Vendors locked out of DTA market briefing


Denham Sadler
Senior Reporter

Software vendors who were locked out of an industry briefing on the Digital Transformation Agency’s new Cloud Marketplace due to an inadequately provisioned conference call have slammed the DTA as inept.

A number of vendors were unable to join the call because of the entirely foreseeable restrictions on the video conferencing platform Zoom.

The DTA held an industry briefing in the form of an online webinar on Wednesday morning about its plans to replace the existing cloud services panel with a new Cloud Marketplace. The briefing was held via Zoom, which has a limit of 100 participants in a call.

But there are currently 244 suppliers on the existing panel, and under the new platform, each of these vendors will have to reapply to be a part of the marketplace.

Peter Alexander
Cloud briefing fail: The Australian Government’s chief digital officer Peter Alexander

Multiple vendors have told InnovationAus that they were unable to take part in the industry briefing because it had reached its maximum participant limit, well before it started at 11am.

A DTA spokesperson said the agency is aware that some stakeholders were unable to join the briefing, and that the slides, questions and answers and talking points will be made available on AusTender.

“No stakeholders will be disadvantaged in any way,” the spokesperson told InnovationAus.

Stakeholders will also have the next two weeks to send questions to the Tender Officer about the Cloud Marketplace. The DTA did not say that another briefing will be held for those locked out of this one.

One government vendor said they couldn’t access the industry briefing despite attempting to join it well before its scheduled time of 11am.

“No-one in my organisation or others could get on even though I dialled-in well before 11am – they’d reached the maximum 100 participants,” the vendor told InnovationAus.

“So they were either too ignorant in terms of the limit on Zoom meetings, too short-sighted to think they would get more than 100 people, or just too fundamentally incompetent to do the basic research to work out what the appropriate platform was to do the meeting on,” the vendor representative said.

“From an organisation that styles itself as the digital experts of the government, this is just beyond comprehension. If that’s indicative of the level of advice the government is getting, then they should just pack it up.”

The tender for suppliers on the new Cloud Marketplace was launched last month, with applications closing on 25 June. The new marketplace will official launch in March next year, despite initial plans for it to be up and running this month.

Under the new marketplace, all existing cloud services providers have been forced to reapply, with an expanded array of services on offer.

The current list has only been updated just twice since the panel was first launched five years ago in early 2015.

The DTA claims the new marketplace will be more flexible, provide better access to government contracts for SMEs, a quicker process and better value for money for government departments.

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