NEC Australia upgrades WA Health networks

Signs contracts worth $23 million as part of ‘HealthNext’ transformation

NEC Australia will deliver network upgrades for more than 500 WA Health sites in regional and remote parts of Western Australia.

The contracts, worth $23 million, are part of WA Health’s HealthNext ICT transformation program.

HealthNext, which kicked off in September 2017, is the name for WA Health’s transition to GovNext-ICT: A whole-of-government procurement scheme that seeks to shift agencies towards ‘as a service’ offerings.

Shared services organisation Health Support Services (HSS) is leading the implementation of HealthNext.

“NEC is very pleased to partner with WA Health on their transformation journey and we look forward to delivering innovative solutions that underpin their digital services strategy,” NEC Australia’s WA State Manager Marcus Ashby said in a statement.

Ashby said that NEC Australia has signed around 180 orders with 35 WA agencies as part of GovNext. Atos, Datacom and NEC are the ‘consortia primes’ for GovNext.

HealthNext “will provide fast and reliable access to critical health systems while enabling us to better utilise digital innovation to support a more patient-centric and sustainable health system,” said HSS chief information officer, Holger Kaufmann.

Last month Atos announced that as part of HealthNext it will oversee the migration of the WA Health to Oracle-based cloud services as part of a five-year, $124 million contract.

Atos said it would provide WA Health with “private cloud, managed public cloud, hybrid cloud orchestration, co-location and managed services for 2000 servers, over 1000 applications, and a fully managed Oracle Cloud platform.”

The Atos Managed Public Cloud (MPC) solution, which is based on ServiceNow, will provide a single “pane of glass” for cloud consumption, Atos said.

GovNext kicked off under the former Liberal state government with the ambition of slashing ICT spending. A report by WA’s auditor general released in August last year found that although it would reduce government ICT costs, the GovNext business case had presented a rosy picture when it came to potential savings.

“Assumptions used to develop the Business Case did not fairly reflect agency ICT services or pricing, and presented a best case picture of potential savings,” the report said.

“The take-up of program services to date is also low. Many agencies we consulted are reluctant to buy services while several barriers to adoption remain unresolved, including advice and assurances around security and service continuity. However, the program has started to progress the State’s ICT strategic objectives, by reducing the number of agencies that own and maintain ICT infrastructure.”