draft statement of requirements on December 9, 2016, with responses required the following January.

At the time, it said it would turn to the government's cloud services panel for a vendor to replace the aging Govdex solution.

The federal government operates a handful of panel agreements, including for cloud, datacentre facilities, telecommunications and telecommunications management, and IT hardware.

The panel agreements form part of a whole-of-government digital strategy created after it was revealed the government was spending over AU$5 billion per year on IT.

To date, the cloud services panel has signed up around 100 preferred vendors in addition to Data#3, with Microsoft, Datacom, IBM, and Macquarie Telecom among the first to get on board.

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