NZ Post snubs current vendor relationships

The company is looking for a partner that can support it in the "significant operational, business and cultural changes" it needs to make, centred on adopting a more innovative culture.

New Zealand Post is calling for a fresh approach from technology vendors in its network-as-a-service tender due next month.

“New Zealand Post does not want similar partner relationships to those it has today,” it says in the Request for Proposal.

The company is looking for a partner that can support it in the “significant operational, business and cultural changes” it needs to make, centred on adopting a more innovative culture.

It is “looking for partners that will sit at New Zealand Post’s table playing a valuable and contributing role for New Zealand Post’s business, and not one driven by tasks or statements of work.

The RFP provides a detailed look at the size of the challenge for the successful supplier.

Post’s and Kiwibank’s networks have built up incrementally over many years and the last time network services were comprehensively put to tender was in 2003. “Network services are supplied by many different suppliers without a cohesive design,” says Post in the RFP. Some NZ Post sites have connections to as many as seven different networks.

Existing equipment “has been kept in place to the point that it is out of support and is technologically obsolete,” Post says. This effectively prevents upgrade and hence improvement in cost and efficiency over many of the networks.

“The exception is Kiwibank corporate office where at the network transport and the local-area network levels, modern high capacity switches have recently been deployed,” Post says.

The organisation, hard-pressed financially, is looking to make major savings by rationalising its networks and having “a modern infrastructure delivered as a utility service.”

This means an emphasis on cloud-based and other services that can be “rented” as and when needed, shifting expenditure from capital to operational budgets.

Replacement of equipment for a conventional network “would typically require sizeable capital investment, at a time when opportunities to diversify growth or streamline existing business processes have precedence on available capital,” it says.

A new service is expected to allow consolidation of the physical links into NZ Post’s 34 large sites (mail sorting and logistics centres and depots) and 382 medium and small centres (including Post Shops, ATMs and business banking centres). Hence it is expecting to achieve “better manageability to lower costs and improve services.”

Closing date for proposals is August 15 and Post expects to sign an agreement with the successful respondent by October.

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