IRD switches from IT lease to purchase

EDS to continue managing site

The Inland Revenue Department has signed a new seven-year mainframe services agreement with EDS New Zealand, replacing an existing agreement that was due to expire in December 2005.

The contract sees Inland Revenue purchasing two Unisys 580 Libra mainframes and supporting software, tapes and disks through EDS.

IRD will continue to outsource facilities management services to EDS to support the mainframe.

The department has been leasing mainframes from EDS since 1994, when the company took over GCS Ltd, formerly the government computing service.

Greater capacity to meet an increasing workload made an upgrade essential, says Colin MacDonald, IRD’s Deputy Commissioner of Business Development and Systems. Also “there is an opportunity to take advantage of advances in technology that has lowered operating costs," he says.

"The service we have received from EDS has been excellent and our mainframe environment is robust and effective in handling the mission-critical work required of it. However, worldwide, mainframe hardware and software has reduced in price since 2000 and our existing contract no longer reflected the market.

"We determined that there were significant business and cost advantages in purchasing rather than continuing to lease,“ MacDonald adds.

“Ownership of upgraded Unisys mainframe hardware and software provides enhancements around capacity planning and disaster recovery management. It also gives us increased technology flexibility to adapt to any changing patterns of demand on our mainframe services, such as the implementation of new technology — elsewhere in IRD and among its customers," MacDonald says.

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