• State of California Releases CalNet III RFI, initiating new multi-billion dollar Telecom Procurement

    February 25th, 2011 by admin Categories: Blogs Tags: , , , , , , ,

    The much anticipated arrival of the huge, multi-billion dollar CalNet III telecommunication procurement finally has hit the streets. Previously heralded by California Technology Agency officials CTO Adrian Farley and Acting State CIO Christy Quinlan on the WWW.TechLeader.TV Webcast, the CalNet III RFI was issued this afternoon (February 25, 2011). With just over two months to respond, this will surely generate a lot of interest.

    While CalNet III will cover all existing services offered in CalNet II, fortunately, the CalNet III RFI states that bidders are “encouraged to respond, and to go beyond the RFI borders to provide creative new ideas and information that would help the State solidify its approach and develop a blueprint for today and into the future.”  Current annual expenditure for the service modules and service components offered by the current CALNET II contractors and Department of General Services are nearly half a billion dollars.

    Most interesting are new versions of five Service Modules in CalNet III, one more than CalNet II with specific changes including:

    Module 1 Voice Services Both traditional and IP based services including local and long distance calling as a fee for service offering.

    Module 2 Data Services Provide and support a Wide Area Network (WAN) infrastructure that transports both legacy and IP data traffic and includes data equipment

    Module 3 Call Center Services Provide and support a network based infrastructure supporting call center services such as interactive voice response, automatic call distribution, computer telephony services and associated consulting services.

    Module 4 – Cloud Services The capability to provide in the cloud processing, storage, networks, and other fundamental computing resources where the consumer is able to deploy and run arbitrary software, which can include operating systems and applications.

    Module 5 – Wireless Provide and support wireless voice and data services and equipment.

    Let’s hope the state keeps its word and really does encourage innovation and creativity. I remember similar words expressed by DGS when the CalNet II RFI was published in 2004, and it caused a huge donnybrook when the CalNet II RFP was issued after extensive “innovation and creativity” by various vendors in their RFI responses were left on the editing room floor, and it was basically a CaLNet II doppelgänger. Well, DGS Telecom is no more, as we know it’s part of the new California Technology Agency. We’ll see if that’s makes a difference.

    As you telecom gurus know, CalNet III is the third generation of state telecommunications outsourcing initiated in 1998, and its value back then was estimated at well over $1 billion. CalNet I served 160 state agencies and over 2,000 local government entities, splitting spending approximately 40%/60% respectively. CalNet I services included local and long distance voice, toll free, calling card, simple business lines, consolidated services including Centrex and CentraNet, voice mail data services ATM, frame relay, building wiring, and our favorite consulting and other services. It effectively got the State of California out of the telephone systems business which at that time was perhaps apocryphally said to be the largest west of the Mississippi.

    By the time CalNet II was rebid in 2005 California state and local governments utilizing it had exceeded $2 billion in expenditures – 60% of services were voice related and 40% data, but significantly, the former was growing only 1% per year while the latter 10%.

    CalNet II was modified to reflect this trend and other rapidly moving technological advances. There were four so-called modules in the second generation CalNet:

    1.      Core Services – All the local voice & data from CalNet I

    2.      Long Distance Services for Voice similar to CalNet I

    3.      Internet Protocol Services – An alternative solution to traditional voice, video and data services available in Modules 1 and 2, and

    4.      Broadband Fixed Wireless Access Services.

    CalNet III appears to have followed tradition in expanding services to accommodate changing technologies, particularly wireless, and other considerations. As we said earlier, let’s hope so.

    Story developing…

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