US treasury opts for VoIP


US Department of the Treasury

The United States Federal Department of the Treasury has announced that it is seeking a provider to update its existing business phones systems to take advantage of Voice over Internet Telephony (VoIP).

IP telephony providers have been asked to tender for the contract, which will be in effect for 36 months and include the delivery of the core aspects of it, such as its design, supplying hardware and designing the system. The winning bidder will also be responsible for training Treasury staff in its use and maintaining the system.

A statement released by the Treasury revealed it was “seeking a solution that empowers its staff to self-service features, thereby reducing the on-going ICT support costs”. It went on to outline how it wishes to unify different communication strategies, and reduce their on-going operating costs.

The Treasury has also specified that the winning business VoIP provider must be able to customise any system for several specific departments, including the Australian Office of Financial Management and the Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB).

It is estimated that the department will need more than 1,300 phones, in addition to 20 door communications handsets, 20 conference call handsets and 300 expansion modules. With the roll out of IP telephony, it expects to have a software driven ‘nerve centre’ that will handle the high rate of inbound calls. The request for tender documents outlined the Treasury’s requirements, stating:

“The proposed software console is to meet the operator’s requirements for accepting and dispatching calls, directory searching, call queuing, night-switching, and reporting.

“In addition, identification of “presence” status for end users from the software console is to be provided”.

The Treasury’s choice in moving towards VoIP will not surprise any businesses. There has been a steady increase in many small to medium sized firms opting for the flexibility that IP telephony offers, as well as the cost advantage over traditional land line based services.