News Release

Centrelink Upgrades Network to Handle Billions of Transactions

Cisco and Dimension Data Team Up to Provide Productivity Platform for Australian Social Security Agency
Mar 28, 2006

SYDNEY, Australia, March 28, 2006 - Centrelink, one of Australia's largest government agencies, is endeavouring to further improve its productivity and customer services by migrating to an Internet Protocol (IP)-based network based on technology from Cisco Systems®, which is to be deployed by Dimension Data.

The migration is part of Centrelink's Data Network Replacement Project (DNRP), which will help enable the organisation manage an increasing demand on its data network and provide its tens of thousands of users with reliable, highly secure information.

Centrelink awarded a five-year $40 million contract under the DNRP to Dimension Data, a Cisco® Gold Certified Partner, which will be the exclusive provider of Cisco equipment to the project.

With a recurring budget of $2.3 billion, Centrelink ranks among the top 100 organisations in Australia. The agency has more than 1,000 service-delivery points and employs more than 25,000 staff. It distributes approximately AUS$63 billion in social security payments each year, issues 9.98 million individual entitlement payments each year, and records 5.2 billion electronic customer transactions.

Ross Fowler, managing director for Cisco Australia and New Zealand, said: "The demands are considerable on Centrelink as a provider of information across web-based systems to potentially millions of people across Australia. Cisco is delighted to be helping Centrelink meet those demands and to drive productivity and efficiency across its organisation."

Approximately 800 Cisco integrated services routers will be deployed across the updated network, plus the Cisco 7600 Series Routers, which offer integrated, high-density Ethernet switching, carrier-class IP multiprotocol label switching (MPLS) routing and 10-gigabit-per-second interfaces. The Catalyst 6500 Series and Catalyst 3750 Series Switches will also be deployed for its local-area network.

Cisco SMARTnet technical services will provide a single point of contact for all network issues. Access to Cisco's technical assistance centre will help minimise risks for Centrelink's mission-critical applications with Cisco support engineers able to boost the agency's in-house resources with world-class networking expertise. As part of the maintenance agreement, two Dimension Data employees will be allocated to Centrelink's network operating centre to manage service-level agreements (SLAs).

Steve Nola, Australian CEO for Dimension Data, said; "Dimension Data has had a long and productive association with Centrelink, initially working with the agency, then known as the Department of Social Security, on its first major network upgrade in 1993. A number of our current team members worked on the design of this original network - a factor which has maintained our reputation for technical excellence within Centrelink."