Veterans' dept adopts rich IP technology project

The Department of Veterans' Affairs is to undertake a multimillion dollar project to implement converged voice, data and phone messaging solution.

The new IP network will allow DVA to offer efficient, more cost-effective delivery of information and services to Australia's veterans and war widows in areas radiating out from the department's IT hub and head office in Canberra, as well as its state and regional offices. DVA operates 57 sites nationally.

Communications networks provider, Avaya and NSC yesterday announced the multimillion dollar deal with IBM Global Services to supply an Avaya converged voice, data and phone messaging solution to the department.

IBM Global Services is managing the project as part of a fully outsourced agreement including service delivery of the Avaya solution by NSC, according to officials.

Carlton Taya, managing director, Avaya Australia, said the deal will bring benefits and efficiencies to DVA and "turns what has been a fairly conservative government department into a leader in the adoption of IP technology".

Craig Neil, managing director, NSC, said it's rare for such a large government department to need to upgrade its voice systems and LAN at the same time, presenting the opportunity to install a converged IP network and significantly improve ROI.

Neil said the benefits of managing a single converged network are going to be greater in the long run than managing multiple networks.

According to officials, back-to-back service level agreements (SLAs) between DVA and IBM Global Services, and IBM Global Services and NSC provide DVA with a guaranteed response and a high-availability voice and data network.

Neil said NSC will cover the support requirements of IBM Global Services and DVA using its Assist Network.

A component of DVA's contract extension with IBM Global Services, to take effect from February 2003, includes the roll-out of infrastructure for the local area network (LAN) and for IP telephony solutions.

Avaya Cajun Network Switching equipment will replace the current LAN infrastructure.

All 6000 ports on the LAN backbone will be linked via the wide area network.

At regional and suburban sites, both voice and LAN functions will be provided by Avaya's latest converged IP solution, the new Avaya MultiVantage software operating on an Avaya S8300 media server fitted to an Avaya G700 media gateway. DVA's five large city sites will deploy Avaya S8700 Media Servers fitted to Avaya SCC1 Media Gateways.

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