The Government of Victoria, a state governing body in the southern part of Australia, covers 90,000 square miles and controls all aspects of government not superseded by the Commonwealth of Australia.
With 285,692 employees in 3,388 public sector bodies, the Victorian Government provides police and emergency services, government schools, public health and water and land management; public service employees also include impartial and objective policy advisers and administrative offices.
Special Minister of State Gavin Jennings is the leader of the government’s Legislative Council and one of many who help oversee the technology Victoria needs to run functionally.
Tasked with assessing the Victorian Government’s technology needs, Jennings discovered a need to update telecommunications across the state.
Victoria’s reliance on voice-only
The Victorian Government has used voice-only phone systems for years. Many of the state’s offices are a great distance apart.
Victorian Government employees were having difficulty communicating in a modern fashion with no video conferencing or messaging capabilities.
Such technology is now necessary because citizens are demanding access to government services 24/7, and more reliable communications is necessary to keep offices running.
Jennings and others in the Victorian Government have been working for years to modernize the government’s interaction with the public and internally. The natural progression was to make it cheaper and easier for public servants working in regional and rural Victoria to stay connected with audio, web and video conferencing.
The Victorian Government decided to use a 2015 Australian Department of Finance panel aimed at providing government bodies with information about cloud services that could be acquired at a low cost to help guide their decisions.
Updating technology for service, savings
The Victorian Government acted on their findings and signed a series of contracts with a number of providers that will save taxpayers $129 million – or $34 million per year – on data, voice, mobile, Internet and unified communications services.
Some of that technology includes softphones, video conferencing and instant messaging. Unified communications is a new category for the government’s purchasing guidelines, and those departments and agencies that choose to take advantage of the technology have the opportunity to choose whether the use the cloud, infrastructure-as-a-service or on- or off-premises supplier infrastructure.
Victoria officials can also opt to use a multi-channel contact center approach, allowing them to curate public comments and feedback from any digital platform into one location.
“The Victorian government is one of the largest users of telecommunications services in Victoria and like any other consumer we know it’s smart to shop around and get the best value for money,” Jennings said.
How can employees across the state feel much closer?
Victoria officials can now manage all their collaboration and communications services in one suite and with the flexibility to use their own private data center or Mitel’s existing infrastructure. With a need for regional and rural connectivity, Victoria’s employees can collaborate from anywhere.
“The market for mobile services, data and Internet services is dynamic and competitive,” Jennings said, “and we’re proud to have been able to take advantage of that competition to save Victorians $34 million per year.”
The Victorian Government learned how effective unified communications could be for the state’s agencies and took advantage of cost savings and better solutions for taxpayers.