Networking services specialist NEC Australia will upgrade more than 500 health sites by 2020 for the Western Australia (WA) Department of Health, as part of its HealthNext ICT transformation program.

The $23 million contract comes from the $409 million HealthNext infrastructure replacement project, led the department’s health support agency, health Support Services (HHS).

“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 noted now NEC Australia has now signed in the vicinity of 180 orders with 35 WA government agencies connected to the state’s GovNext strategy

Light on the details, NEC Australia said only that the network upgrade would “provide a connectivity platform for the future under the GovNext-ICT initiative” and include the company’s 24x7 help-desk support and advanced logistics services from its Australian technical service centres.

“This 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,” HSS CIO Holger Kaufmann said in a statement.

Last month the company was selected to help WA Health transition its wide area network (WAN) services in metropolitan and regional areas to the GovNet unified communication network.

Back in February 2017 NEC was signed by the NSW Telco Authority to deliver network management systems and wireless backhaul technology for state emergency services and other public safety agencies as part of the CCEP back in February 2017 for a three-year deal.

The GovNet program, initially expected to save up to $650 million over 10 years, has recently come under increased scrutiny, with indications surfacing that the savings could be less than expected.

For example, agencies using GovNext for their cloud services have been quoted, and are paying, prices between 38 per cent and 150 per cent higher than the initial quotations used to generate the estimates.

As part of its digitization strategy, the Department of Health announced a decision to spend AU$124m on hybrid cloud shift, signing with Atos to move its IT infrastructure to a hybrid cloud.

Atos is to provide private cloud, managed public cloud, hybrid cloud orchestration, co-location, and managed services for 2,000 servers, over 1,000 applications, and a fully managed Oracle Cloud platform.

Healthcare organisations are fast adopting hybrid cloud as a result of increasing security and compliance concerns, according to the Nutanix Enterprise Cloud Index study published earlier this month.

The report identified that hybrid cloud adoption in healthcare is expected to jump from 19 per cent to 37 per cent worldwide in two years, as providers address critical technology needs.

The study said investing in next-generation IT infrastructure is the first step in preserving quality of care and bringing healthcare to the individual rather than the other way around.




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