New agencies sign up to government shared network

Archives New Zealand and Te Puni Kokiri have signed up and other contracts are pending, says SSC

Two more agencies have signed up to use the government’s new shared network and more contracts are pending, according to the State Services Commission.

Archives New Zealand and Te Puni Kokiri have both opted for the service, joining the Department of Labour, Maritime New Zealand and the State Services Commission (SSC), which is managing the project.

The SSC says contracts with the Ministry of Education and others are also pending.

Archives New Zealand chief executive Dianne Macaskill says the network will give the agency the capability to support its future strategic IT requirements, such as transmitting voice over the computer network (VoIP) and setting up an external disaster recovery infrastructure.

“Increased bandwidth between our regional sites means we will be able to manage event-driven peaks more easily and we will have the costs benefits that come from being part of a shared network,” she says.

“Our role is to keep government records and as such it is important to maintain and keep up with the latest in technology and provide a high level of security for our holdings.”

She says the shared network will enhance Archives’ relationships and collaboration with other agencies.

Te Puni Kokiri chief executive Leith Comer echoes those views on collaboration, but is taking a softly, softly approach to adoption. He says the agency, which advises the Crown on its relationship with Maori, will start with a few basic GSN (government shared network) services and take up more offerings over time.

“In terms of our existing data communications arrangements, our participation in GSN will mean either the same or less cost to us and it will allow us to continue with our push towards simplification of our network architecture”, he says.

Some staff have been seconded to the project, he says.

The GSN has been developed by a consortium of vendors, including IBM, FXNetworks, Asnet, Datacom and Revera. Telecom has responded to the project by launching a network product called Tahi.

The SSC’s deputy commissioner of information and communications technologies, Laurence Millar, says the network is designed to meet the needs of the state sector.

“It enables inter-agency collaboration, and facilitates easier and more efficient access to information across a dedicated infrastructure secured to government standards,” he says.

“All of government benefits from technology efficiencies, by developing, managing and operating [both] common tools and networks ... the GSN is an integral part of this strategy.”

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