State government phone replacement deal OK’d

The first contract in a multimillion-dollar plan to replace existing state government telephone systems with a new, modern system was approved by the Board of Examiners on Tuesday.

Deputy Director of Administration Mike Torvinen said the new system will eventually replace several systems that are obsolete and no longer supported by their manufacturers.

“We’re replacing a phone system we cannot add one more phone to,” he told the board. “The phone system we have now is not worth anything.”

The $4.2 million contract with Avaya Financial Services is step one in that process.

Bruce Beamer of the state Enterprise IT Services division said the new system will have 9,000 customers immediately, while work continues to expand it to include separate systems at the Department of Corrections and Welfare Division, among others that currently have their own systems.

The cost of leasing and operating the new system will be paid by the telecommunications fees — phone bills — that agencies pay the IT division.

In addition, the board approved a $1.5 million contract to begin designing a new computer system for the Gaming Control Board.

Director of Administration Jeff Mohlenkamp said that old system — based on the now-obsolete programming language COBOL — has been there since 1982.

“This is the first of a three-step process to refresh and replace the system they rely on for all their licensing data,” he said.

“I guess you could say we got our money’s worth,” said Gov. Brian Sandoval.


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