Capgemini ensnares major IRD contract

French IT service company returns to New Zealand after a nine-year absence

French global IT services company Capgemini, which announced in November that it was returning to New Zealand after a nine-year absence, has been appointed by Inland Revenue to help in the next phase of the department’s transformation planning.

Inland Revenue commissioner Bob Russell says in a statement to Computerworld that the terms of the contract can’t be disclosed because of commercial confidentiality.

“However, we have taken every possible step to ensure we selected the right partner to work with us,” he says. “This included proactively contacting firms to make them aware of the request for proposal, engaging an independent external service to prepare the RFP, and gaining independent advice regarding the selection process.

“We are confident we have chosen the right transformation partner. One of the criteria was experience in guiding large public sector organisations through a major business transformation, including modernisation of information technology.

“Working with Capgemini will enable us to learn from other organisations that have experienced change on a similar scale, and to adopt international best practice in our approach to transformation.

“The experience will complement and grow our expertise within Inland Revenue.”

The department says in a recently published request for information about mainframe services (see IRD seeks mainframe support) that it will stay on the 20-year-old FIRST system for the foreseeable future. However, it is looking to eventually move to a modern Oracle-based platform.

Capgemini announced in November that it had plans to create a 100-strong software testing practice in Wellington and Auckland. Australia chief executive Paul Thorley said at the time that Capgemini believed New Zealand was bouncing back.

“There is a lot of diversification from the traditional sectors into hi-tech, and the government is transforming with cost reductions and welfare reform, so I seed quite a lot of project work,” he said.

An Inland Revenue source told Computerworld that the IRD contract was the reason Capgemini decided to return to New Zealand.

Capgemini has 115,000 staff in 40 countries. In 2002, it sold its New Zealand business to local managers, creating CGNZ, with which it retained an affiliation.

Hewlett-Packard bought CGNZ in 2005 in a multi-million-dollar deal.

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