Vic Gov Announces TPAMS Overhaul

Following the release of its first IT Strategy last week, the Victorian Government has announced that it will overhaul its lucrative Telecommunications Purchasing and Management Strategy (TPAMS). TPAMS is the framework whereby the government procures telecommunications and IT services and equipment from eligible providers – currently Telstra, Optus and NEC.

This is huge deal, with the potential for enormous cost-changes across a range of ICT services. Hopefully these changes will be positive for customers.

TPAMS was put in place ten years ago, and is provides about $150 million of ICT services to the Victorian public sector each year.

The overhaul is necessary, according to the government, in order to ‘take advantage of changing supply conditions and the evolution of new service offerings’. The framework will be separated into five service areas: data services, voice services, mobile services, internet services and unified communications. All agencies must acquire services from these ‘panels’.

The expectation is that this overhaul will achieve both cost savings and improvements in customer satisfaction. All eligible providers - everyone must re-tender - will be required to offer services with identical contract terms, in order to make it easier for public sector customers to choose primarily based on price, thus smoothing the task of large-scale procurement (state governments operate on a pretty big scale).

In practical terms, however, factors besides cost will obviously come into play. Can you imagine Telstra, say, will waste any opportunity to highlight the superiority of its mobile services? It is a competitive advantage that they have spent a great deal of effort and money achieving. Apples to apples comparisons are always the ideal, if one forever beyond reach.

In any case, Dog and Bone has several clients who use TPAMS services, and more who might if it were to become more competitive with other specifically targeted government pricing structures. We very much looks forward to seeing what the new TPAMS pricing looks like, across all service sectors.

The new arrangements will be in place for the next ten years, with an allowance made for two carrier pricing refreshes in that time.