Victorian government moves towards VoIP

The Victorian government is charting a course for IP telephony with the announcement that NEC Business Systems will operate and update the government's internal CBD phone system.NEC will install a hybrid IP/PABX system that will allow any of the connected locations to use traditional telephony, VoIP, or a combination.

The Victorian government is charting a course for IP telephony with the announcement that NEC Business Systems will operate and update the government's internal CBD phone system.

NEC will install a hybrid IP/PABX system that will allow any of the connected locations to use traditional telephony, VoIP, or a combination.

"The government can strategically plan each department's transition to voice over Internet Protocol in accordance with their business requirements and overall ICT strategies," said Marsha Thomson, Minister for Information and Communication Technology.

The new Victorian Office Telephony System (VOTS) will also provide centralised network management, voicemail and billing services, plus an interface to the Victorian Government portal.

"The flexibility of the technology platform and the length of the contract will also ensure hat the Victorian government is not locked in to one technology solution and can take advantage of new and innovative technologies as they become available," said Thomson.

Testing will begin in June, with a progressive rollout between July and April 2005.

NEC beat CSC Australia, Optus and Telstra for the contract, which will cut costs by at least AU$1 million per year over three to five years, a saving of around 15 percent.

This is the first major update of the government's office phone system in nearly 20 years, and the first contract awarded under the government's Telecommunications Purchasing and Management Strategy (TPAMS). TPAMS will progressively replace the StateNet telephony facilities management contract that covers 41 sites around Victoria, the VicOne data services contract (4500 sites) and the Telecommunications Purchasing Strategy.