NSW Department of Education and Training (DET) held an industry briefing last week (4 December) for its student email service replacement. There was a great deal of interest in the tender, as evidenced by the large crowd at the briefing.
The schools email contract is currently held by Unisys. The initial three year contract (valued at $33million) was first established in 2002 and has since been extended till the end of 2008.
The tender calls for the replacement service to go live in July 2008 and the contract will continue until 30 June 2011 (3 years).
The system needs to be able to support 1.2million school and TAFE students at 2,500 sites across the state, and is said to be one of the largest email systems in the world. The current system includes e-mail and Internet access designed specially for education including a single log-on; messaging services; Internet services, including chat, list serves and forums; Web browsing; Web hosting and both on-site and remote access.
At the briefing it was clarified that pricing of the email system will be based on the number of active users.
According to DET, there has been a substantial increase in Internet consumption, with accelerated growth experienced since May 2006. Internet consumption is now averaging more than 25 terabytes per month. This equates to approximately 35,700 CDs worth of information per month or almost 9,000 CDs per week. There are now upwards of 90,000 users logged into the authenticated Internet browsing and email service on any school day.
Significant technical improvements were made to the Internet browsing and email system during the school holidays in preparation for Term 1, 2007 and include:
- Strengthening the Identity Management System (DIM) to increase the speed and reliability of password and username processing;
- Doubling the capacity to provide faster performance when browsing the Internet; and
- Updating the filtering software to provide a more flexible and responsive service.
The closing date for the tender is 19 December 2007.