New Zealand signs pact with Amazon for cloud computing

The Agreement will transform public sector companies to deliver better services (Amazon Website Photo)

Venkat Raman
Auckland, July 19, 2022

New Zealand’s public sector will have the benefit of cloud computing following an agreement signed by the Department of Internal Affairs and Amazon Web Services New Zealand (AWS).

An announcement made this morning said that the agreement will enable public sector companies to accelerate the adoption of cloud services and that these will be available to all ministries and government departments and agencies.

Tim Dacombe-Bird, Country Manager for Public Sector, AWS said that the agreement will provide access to AWS services, and digital training benefits, and will enable cost savings for the public sector.

Boosting productivity, reducing costs

“In recent years, cloud computing has accelerated innovation with exciting new capabilities that governments and public sector agencies can use to serve the public better. Cloud services are designed to accelerate the adoption of cloud computing in the public sector, save costs, boost digital skills across public services, deliver digital services for citizens, and provide AWS Partners with more opportunities to work with government customers,” he said.

The AWS Cloud Service Agreement is a new pact to provide AWS cloud services to all eligible government departments and agencies, crown entities, government-owned organisations, local councils, public universities, tertiary institutions, and schools.

The centralised agreement replaces the AWS Cloud Framework Agreement that has been in place with the DIA since 2017, which provided access to more than 200 fully featured AWS cloud services, including the industry-leading security capabilities of AWS and world-class global cloud infrastructure.

Mr Dacombe-Bird said that under the new agreement, New Zealand’s public sector can continue to access AWS cloud, as well as a range of new benefits tailored to each stage in their cloud journey. Organisations using the cloud for the first time will benefit from a package of services to support adoption, upskill their workforce, establish a secure and compliant foundation, and develop an effective cloud migration plan. Established cloud customers will benefit from cost-effective support options and cost savings for AWS cloud services.

Flexibility and easy access

“Another new feature of the agreement is that public sector customers can choose to purchase cloud services directly from AWS, or through authorised partners in the AWS Partner Network. This will ensure that our public sector customers maintain easy access to our reliable and secure cloud services as well as provide greater choice in how they procure them.

AWS works with a thriving community of AWS Partners who provide knowledge, expertise, and services to support digital transformation. This includes businesses like Consegna, Datacom, and Deloitte, which work with New Zealand’s public sector customers to deliver digital services. Public sector customers can benefit from AWS Partners, who have specialist skills and capabilities, through ACSA’s simple commercial model” Mr Dacombe-Bird said.

Damian Harvey, Partner (Cloud and Engineering Platform) at Deloitte New Zealand welcomed the agreement, which he said, will enable a simplified contractual model that provides access to over 200 AWS services resold through Deloitte.

“Deloitte provides additional specialist skills and capabilities that enable public sector customers to further strengthen the development of New Zealand’s technology capabilities and accelerate the transformation and digitisation of citizen services,” he said.

John Taylor, Managing Director, Consegna, said that as a premier partner holding the AWS Government Competency, his company has been helping New Zealand government agencies to harness the power of AWS cloud services.

“This simplified AWS Cloud Services Agreement will make it easier for public sector customers to reduce their contract negotiation costs and rollout great services using the latest AWS technologies,” he said.

Better Outcomes for Kiwis

AWS continues to work on the smooth delivery and operations of many important digital government initiatives in New Zealand. Every month, thousands of active customers, including large public sector organisations like Department of Conservation (DOC), Toitū Te Whenua Land Information New Zealand (LINZ), Health New Zealand (HNZ), Wellington City Council (WCC), and University of Auckland (UoA) use AWS.

Last year, AWS worked with New Zealand’s Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) to translate the New Zealand Information Security Manual (NZISM) into conformance packs for AWS. This makes it easier for government and private-sector customers to assess the compliance of their AWS cloud environment against the NZISM.

AWS cloud also played a role in HNZ’s delivery of its Covid-19 pandemic response. Last year, HNZ launched a Covid-19 Vaccine Register using AWS technology, and earlier AWS supported New Zealand’s Covid-19 Tracer and My Covid Record Apps which provide services that have contributed to the success of New Zealand’s vaccination and pandemic response effort.

Another public sector collaboration facilitated through AWS is with the UoA, which has more than 40,000 students and 13,000 staff across seven campuses in Auckland and one campus in Whangārei. To remain globally competitive, UoA embraced digital transformation across its operations with AWS to meet the current and future needs of its students and staff.

When the Covid-19 pandemic hit, the University migrated a critical teaching and learning application that holds 29 terabytes of learning content to the cloud in just six weeks. This migration allowed the University to deliver learning content to over 2,000 overseas students who were unable to travel due to lockdowns.

In total, approximately 18,000 students used this application.

Commitment to Aotearoa 

The new ACSA is a key pillar in AWS’s investment in and vision for New Zealand.

It forms part of our deep and long-term commitment to the country, building on AWS’s $7.5 billion investment to create an AWS Asia Pacific (Auckland) Region, which is projected to create 1000 new jobs and contribute $10.8 billion to Aotearoa’s GDP over the next 15 years.

AWS hopes that the Auckland Region will be powered entirely by renewable energy.

Earlier this year, the Company announced the formation of an Auckland-based AWS Local Zone, placing AWS compute, storage, database, and other services closer to customers and enabling them to build and deploy applications that require single-digit millisecond latency closer to end users or on-premises data centres.

“To support our local customers and growing workforce, we have AWS offices in Auckland and Wellington, which are staffed by more than 150 Kiwis across roles such as data scientists, cloud engineers, solutions architects, and sales and account managers. Over the next few years, we will add a further 200 staff to our AWS New Zealand team to support local customers and partners.

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