Customs has finally named a shortlist for its middleware replacement project.
The three vendors are: RHE and Infinity, both of which will partner with IBM, and Hewlett Packard, which is partnering with BEA. Customs is expected to undertake proof of concept trials in July and August.
Earlier this year, Sybase, which is a major provider of systems to Customs, declined to bid on the grounds that payback to vendors was uncertain and that the project might not be financially justifiable.
The project grew out of a need to replace the ENTERA legacy broker, originally sourced from Accenture. It has been divided into two parts: a replacement broker — yet to be decided — and the middleware to which it will interface. Information systems within the department will be linked, and to outside organisations.
The shortlist was originally scheduled to be named last November.
The cost of the project is not public, but industry sources suggest it could range from $3 million to $5 million when consulting is taken into account.