The Department of Health and Ageing (DoHA) plans to join a growing legion of government agencies that have dumped legacy email platforms in favour of Microsoft Exchange when it begins the move away from Lotus Notes later this year.
Other agencies that are currently undergoing or have recently undergone similar transitions include:
- The Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC), which is migrating from Lotus Domino to Microsoft Exchange;
- The Department of Human Services (DHS), which is moving from Lotus Notes to Microsoft Exchange;
- Queensland Health, which is transitioning from Novell Groupwise to Microsoft Exchange 2007;
- NSW Health, which is moving to Microsoft Exchange 2010 from a number of different platforms;
- NSW Parliament, which is migrating from Novell to Microsoft Exchange; and
- Tasmania, which is undertaking a whole-of-government transition from Lotus Notes to Microsoft Exchange.
DoHA’s email migration also lines up with the upcoming market testing of the Department’s 15 year ICT outsourcing contract with IBM (which covers its email provision).
Boston Consulting Group has recently been engaged to develop an ICT sourcing strategy for the Department prior to its upcoming market testing, indicating that the Department is likely to revise its ICT sourcing approach and change the mix of services to be procured under any future outsourcing arrangement.
DoHA expects the migration to be completed by June 2014, ahead of the expiration of its $119.9 million outsourcing deal for ICT Services with IBM in June 2015.
The Department has released a request for tender (RFT) for a migration and transition strategy and implementation plan, which will comprise stage one of the email replacement process. The successful tenderer will likely be asked to also put the migration plan into action, pending approval of a revised quote and proposal.
The migration strategy is expected to include an email solution design for infrastructure, support systems, software and services for both the Department and the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA), one of the Health portfolio bodies.
In addition to its email migration, the Department is also looking to develop a new platform to replace other existing Lotus Notes and Domino applications. These include over 214 applications, many of which provide access and workflow functions that are highly integrated with email and calendar. While the actual replacement of applications will be a separate stream of work, development of an Alternate Notes Application Technology Options Strategy falls within the scope of the current RFT, placing the successful tenderer in an optimum position to tender for further contracts with DoHA.
The scope of the email migration covers the IT environment of both DoHA and TGA, which includes a total of around 6,800 desktops, 405 servers, and a 330 MIP mainframe. DoHA and TGA IT Services currently support over 6,390 staff, including 700 Health portfolio agency staff. Both agencies support a mobile ‘bring your own device’ (BYOD) policy, which currently covers a total of approximately 1,300 mobile devices.
While Microsoft Exchange is becoming increasingly popular in the public sector, some agencies have decided that the time is right to take a bolder approach to their email replacements, and move to cloud-based messaging solutions such as Google Apps for Government or Microsoft Office 365.
In NSW the Government will be watching three messaging-as-a-service trials closely as it firms up a whole-of-government cloud computing plan. These include an upcoming proof-of-concept to be run within ServiceFirst, NSW Fire and Rescue’s replacement of its Novell platform with Microsoft Exchange in the cloud for 8,000 staff, and a multi-tenanted email solution being rolled out across clients of NSW Businesslink.
Fire and Rescue CIO Richard Host told The Australian that cloud-based email is the way of the future for organisations like his.
“What we didn’t want to do was put in a 20th century in-house solution when clearly the way to go for a commodity product like that is in the cloud,” he said.
Relatively low-cost cloud-based email solutions available to government agencies include Google Apps for Government for under $5 per employee per month, and a Microsoft Office 365 suite from $8 per user per month.
Tenders for the ‘Business Case and Migration Plan for Transition from Lotus Notes to Microsoft Exchange’ close 18 March 2013.
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