IT leaders in NSW

Article image - IT leaders in NSW Part of Gosford City Council’s information center Gosford City Council (GCC) has become the first council in the country to be granted an Australian Communication & Media Authority carrier licence, allowing access to wholesale telecommunication services.

Through a strict accreditation process, GCC completed the necessary steps to become Australia’s first local government accredited NBN Co Wholesale Service Provider (WSP).

With the carrier licence, GCC will be able to provide new internal services that are underpinned by the introduction of upgraded network services such as: videoconferencing, online collaboration tools, public Wi-Fi, increased telecommuting and online training.

In addition, it is expected to generate increased staff efficiency due to the faster network speed and increased reliability.

Council’s General Manager Paul Anderson said that becoming an accredited NBN Co Wholesale Service Provider enabled council to reduce its costs and increase reliability, while also increasing speed and future proofing the organisation.

“This accreditation allows upgraded IT network services such as Fibre to the Premise (FTTP) for council staff located at remote sites, including our libraries, childcare centres, theatres, pools and numerous other council run premises and facilities.”

As a result of an Enterprise Licensing Agreement (ELA) established with global leader in virtualisation and cloud software, VMware Inc. local councils around NSW have benefited from millions of dollars in savings.

GCC spearheaded the ELA and assisted 43 councils across the state to jointly renew and extend their contracts with VMware, saving an estimated $3 million for NSW local government.

As part of the ELA, GCC itself will adopt several new virtualisation and management tools across its IT infrastructure, which includes progressively deploying VMware’s View platform to implement desktop virtualisation across more than 600 desktops and laptops that are currently used by staff.

This centralised management will provide council employees with improved mobility and increase their service delivery levels.

Council’s Manager of Information Management & Technology Gregory Punshon said that like most organisations, council experiences a tremendous enthusiasm for technology from their customers.

“We also feel the challenge of budgets - councils provide services to the community and every major investment in technology must be offset against some other service.”

He added that GCC’s focus throughout the process was on giving the workforce what it needs to be efficient and effective and ensuring the community has access to the information and services they require.

GCC drew on its experienced technical and legal teams to broker the multi council arrangement, which is also integral to state wide goals around government sustainability and service innovation.

Council’s IT Coordinator Jamie Beal said that technological innovations such as this are critical to providing cost effective services to the community.

“By renewing this ELA agreement across 43 councils, we’ve broadened access to these modular solution bundles and VMware’s supporting technical expertise, in what should yield significant flow–on service improvements.”