The Department of Finance, Services and Innovation is working with NSW Government buyers to maximise value for money when procuring enterprise telecommunications services such as fixed data, internet connectivity, mobile, network applications and voice services. A range of tools, advice and information are available to buyers at each stage of the service lifecycle. Click on the links below for more information.
Buying enterprise telecommunications services
The following policy, standards and templates are available to guide buyers as they procure telecommunications services.
Telecommunications Procurement Policy
As per PBD-2019-02-Telecommunications Procurement, when procuring telecommunications services with a total contract value exceeding $100,000 NSW Government agencies must:
- Buy through the Telecommunications Purchasing Arrangements (Contract 2210).
- Cap the maximum term of contracts (including extension options) to:
- three years for mobile and fixed voice services; or
- four years for data and internet services in metropolitan areas, or
- five years for data and internet services in all other areas.
- Seek quotes from at least three providers for telecommunications services at contract expiry, unless purchasing the lowest price offer through Contract 2210
- Include an analysis of the effect of proposals on overall competition within the marketplace with any assessment of proposals
- Provide data related to telecommunications agreements to the Procurement and Technical Standards - Working Group (PTS-WG) upon request.
DFSI-2016-01 Telecommunications Commercial Principles provide general guidance on how to approach the market. These principles should be considered when developing a sourcing strategy.
Telecommunications Purchasing Arrangement (Contract 2210)
NSW Government has introduced the Telecommunications Purchasing Arrangement (TPA) for procuring telecommunication services. The TPA is a panel to purchase standardised fixed voice, mobile, internet and fixed data services. It specifies what services can be purchased and how much buyers should pay, and has been designed to make the procurement process simpler for both buyers and suppliers. The TPA ensures that buyers with limited volume can purchase at the same price as larger buyers while encouraging competition and innovation. At this time, a number of suppliers have signed up to the TPA including Optus, Telstra, TPG, Vocus, DDA, Transgrid, Vertel and MyNetFone. The TPA has been designed for flexibility. New suppliers, services and service towers can be added over time as buyer's needs, technology and the market evolve.
The TPA is based on standard specifications for five service towers (fixed data, internet, fixed voice, mobile and network applications). Standard specifications are available for download from the links below. Service Management requirements apply to all service towers and are defined in the common services specification.
|Fixed Data||Service Description||Requirements|
|Internet Service||Service Description||Requirements|
|Fixed Voice||Service Description||Requirements|
|Mobile Service||Service Description||Requirements|
|Network Applications||Service Description||Requirements|
|Common Services||Service Description||Requirements|
Supplier compliance to each specification, pricing for standard services as well as tools and templates are available to eligible buyers on request. Access can be requested by completing the TPA Service Catalogue request form. The use of the TPA is mandatory for NSW Government agencies. For detailed information see the TPA Contract Guide on ProcurePoint.
Additional Considerations for Procurement of Fixed Data Services
As set out in the Link Sharing Principles, buyers are encouraged to share fixed data links where they are co-located. DFSI has developed a Link Sharing Portal to help buyers identify sharing opportunities. This link lists location of all known NSW Government fixed data services. If a service exists at your planned location, please contact the host agency to discuss your requirements. For access to the portal email the Telecommunications Optimisation Group.
Optimising enterprise telecommunications services
Once a contract is established with a provider, value for money can erode quickly if services are not managed effectively. DFSI recommends that buyers undertake a range of activities periodically to ensure that value is maintained over time. DFSI can provide support to buyers through this process. For further information contact the Telecommunications Optimisation Group.
1. Monitor Spend
The first step in optimising telco services is gaining visibility on your telco spend. It is critical to understand what you are buying and how much each type of service costs. DFSI has developed the Bill Check Portal to assist government buyers in this task. Features of this tool include:
- Visualising current spend by service tower, cluster and agency
- Viewing spend history per service type
- Ability to generate detailed reports on per service cost and usage
- Benchmarking various spend metrics against other agencies and clusters
- Monthly reporting highlighting top spenders, nil usage services and services with low utilisation
Please contact Telecommunications Optimisation Group to request a login and/or training on how to use the portal.
2. Optimise Services
Agencies are encouraged to use spend information to identify inefficiencies. This could be undertaken as a one-off activity (annually) or monthly as expenditure reports are released. Opportunities include:
- Cancellation of under-utilised services
- Plan optimisation of over-utilised services such as handsets which are exceeding their data allocation
- Services which are being charged at above market rate
- Legacy services which could be migrated to a lower cost alternative
- Savings which could arise from better managing demand
DFSI can facilitate a review of your spend and assist in the development of a Telecommunications Savings Strategy (TSS). For more information, please contact the Telecommunications Optimisation Group
3. Review billing
From time to time, buyers are over billed for telecommunications services. To mitigate the risk of overcharging, DFSI recommends that buyers maintain a copy of any contracts under which services have been ordered. It is also recommended that buyers periodically conduct a billing audit to ensure that invoices reflect agreed rates. Under Procure IT v3.2 buyers have the right to annually audit a contractor’s compliance to the contract. Furthermore, contractors must keep records relevant to the performance of the contract including that which is necessary to determine the accuracy of its invoices.
DFSI is currently coordinating audits on behalf of large buyers. Contact the Telecommunications Optimisation Group to participate.
4. Manage Demand
A key part of managing your telco spend is ensuring that you are buying what you need. One way of doing this is to ensure that the costs of commodity telco services, such as mobile devices, is born and signed off by the business unit incurring the charge.
DFSI recommends that all government buyers engage the services of a professional Telecommunications Expense Management Services (TEMS) firm to assist in the allocation of costs. A TEMS provider may also be able to assist in the monitoring of your expenditure, identification of optimisation opportunities and review of billing data.DFSI has created a TEMS panel with pre-agreed pricing to speed up the process of engaging a partner.
There are also many other ways of managing demand. Some examples are listed below:
- Sharing fixed data services where buyers are physically collocated. Look for at already available services that can be shared at the Link Sharing Portal.
- Use of BYOD to minimise need to purchase services.
- Ensuring that device types and mobile services are appropriate for different types of roles. This may be achieved through agency or cluster level purchasing guidelines.
- Encouraging purchase of lower cost, more modern alternative services (such as soft phones instead of fixed phones on desks).
For further information on the TEMS panel, demand management techniques, or to access the Link Sharing Portal, contact the Telecommunications Optimisation Group.
5. Manage your supplier
A supplier performance management framework is necessary to ensure services are commissioned and delivered according to expectations. DFSI recommends that each buyer meets with suppliers regularly to ensure that new services are brought online quickly, restoration of service faults are appropriately prioritised and legacy services are transitioned.
DFSI also meets with large suppliers regularly to encourage continual improvement in service delivery at a whole of government level. If you are unsatisfied with the performance of your supplier, please contact the Telecommunications Optimisation Group.
Adopting new technology
NSW Government is undergoing a digital transformation to become more efficient and better engage with the citizens of NSW. This digital transformation includes becoming more digital on the inside through adoption of new technologies, migration of legacy infrastructure and automation of internal processes. Adopting new technology and ways of working has enabled the public sector to become more engaging, flexible, collaborative and cost effective.
We are changing the focus from the physical workspace – desks, locations, phone numbers and network cables – to a working environment that is more mobile. We are helping government work smarter using digital technology to collaborate and innovate. By leveraging digital technologies and making them work for us, we can deliver better services for the people of NSW. However, moving to a digital workspace goes beyond choosing which digital technology to invest in. It means thinking about how we can change our processes for the better; how we can be more flexible and innovative in our service provision; and how we can use our workforce to its best effect.
To help you understand what elements and information you need to consider as you make the change to a digital workspace, we have developed a series of quick-start guides (technology initiatives) and project planning guides (playbooks). Based on best practice examples and research from both public and private sectors, they are presented in an easy to-follow way to help you increase technology adoption and productivity, and reduce/manage costs. More information can be found on the Digital Workspace Site – Request access here.
Developed specifically for the NSW Government, the Playbooks have been developed as a quick reference guide for government departments, agencies and in particular, key decision makers across the NSW Government who take up the “Digital on the Inside” challenge.
Incorporating best practices and lessons learnt, the playbooks contain the strategies, approaches, programs, processes, workflows actions that an organisation executes to achieve a consistent and repeatable outcome. Find out more on the Digital Workspace Site – Request access here.
Other digital transformation initiatives
1. Move off Legacy Voice services
With the advent of NBN, the copper services are being shut down in favour of newer solutions. Telstra has announced the end of sale of their ISDN products for January 2018, and a gradual shutdown of the network ending in 2022. For more information on what services need to be switched off and how to manage decommissioning request access to Telco Discontinued Services Portal 2022.
2. Desk Phone Retirement
Many government agencies are retiring desk phones in favour of alternative technologies with greater flexibility. DFSI has developed guidance for agencies retiring desk phones. Find out more on the Digital Workspace Site – Request access here.
Collaboration tools provide flexible options for employees to communicate or engage across the digital workspace. It may include, for example, instant messaging using desktop or laptop computers; audio or video conferencing; sharing documents or presentations collaboratively; or talking to people using a headset attached to a computer. Find out more on the Digital Workspace Site – Request access here.
4. Bring Your Own Device (BYOD)
BYOD enables government employees to use their personal devices for work purposes. BYOD can benefit both employees and government by sharing the costs of mobile devices while improving flexibility in working arrangements. It is often implemented in conjunction with, or to augment, a corporate fleet of mobile devices. Sample BYOD policies and case studies are available on the Digital Workspace Site – Request access here.