NZ Blood Service switches from Sun to IBM

Million-dollar software upgrade to go live in 2012

In a multi-million-dollar project, the New Zealand Blood Service is undergoing a major software upgrade and switching its national blood management system from Sun to IBM Power 750 systems.

The higher computing performance will help improve resilience and streamline blood collection and transfusion processes.

The service has run Sun servers since 1999 and software from French company Maksystems.

Project manager John Cox says the main driver for the upgrades is to remove a legacy system that is no longer being developed.

“The new system (also from Maksystems) includes a range of electronic ordering and questionnaires,” he says.

“We’ll be testing and developing for most of this year and expect to go live midway through 2012.”

The move to the IBM platform was based on price and performance. “The technology was better,” Cox says.

“We chose Power7 servers after a competitive evaluation with Sun. IBM’s experience advising the Netherlands’ national blood service gave us the additional benefit of relevant international expertise.”

The eProgesa system, as it is known, provides a front end to an Oracle database which records details of around 125,000 active donors, results of tests carried out on every donation, and details of the eventual recipients of the blood and other products. It also manages hospital orders and tracks movement and storage of donations from their collection point, through testing and delivery nationwide.

“Ensuring safety and security of blood supply is mission critical for the New Zealand blood service,” Cox says.

It is the first Power7 server implementation in New Zealand. Cox says the initial work with IBM business partner Spectrum Consulting has been completed. Datacom is implementing the new configuration.

The project will cost “quite a few million dollars”, he says.

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Tags IBMSun MicrosystemsNew Zealand Blood Service

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