Frequently Asked Questions about the TaaS Programme
Answers to agencies' most common questions. If your question isn't here, please contact the programme team on email@example.com.
- What will the benefits be for agencies using TaaS services?
- Is there a government agency briefing planned on TaaS?
- Can government agencies “pick and mix” some TaaS services? Will it support a multiple vendor approach?
- What are the timeframes for TaaS?
- What happens to contracts with current suppliers such as DIA’s one.govt contract and MBIE’s Mobile Voice and Data contract?
- Will the new TaaS services be mandated?
- How will transition work given my current contracts for the variety of services have different end dates?
- Will there be any overlaps with other common capabilities?
- Will there be a lead agency fee?
- Where do I find out more information about the TaaS programme?
- When will other providers be added to the TaaS panel?
TaaS is a programme of work to develop a new Government ICT Common Capability for telecommunications and managed security services. An ICT Common Capability is technology services developed for government that all government agencies can use.
TaaS addresses a growing need to provide a broad range of telecommunication and managed security services that better support the achievement of the Government ICT Strategy and Action Plan to 2017 and Government’s Better Public Service Results 9 and 10.
TaaS will provide the foundational services required to achieve these objectives by simplifying and improving network connectivity between agencies, and providing new services to better manage security risks.
The goal of the TaaS programme is to enable more joined-up government and shift the ownership of telecommunications and security technology and the specialist skills required to support these technologies, to suppliers operating in a competitive and innovative market that is capable of meeting government needs for telecommunications and managed security services.
It is intended that TaaS solutions will be delivered ‘as a service’ which means agencies will be able to buy the capability on demand without the need to over provision or own and maintain any internal infrastructure. This has many advantages for agencies of all sizes:
- Improves the ability for agencies to share data with each other and their customers across multiple networks
- Removes complexity and security as a barrier to change
- Significantly lowers the cost of change for agencies and allows them to always operate with the most updated tools
- Provides improved security tools and approaches to enable agencies to better manage their risk profiles
- Decreases the duplication of services and connections across government
- Enables a standardised platform, which could be supplied and managed by several providers. Agencies will have the choice of providers and service solutions to give them flexibility to meet their business and customer needs.
- Allows greater mobility by securely connecting to IaaS from any authorised device
- Creates a market that supports innovation and continually evolves, taking advantage of new technology to better support government’s needs.
There will be an agency briefing during the Government ICT Common Capabilities Forum in April. In the meantime, agency engagement teams from both DIA and MBIE will be talking to agencies about TaaS during their regularly scheduled meetings.
If agencies have any queries they can contact the engagement teams from DIA and MBIE or email the TaaS programme on firstname.lastname@example.org.
The intention is to give agencies choice and flexibility to meet their business needs as well as the ability to take advantage of innovation in the telecommunications and managed security space. TaaS services will be provided by a panel of service providers in several categories - communications, connectivity, managed security, contact centre, and aggregation service that will be supported by professional and transition services. There will also be a panel providing extra specialist capability for the Emergency Services Network.
Agencies will be able to choose their provider from each category depending upon their own business needs.
If agencies choose different suppliers either from within each category or between categories they will have the choice to manage all providers themselves or use an aggregation service to manage all the service providers on behalf of the agency. Using an aggregation service means the agency only needs to deal with one service provider but can take advantage of using different providers for different needs. Aggregation services will be provided by a TaaS panel or agencies currently subscribed to the ITMS common capability, can use their ITMS aggregation service to manage TaaS providers.
The Request for Proposals (RFP) was released late November 2014 and the opportunity to submit proposals closed on 27 February 2015. It is anticipated that TaaS services will be available for agencies to consume later in 2015.
There will be more communication to agencies once we know more about the panels and when the services will be provided.
Government is seeking options to transform how it uses telecommunications and managed security services, building on the success of existing capabilities such as the one.govt and Mobile Voice and Data agreements currently in place. These arrangements will be an important consideration in any proposed future state.
The contracts with current suppliers remain in place for the time being and will co-exist with any new TaaS contracts for a period of time. Until we know the exact nature of the TaaS agreement we cannot confirm how long this may continue but our focus will be on ensuring a smooth transition for agencies to the new agreements.
The existing GCIO ICT mandates with the current suppliers will remain in place until we have a good understanding of the new service arrangements and any mandate can be considered within this context. This consideration may result in the modification, removal or enhancement of this mandate.
It’s too early to tell. We need to go through the process first before a decision is made. It is not possible to predict the final composition of the service provider panel and the catalogue of TaaS services, and therefore how the mandate mechanisms should be applied.
The aim of TaaS is to create a catalogue of compelling telecommunications and managed security services that agencies actively adopt. Although we anticipate that mandating TaaS services will not be required, it is an option available to government to drive system-wide outcomes and will be considered as the potential service catalogue is defined and understood.
As we go through the RFP process we will be focussing on establishing pathways or off ramps for smooth transitions between current services and the new TaaS services. We acknowledge that some contracts may run in parallel for a period of time to enable these transitions.
How the TaaS services interact and support the capabilities and functionality of the existing ICT common capabilities will be explored as the proposals from the service providers are evaluated and the TaaS service catalogue and supplier panel is better understood.
The Government Chief Information Officer and Treasury are currently exploring options for all future Government ICT Common Capability funding. Once this process is completed we will have a better idea of if there will be any lead agency fees for the TaaS Common Capability.
If your question isn’t answered here, please contact the TaaS Programme team on email@example.com. The team will be happy to help in any way they can.
Having only recently chosen the TaaS panel suppliers and agency uptake of services still being in its infancy, it is expected that in panel changes would be initiated only by compelling events, such as changes in the supplier market, technology evolution, or government demand. Suppliers who believe a compelling event has arisen can submit a case direct to the TaaS team: firstname.lastname@example.org
The DIA is developing an application process for potential new TaaS panel suppliers, which will be published on the GETS website. Suppliers who would like to be notified when the application process is published should register on GETS under the Information Technology Broadcasting and Telecommunications category.