Optimise enterprise telecommunications services

We are working with NSW Government buyers to maximise value for money when buying enterprise telecommunications services such as:

  • fixed data
  • internet connectivity
  • mobile
  • network applications
  • voice services

A range of tools, advice and information are available to buyers at each stage of the service lifecycle.

Buying enterprise telecommunications services

The following policy, standards and templates are available as guides for buying telecommunications services.

Telecommunications procurement policy

As per PBD-2019-02-Telecommunications Procurement, when buying telecommunications services with a total contract value of more than $100,000 NSW Government agencies must:

  1. Buy through the Telecommunications Purchasing Arrangements (Contract 2210).
  2. Cap the maximum term of contracts (including extension options) to:
    • three years for mobile and fixed voice services
    • four years for data and internet services in metropolitan areas
    • five years for data and internet services in all other areas.
  3. Seek quotes from at least three providers for telecommunications services at contract expiry, unless purchasing the lowest price offer through Contract 2210.
  4. Include an analysis of the effect of proposals on competition within the marketplace with any assessment of proposals.
  5. Provide data related to telecommunications agreements to the Procurement and Technical Standards - Working Group upon request.

Telecommunications Commercial Principles provides general guidance on how to approach the market. These principles should be considered when developing a sourcing strategy.

Telecommunications purchasing arrangement

NSW Government has introduced the Telecommunications Purchasing Arrangement (TPA) for buying telecommunication services.

The TPA is a panel to purchase standardised fixed voice, mobile, internet, network applications and fixed data services.

It specifies:

  • what services can be purchased
  • how much you should pay
  • how to make the procurement process simpler for both buyers and suppliers.

TPA ensures that buyers with limited volume can purchase at the same price as larger buyers while encouraging competition and innovation. Suppliers to TPA include:

  • Ace Internet
  • Active8me
  • Macquarie Government
  • Kinetix Networks
  • Plus ES
  • Premier Tech
  • Superloop
  • Tasmanet
  • DDA
  • Optus
  • Telstra
  • Transgrid
  • TPG
  • MyNetFone
  • Vertel
  • Vocus

TPA has been designed for flexibility. New suppliers, services and service towers can be added over time as your needs, technology and the market evolve.

Procurement standards

TPA is based on standard specifications for five service towers.

Service management requirements apply to all service towers and are defined in the common services specification.

Standard specifications are available for download:

Supplier compliance to each specification, pricing catalogue for standard services as well as tools and templates are available on request.

You can request access by completing the TPA Service Catalogue request form.

The use of TPA is mandatory for NSW Government agencies. For detailed information, see the TPA Contract Guide.

Additional considerations when buying fixed data services

The Link Sharing Principles encourage buyers to share fixed data links and where they are co-located.

We have developed a Link Sharing Portal to help you identify sharing opportunities. This lists the location of all known NSW Government fixed data services as at 2019.

If a service exists at your planned location, please contact the host agency to discuss your requirements.

For access to the portal, email the Strategic Sourcing Team.

Optimising enterprise telecommunications services

Once a contract is established with a provider, value for money can erode if services are not managed effectively. We recommend you undertake a range of activities to ensure that value is maintained over time.

We can provide support to you through this process. For further information, email the Strategic Sourcing Team.

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.

We have developed the Bill Check Portal to assist you in this task. Features of this tool include:

  • visualising current spend by service tower, cluster and agency
  • viewing spend history per service type
  • identifies savings opportunities including zero usage services and services with low utilisation
  • ability to generate detailed reports on per service cost and usage
  • benchmarking various spend metrics against other agencies and clusters

Email the Strategic Sourcing Team to request a login 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 an annual activity or monthly as expenditure reports are released. Opportunities include:

  • cancellation of under-utilised services
  • plan optimisation of over-utilised services such as mobile services 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

We can help you review your spend and assist in the development of a Telecommunications Savings Strategy. For more information, email the Strategic Sourcing Team.

3. Review billing
From time to time, buyers are over billed for telecommunications services. To mitigate the risk of overcharging, we recommend 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.

Contractors must keep records relevant to the performance of the contract including that which is necessary to determine the accuracy of its invoices.

We are currently coordinating audits on behalf of large buyers. Email the Strategic Sourcing Team to take part.

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.

We recommend 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. 

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, email the Strategic Sourcing Team.

5. Manage your supplier
A supplier performance management framework is necessary to ensure services are commissioned and delivered according to expectations.

We recommend that you meet with suppliers regularly to ensure that new services are brought online quickly, restoration of service faults are appropriately prioritised and legacy services are transitioned.

We meet 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, email the Strategic Sourcing Team.

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.

Going mobile

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.

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
  • be more flexible and innovative in our service provision
  • use our workforce to its best effect.
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