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Australian Taxation Office seeks to replace its managed network services

Work divided into six separate modules.
Written by Aimee Chanthadavong, Contributor

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has issued a request for tender (RFT) to find one or multiple suppliers to help replace its current managed network services (MNS) contract.

The ATO said given that the current contract is due to expire on 30 June 2020, the agency is looking to re-approach the market with the aim of delivering reliable experiences to clients.

"In light of the ATO's current and future needs, the MNS program looks to support improved flexibility and availability, increased use of the cloud, changes in usage and optimising costs over time," the ATO explained in the RFT.

"The commercial arrangement will move from a single agreement to a multi-source agreement."

The agency has divided the work into six modules, with this specific RFT focused on three of those modules: network manager (NM), unified communications (UC), and contract centre (ConC).

The remaining modules -- data carriage and internet, fixed voice, and mobile services -- are being procured through a relevant whole of-government panel via separate request for quotation, the ATO said.

Specifically, within the NM module, the successful supplier will be responsible for the end-to-end management, monitoring, operation, and improvement of all ATO networks. This includes a range of services, such as operational management of the providers of data carriage and internet connections, and the provision and management of LAN/WLAN services to ATO sites.

Read also: ATO called out for not tracking costs in digital transformation program  

Meanwhile the supplier for the UC services will operate and improve services including chat, telephony, video, web and audio conferencing, and video streaming.

"The UC service provider must provide, manage, and maintain the service which enables the ATO to communicate, collaborate, and exchange information from any defined device, regardless of location," the ATO said.

As for the ConC service provider, the ATO said they would support the agency's interactions with Australian citizens, other government agencies and internally, with specific services to include all aspects of the ATO contact centre solution portfolio, bulk SMS, call recording, web chat, virtual assistant, voice biometrics, and platform quality assurance.

According to the ATO, the replacement of the current managed network services is one of six parts of the agency's "improving ATO IT systems" (IAIS) program that was established after a number of ATO stakeholders experienced system unreliability between December 2016 and February 2017.

"The goal of the IAIS program is to address key priorities in the ATO's technology and business strategies," the documents said.

"These outages brought into focus the critical reliance the taxation community places on ATO digital services, business service continuity, and demand from Government on new revenue streams."

The other five sub-programs within the IAIS program include modernising the ATO's telephony and contract centre platforms; end-user tool and technology; establishing a data centre and secure internet gateway; and modernising applications.

The initial contract period for the RFT has been set for three years to begin by 30 June 2020. There is the option for the ATO to extend the contract up to three times, each for up to two years, giving a total contract period of nine years.

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