How I won my business a $20 million government contract

MyNetFone was founded by Andy Fung and Rene Sugo back in 2006, when the pair started focusing on the immense opportunity available for people and businesses wanting to move away from copper and put their telephone services online (known as “Voice Over Internet Protocol”, or VoIP).

Last week, the ASX-listed company confirmed it had scored a $20 million contract to implement VoIP for the Tasmanian Government’s voice services. Sugo says the deal has made the business more confident, and may have even motivated them to pursue more government deals.

So how did all this come about?

I guess it’s driven by the Tasmanian Government; they initially started doing a trial in September of 2010. We were successful at that trial service, and then we did another tender in May of 2011, which was the most recent one. And now this one is for production services. It’s part of their overall strategy, to move the bulk of their carriage to VoIP.

Is this is the first government opportunity you’ve pursued?

There actually haven’t been that many opportunities, because as far as we know this is the first government body that’s looked to use VoIP carriage to the public network. There are a lot of projects that are using VoIP internally, and that’s not really our cup of tea.

We’re not a system integrator, or an outsourcing company – we don’t do those sorts of things. So it’s the first time we’ve bid for a major job in terms of carriage.

The other thing is we’ve stuck to our guns on this. We don’t sell certain services, and we haven’t gone into those areas in order to win tenders.

Has it been a hard process?

It’s interesting, actually, because the Tasmanian Government has been one of the easiest governments I’ve had to deal with actually. The process is very onerous, it’s very formal, and you’ve got very strict deadlines to tender.

The tender document isn’t massive here, I’ve seen bigger ones in the past and they’ve asked a lot of organisations about their finances, their ability to deliver the product, and a lot about specific processes, so you have to have those in place.

What type of processes do they want to know about?

They want to know what the process is, even down to the tiniest details like when you answer the phone for them and how they can order additional services. They want to know everything about those single processes so they won’t deal with you at all until you have all of that sorted out.

It was actually quite a lot of work to prepare the response for, to make sure we were compliant. But dealing with people individually and so on was fine, it’s just they have to have these certain things sorted out, and it can be very detailed.


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