Claims that plans to outsource NZ Post’s IT department were quashed by Post's board are described by information services general manager Ivor Masters as unfounded and incorrect.
A detailed email to Computerworld’s Scoop line suggests the goal of outsourcing will, instead, be achieved piecemeal, with the network management group first to be dispersed.
“What happens to information services in the future will be based on what’s best for NZ Post,” Masters says. “[We] have no long-term thoughts on outsourcing as of today but that may change.”
He confirms that network management group staff have been placed with Datacom. “The decision to outsource was because it was seen to be the best thing for NZ Post to outsource what was not considered a core activity. At the time, Datacom offered them the same terms and conditions, if not more, than they had at NZ Post,” Masters says.
“Datacom is our preferred IT supplier but all decisions will be based on what is beneficial to NZ Post and its shareholders.”
NZ Post recently increased its shareholding in Datacom to 30%, buying a chunk of the shareholding disposed of by National Bank, which had inherited it when it bought Country-wide Bank.
Several vendors have told Computerworld that it’s not worth their while bidding for business at Post because it inevitably goes to Datacom.
There was a major issue recently over telecommunications and the network. Internal sources at Post say a strong business case was presented to the board to displace Data-com with Telecom, which was offering bigger, faster and more resilient circuits at a reduced cost. “That would have allowed Post to position its businesses from a logical perspective rather than a tele-communications perspective,” one source says.
There is cross-representation on Post and Datacom’s boards, and the Post board is understood to have overturned the recommendation. At least two senior IT staff are understood to have resigned over the decision.
“You have to ask whether Post is trying to make Datacom look good, then sell it off like it did Synet,” a source says. “Datacom is definitely not Post’s core business. How much of the taxpayer interest in Post is compromised to satisfy Post’s commercial interest in Datacom?”