Negotiations over infrastructure as a service between the Department of Internal Affairs and IBM are continuing as DIA announces it has signed supplier contracts with Datacom and Revera.
“Discussions are taking place with IBM personnel across both New Zealand and Australia” says Brent Chalmers, general manager government ICT supply management office at the department.
“This is simply a reflection of IBM’s governance structure and accountabilities,” he says. “This is not atypical for multinational corporations.”
Revera, Datacom and IBM were shortlisted earlier this year. A statement from the department reads: "Government infrastructure as a service enables agencies to buy their computing infrastructure 'on demand’.
"This reduces the need for agencies to purchase and maintain their own infrastructure (IT hardware used to run their applications, file storage and other standard ICT functions.)
"Government infrastructure as a service is the first step towards government cloud computing, in which an increasing range of services can be provided using this ‘on demand’ model.”
In response to questions from Computerworld Chalmers says timelines on negotiations are always difficult to predict and the department is focused on achieving the best overall outcome for government and the taxpayer rather than driving artificial timelines. “Datacom and Revera were appointed to the panel because the department was satisfied that the contracts would deliver value for government, regardless of the outcome of the discussions with IBM.” He says services and related pricing are available and consistent to all agencies. The intent of the contracts is to recognise government as a single customer. “Services will become available generally no more than 90 days following the first service order, though there are some specific infrastructure builds which we have agreed will take longer.
“Each vendor must be consistent with their pricing and services to all agencies. Broadly, the services are the same between vendors but there are minor differences that reflect the specific solutions being offered."
Peter Mersi, Acting Chief Executive for the Department of Internal Affairs says in the statement that this procurement syndicate, led by the Department of Internal Affairs (DIA) and the Ministry for Economic Development (MED), will save an estimated $50-250 million over 10 years, and is part of government-wide procurement reforms.
"Today marks a significant milestone in Government’s progress on the ICT Roadmap. Infrastructure as a Service is a huge achievement that will save the taxpayer millions while providing government with leading edge technology. This is just the beginning – we’ll be seeing more initiatives like this rolled out in the next 12 months," says Mersi.
The Government Infrastructure as a Service initiative is aligned with the 2010 Directions and Priorities for Government ICT and now forms an integral part of the Government ICT Roadmap, launched in August 2011.