The Department of Defence has signed a $28.2 million contract with Thales for the full implementation of its Next Generation Desktop (NGD) project.
The project aims to centralise access to multiple Defence networks through a single desktop and system, supported by thin client technology and a consolidation of the Department’s existing data centre infrastructure.
“It is anticipated that the project will deliver substantial benefits to the Department, including increased savings on support and equipment costs, a more standardised IT environment into which applications can be more rapidly incorporated and the delivery of a multi-level security capability,” according to a 2011 Ministerial media statement.
The 12-month contract for the period from September 2013 to August 2014 is expected to cover around 100,000 Defence workstations.
The project went through the two-pass approval process in 2012, following the completion of a capability pilot by Thales.
Thales successfully completed the pilot across 500 desktops in 2012, in conjunction with Microsoft, Citrix and Raytheon Trusted Computer Solutions.
The seven-month contract between Defence and Thales for the capability pilot had a value of $6.2 million over the contract term, from November 2011 to June 2012.
Defence has also signed a number of additional high-value contracts with Thales for services relating to NGD:
- A $12.5 million deal extending from December 2011 to June 2013;
- A $5.6 million contract for a four-month period from February to June 2013; and
- A $6.2 million contract for four months from May to September 2013.
This brings the total value of contracting relating to the NGD project to nearly $60 million.
Thales is the preferred supplier for the project under a five-year standing offer arrangement that is expected to expire in November 2016.
The Next Generation Desktop project is part of Defence’s Strategic Reform Program, which was introduced in 2009 with the aim of achieving $20 billion in savings over the decade to 2019.
“The project brings Defence one step closer to achieving its multi-billion dollar information, communication and technology savings target,” said then Defence Chief Technology Officer Matthew Yannopoulos.
Other projects under the Reform Program include the ongoing consolidation of Defence’s 200 data centres, the implementation of a Defence-wide Service Oriented Architecture infrastructure to standardise support processes, and the distributed computing project to streamline management of outsourced services, according to the Department’s ICT Strategy 2009.
Defence recently told Intermedium that it is currently updating the Strategy, with a new ICT Strategy expected in 2014.
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