While trying to find ways of involving the local ICT industry more often in public-sector procurement contracts, NZ Trade and Enterprise has found itself in the position of having no New Zealand-developed software on its shortlist of five providers for a new financials suite.
Four out of the five shortlisted candidates, however, are New Zealand-based, says IT and services director Phil Hayward. They resell and service overseas packages, but the services element is the larger part of the contract. “There will only be 25 to 30 full users, so the licence costs are small,” says Hayward.
Bidders offering NZ-written software did not measure up on various elements of NZTE’s very tightly-defined requirements, Hayward says. One, for example, could not link with the department’s established Microsoft SQL database environment.
“I don’t see this as a big issue,” he says. “We put a premium on New Zealand-sourced product, but this is on an ‘all other things being equal’ basis.”
The full users of the package will be in NZTE’s New Zealand offices, but read access to its data will be provided in the department’s 38 overseas offices.
“We’re targeting selection by the end of July and [deployment] by the end of the year,” Hayward says, although without knowing which the successful candidate will be at this stage, this timetable is approximate, he says.