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Government finalises datacentre panel suppliers

The Australian government has added the last few suppliers to its datcentre facilities supplies panel.

The Department of Finance has finalised its list of datacentre facilities suppliers, with 17 companies now on the panel to provide datacentre services to Australian government agencies.

The government sought requests for tender back in August last year for companies to apply for the panel for scalable and flexible datacentre facilities supplies located in Australia. The aim of the panel is to make it easier for government agencies to procure datacentre services, with better pricing and pre-determined contract terms.

This panel is in addition to the government's existing datacentre-as-a-service multi-use list, which currently has 104 suppliers offering over 1,500 services.

The first companies were added to the panel in July , and in a blog post yesterday, the Department of Finance announced that there is a total of 17 contractors now on the panel, following the addition of the last five members — Macquarie Telecom, Red Cloud, iseek, NTT, and Datacom.

The 17 suppliers will operate 35 sites around Australia, the department said, with 29 sites on offer today and another six sites in development due to come online between now and 2016.

It comes as Australian government chief technology officer John Sheridan is reviewing the IT panels used by the government to determine the value of the panels for its participants, amid industry concerns that the panels are not delivering value for the money that companies invest to participate.

Australian Information Industry Association (AIIA) CEO Suzanne Campbell told ZDNet last month that the cost of joining the panels is a concern for the IT companies that are members of the industry group.

"It's immensely expensive. The situation is, across the country, we have very many panels. Panels need to be refreshed on a regular basis, and as panels are refreshed, that incurs an additional cost," Campbell said.

Campbell said that the cost also doesn't guarantee any contract wins for the companies involved.

"Simply being on a panel and keeping data up to date doesn't mean you're going to get any business. So it can be a very, very significant cost without any reward at all."