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CSIRO Converts To SAP

by Frances Stewart •
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In a first, the CSIRO will use an external provider to deliver and support a major IT project. Fujitsu has won a 4 year, $34m contract with CSIRO to implement its MySAP-based FlexFrame business system across the organisation and provide managed services. This is the first time such a significant project has not been managed in-house by CSIRO.

CSIRO intends to implement FlexFrame across-the-board for more than 100 business applications, with finance, HR and project management as the early priorities. Currently CSIRO systems range from major corporate systems to specialist tools for individual areas. "We are aiming to replace almost all of our existing business systems with the SAP platform," said CSIRO‟s financial manager, David Toll. CSIRO indicated in September last year that it was looking for a „vanilla‟ implementation of SAP across its divisions.

The CSIRO currently supports 11,000 desktops for 6,500 staff and 2,000 visiting fellows and students, with 300 IT staff. The project represents a major milestone in the consolidation of CSIRO IT. Previously CSIRO‟s 22 geographically dispersed divisions had managed their IT requirements and contracts independently.

With 30 new staff hired for the Canberra office, the deal accelerates Fujitsu‟s already impressive growth trajectory in the Federal government market. In the 2004 calendar year, Fujitsu Australia won new business with a total published contract value (across all agencies which report in AusTender) of $13.51 million. The bulk of this new business came from contracts with Defence ($8.9 million) and the ATO ($1.7 million).

Even without the CSIRO win, Fujitsu‟s published contract value for the 2005 calendar year rose by 169% to $36.3 million. When the CSIRO win is added, total new business contract value was $70.44 million - a 421% increase for the year. The growth was almost entirely in services.

Fujitsu also broadened its base in 2005, with major projects/consultancies in APRA, Centrelink, Defence, Health and Ageing and IP Australia, as well as hardware / telecommunications equipment contracts with Defence and DEWR. “We see the federal government market as a frontier where we want to have more presence in the next couple of years,” said Fujitsu chief executive Rod Vawdrey. Having more staff in the Canberra office will give Fujitsu greater capacity to bid for government projects, he said.

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