Spark has signed a wireless and connectivity services contract with the New Zealand Fire Service, representing the company’s 100th Telecommunications-as-a-Service (TaaS) enabled customer across the country.
Specifically, the telco provided expertise across personal connectivity, WAN and fixed voice services, spanning both urban and rural locations.
The deployment means that Spark has now enabled over 100 New Zealand Government organisations with a variety of TaaS solutions, having been appointed to the panel in November 2015.
“TaaS provides Fire and Emergency New Zealand easy access to services whether that be in metro or rural locations,” New Zealand Fire Service director ICT Murray Mitchell said. “The TaaS construct means we can pick and mix with no lock in on term at a transparent cost. Making our life easier is what it’s all about.”
With government contracts announced over 18 months ago, TaaS is designed to change the way ICT services are delivered, managed and used by government agencies in New Zealand.
Specifically, the services enable the government to break through traditional agency boundaries, with Spark one of 12 telecommunications providers chosen during the original rollout in November 2015.
In theory, agencies can easily select the suppliers and services they want based on business needs, with the All of Government contract touted to save taxpayers at least $20-$30 million within the first two years.
Spark announced one of the first TaaS deployments with Statistics New Zealand in April 2016, helping a number of government agencies return to Christchurch CBD.
“As an early adopter of TaaS services from Spark, we have been able to lower our costs and workloads for communications networking, enabling us to focus on our core business - unleashing the power of data to change New Zealanders lives,” Statistics New Zealand CIO Chris Buxton said.
“Whilst significantly impacted by the Wellington earthquake in November 2016, we could quickly get our business back up and running by embracing the flexible TaaS services provided by Spark.”
Since then the telco has been refining its delivery and deployment arm to stand up a further 150 customers.
“We’re committed to ensuring we deliver innovation, savings and better services into the future,” Spark Digital CEO Jolie Hodson added.
“If we can provide government agencies with the solutions that they need to effectively collaborate, communicate and connect this will have positive effects on the economy with benefits for all New Zealand citizens.
“Spark has worked in the public sector serving hundreds of eligible customers for over 20 years. This experience gives us great insight and understanding of their specific business drivers and user needs.”
According to Hodson, TaaS allows agencies and departments to move away from an “expensive capital expenditure model”, towards a more flexible “as a service” model.
“We look forward to helping more customers in both the private and public sector adopt this type of framework,” Hodson added.
Currently, Spark’s TaaS line up of government agencies includes Inland Revenue, Ministry of Justice, Department of Corrections, Ministry of Health, New Zealand Transport Agency, MetService and Open Polytechnic among others.