Ready for some exciting news? VTS, the new State Government telecommunications pricing replacing TPAMS, is out, designed to deliver better value phone and internet for government and government supported organisations.
What is VTS?
VTS is replacing TPAMS2025 in February 2022. VTS stands for Victorian Telecommunications Services and is the State Purchase Contract (SPC) that enables government agencies and other approved entities to purchase telecommunications services under contracts negotiated by DPC (Department of Premier and Cabinet). This new framework is separated into four ‘service towers’:
Fixed Voice Services;
Data and Internet Services;
Mobility Services; and
Unified Communications and Contact Centre Services.
These services are made available to all eligible public sector agencies, which includes many NFPs, although this has been designed with government as the first priority. Dog and Bone has played a key role in getting NFP’s access to this pricing construct in the past and we intend to continue this leadership and advocacy position. When set-up with client technical and commercial outcomes as the priority, these pricing plans can deliver great solutions.
That's great, but what does it mean for me?
In a nutshell, more vendors, better choice, and more opportunity!
It basically means better services for a lower price, assuming you know what you’re doing. Luckily for you and us, we know what we’re doing.
DPC expect that transitioning from TPAMS to VTS contracts will save eligible organisations money on telecommunications. Our initial analysis of real client data agrees, finding a range of potential up to 49% (averaging 26-33%). However, these are accounts proactively managed to best practice Telecommunications Expense Management (or TEM), and we expect even higher savings are possible for many more government organisations and NFPs.
So, where do I sign?
Hold your horses! While vendors often use market changes like this to get new contracts signed, we are suggesting a systematic and analytical approach. Signing up to the new VTS is signing up to a contact worth up to millions of dollars, depending on the size of your organisation or department, and not a decision to take lightly.
It’s essential to first work out the correct technical solution for you so that you are comparing apples with apples. The consequences of a rushed sign up and transition range from increased costs and ETCs (Early Termination Charges), to paying for plans that don’t meet your team’s voice and data needs; and lacking the technical capabilities to get your job done.
With the increase in suppliers this could be a fantastic opportunity to deliver additional benefits, especially for organisations who are mandated to use VTS.
Dog and Bone’s Approach
Our experience in the previous Victorian State Government contracts is that the best outcomes are achieved when clients are first clear on their technical requirements. They then review the market and, if the Victorian Government agreements are the best fit, carefully optimise the construct to maximise outcomes.
The increased numbers of vendors, along with the new pricing, means that it is now possible to run effective tenders within available VTS. That means you can compare the commercial and technical offerings of the vendors within the VTS agreement to fit your requirements.
Whilst VTS, and TPAMS before it, makes effort to simplify things, this is still telco and IT we’re talking about, and there are a lot of moving parts. Despite identical contract terms across providers, the contracts allow for considerable customisation, and if you don’t know what to look for, it can get complicated. We have decades of collective experience in this area, and we’d love to support your purpose-driven organisation with assessing and transitioning to VTS, freeing you up to make even more positive impact in the world.
We’ve thus been highly active in the lead-up to the release of VTS to work out whether it cuts the mustard. We’re working closely with government and VTS providers to make certain we understand every nuance. We drill down into the fine detail so that our clients don’t have to, and this process has required extensive drilling. This is where our independence gets to work for you. We're interested in you getting the best result, regardless of which vendor you select.
Not only that, but Dog and Bone is in a unique position to assist organisations to transition to the new VTS agreement. We have the expertise, we have the numbers from all vendors, and we have the powerful software to crunch them. As a general guide, Dog and Bone has typically been able to add 20-50% over the standard offerings through tailoring available pricing to client benefit. We're confident we are best placed to maximise this great opportunity for NFP’s and government.
So yeah, that’s why we’re excited.
Key Points: What's changed from TPAMS?
Pricing: Initial analysis on our own clients’ accounts suggests entities may be better off under VTS pricing than with TPAMS.
Greater choice of vendors: Vendors supplying under VTS increased to 23 from the 7 available under TPAMS2025.
Service Towers updated: reduced from 5 to 4 and modified:
Mobility expanded to include satellite services, and value-added services
Fixed Voice now includes Voice Calling for Microsoft Office / Teams and conferencing services.
Data and Internet Towers have been combined.
Contact centres have been added to UC, and changed to a 'registration only' tower - meaning that there are a list of suppliers to request quotes from.
Tower Discounts removed: Discounts for using the same vendor for more than one service tower have been removed.
Increase of Term Length options: Pricing reduces the longer the contract term, ranging from zero-month contracts up to 60 months,
Introduction of “Most Favoured Terms”: Quarterly pricing updates: If pricing book changes are a drop in cost, these must be applied to all purchase orders, even retrospectively, by the supplier. How this works in practice will be interesting!
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We'd love to chat with you on how we can help through telecommunications strategy, procurement and management.