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ACC the first major customer for whole-of-government Data Centre Panels

by Paris Cowan •
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The Australian Crime Commission (ACC) was the first Federal agency to sign a significant data centre lease through the Whole-of-Government Data Centre Facilities Panel, according to an analysis of the Panel’s first twelve months of procurement activity.

On 4 July 2011, the ACC’s site lease with Canberra Data Centres was extended to four years according to AusTender, and soon after that the contract was identified against the panel ID. The $2.8 million contract accounts for the bulk of the total procurement value through the panel to date, which comes in at just under $3 million.

The Department of Human Services (DHS) has signed two smaller contracts through the panel, for computer server racks and cabling, at values of $36,000 and $86,000 respectively. Both contracts were also signed with Canberra Data Centres.

The Whole-of-Government Data Centre Migration Panel, which became operational on 7 May 2011, has seen a total of $560,000 in procurement in its first 12 months. A clear leader in terms of sales value has yet to emerge, with the contract value shared amongst Dimension Data, Dell, APC Technology and Hewlett-Packard.

The largest contract to date has been between the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) and HP for $294,070.

Confusing the tally is a contract posted by the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (DAFF) for the ‘Provision of Data Centre Migration Services under Whole of Government panel’, for $3.4 million over 4.5 years. Despite the title, the contract has been signed with Canberra Data Centres, which is not a member of the migration panel. It also lists the ATM ID for the Data Centre Facilities Panel.

A spokesperson for the Australian Government Information Management Office (AGIMO) said it could not comment on the matter until contract negotiations were resolved.

Intermedium has suggested in the past that the slow uptake of the data centre panels might be attributed to its predecessor, the Whole-of-Government Interim Data Centre Panel, absorbing a lot of initial demand.

According to AGIMO’s John Sheridan, nine Federal agencies relocated their data centre hosting through the interim panel in the seven months of its operation. This list includes major IT procurers Centrelink and the Department of Defence.

Defence may also be the first agency to register a high value contract through the Data Centre Facilities Panel, if it directs contracting for its Centralised Processing (CP) Project through the whole-of-government arrangement.

The CP Project is the second stage in the Department’s data centre consolidation and aims to replace the hundreds of smaller hosting facilities currently used by Defence with just a handful of modern data centres. In August 2011, Defence released a Request for Information (RFI) for an end-to-end Centralised Processing solution, with an RFT due to be issued to shortlisted suppliers in quarter two, or between April and June, of 2012.

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO), the other giant of ICT contracting in the Federal Government, is not expected to approach the panel for a number of years yet. An ATO spokesperson told Intermedium in May 2011 that it had received an exemption from AGIMO to source its data centre needs through HP Enterprise Services as part of its $738 million Centralised Computing Services outsourcing deal which runs until June 2017.

The data centre panel totals, however, fall into a similar value range as that seen in the first twelve months of the Whole-of-Government Telecommunications Management (TMAN) panel, which has had just $859,000 signed against it in one-year of operations.


Related Articles:

AGIMO thinks beyond the panel when it comes to Data Centre-as-a-Service

Six agencies likely to enter the market for Data Centre Facilities in 2012

Defence to begin second stage of data centre consolidation

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