Diverse requirements are evident in a series of tenders for communications and networking services released over the last week.
Victoria University is putting its internet connectivity services up to tender as the current contract, with Snap, expires at the end of the year. Meanwhile, in a unique tender, the Ministry of Justice is seeking a supplier of "mobile communications, personal alarm and monitoring services" to help protect its team of 130 bailiffs.
Stuart Haselden, Victoria University's director of IT Services, says apart from the current contract heading for expiration, there is an increasing need for internet bandwidth to support teaching, learning and research initiatives.
"Although there are no significant requirement changes we are looking for a supplier who can provide flexible services adapted to our academic environment and can provide value-add services to help manage internet traffic," he says.
Bandwidth between 50 and 200Mbit/s, national or international, is required but suppliers should be able to handle higher demand, the tender says.
The University has high seasonality, so proposals that offer bandwidth increases or decreases at relatively short notice will be preferred.
The Ministry of Justice says its bailiffs are required to exercise their legislative powers to execute civil and fines warrants, including the seizure of property and the execution of evictions, as well as to serve documents. "In the course of their interaction with the public from time to time, bailiffs may find themselves in a situation where they feel there is a risk to their health and safety," the tender says. "Bailiffs are expected to remove themselves from the risk and to call Police for assistance using a cell phone. "However, instances can occur where bailiffs are unable to remove themselves and/or unable to call Police on a cell phone, for example, because they are being blocked in, or because being seen calling on the cell phone may increase the immediate risk of harm." Currently the ministry provides bailiffs with a device they can activate which triggers a call with GPS information to a monitoring company, which in turn calls the Police.
The system was implemented in 2005 and the ministry is now seeking information on new options for the delivery of these services.
The Department of Conservation is in the market for telephony, mobile and paging services after a contract with Telecom's Gen-i, which supplied the services for the past five years, expired. The contract expired on 30 June and in agreement with Gen-i, is currently extended month by month until February 2010. Among listed challenges, DOC notes its funding from government has been reduced as part of the 2009 Budget, "which has created a greater emphasis on reducing costs wherever possible". Also, DOC's offices are widely spread throughout New Zealand and are often in remote areas. "This presents challenges for DOC as there is often a lack of major network infrastructure and skilled service personnel in many of these locations. Often costs for accessing the infrastructure that DOC needs to improve its operations are prohibitive. "Suppliers responding to this RFP are encouraged to propose innovative ways that will enable DOC to take advantage of technical/network developments occurring in the IT and T industry."
DOC adds that it has a small IT team due to outsourcing which places dependence on its suppliers to provide consistent quality advice and service.
"Frustratingly, the National Office staff are too frequently involved in managing issues with suppliers. This needs to be addressed in the new contract(s)," it says.