Tranz Rail takes enterprise view on year 2000 solution

Tranz Rail has issued a request for information in an enterprise-level approach to address the year 2000 issue. Rather than deal with its multiple systems on an individual basis, Rail is seeking a strategic enterprise system under what it terms Project Connect. KPMG is managing the project.

Tranz Rail has issued a request for information in an enterprise-level approach to address the year 2000 issue.

Rather than deal with its multiple systems on an individual basis, Rail is seeking a strategic enterprise system under what it terms Project Connect. KPMG is managing the project.

General manager business services Garry White says the RFI will be issued to “seven or eight vendors”. They will include companies such as Computer Associates, SAP, Oracle, Baan and Peoplesoft.

“We’ve identified a generic approach to our applications,” White says. “Rather than try to fix the code — some of the applications are 20 years old — we’re seeking an enterprise-type solution.”

That means everything from new financials to inventory, human resources and property management.

White says a short list will be decided by the end of March, a request for proposal will be issued in April, and it’s hoped to begin implementing the staged project in July.

In another major project, Rail has signed a heads of agreement with IBM to outsource its electronic commerce switch. IBM is using its electronic commerce partner, Auckland-based Electronic Commerce Network, to provide the change-over skills and house the switch.

Currently, Rail uses a Unix-based KMS switch at its premises in Wellington.

“We’re implementing the change-over from the existing switch now,” White says.

“Electronic commerce is very and increasingly important to us as we handle business transactions in the electronic medium.

“Our focus is being number one in freight and transport logistics. Logistics is basically about information.”

Rail has a considerable history in electronic commerce. White says it has a number of existing products, and plans to progressively launch new ones.

“We’ll have both EDI and Internet-based solutions.”

The project is being rolled out over the next six months.

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