Data Centre migration is set to become the first ICT procurement area to receive the O’Farrell Government treatment, with the NSW Government calling on members of the 2020 Panel for IT Services to profile their offerings for inclusion in a whole-of-government online service catalogue.
The catalogue will guide agencies through their mandatory transition to one of two purpose built facilities being constructed by Metronode in Western Sydney and the Illawarra, that are due open in a year’s time.
The Government has issued a request for information to all suppliers on the whole-of-government panel for ICT Services, State Contract 2020, and those prequalified under the SCM0005 scheme for Performance and Management Services.
The service catalogue conforms to the “come-one-come-all” ethos of the NSW Government when it comes to procurement. Minister for Finance and Services Greg Pearce has recently confirmed that over time he intends to replace all State Contracts with lists of pre-qualified suppliers that will be continuously open to applications for inclusion. Similarly, all valid responses to the RFI will be included in the data centre migration service catalogue, which is to be updated on a quarterly basis.
Even suppliers who aren’t on the SCM0005 list or the 2020 Panel will not need to wait long before they can start working towards a listing in the service catalogue. State Contract 2020 is due to be opened up to applications for inclusion before 2013, and all new members will qualify to submit profiles to the service catalogue in the earliest round of refreshes to follow.
While it is mandatory for agencies to procure IT Services through the 2020 panel, procurement from suppliers listed in the data centre migration service catalogue will be optional.
The approach differs markedly to that of the Federal Government which established a whole-of-government Data Centre Migration panel, featuring eight suppliers signed up to a minimum five year contract, to leverage economies of scale when it comes to Federal agencies’ transition to a range of new facilities.
Respondents to the NSW RFI have been asked to provide details of relevant experience, prices and referees alongside a description of their offering for inclusion in the catalogue. It will be up to agencies to use this information to decide which option represents the best value for money for their unique circumstances.
The Government expects that the Catalogue will make the migration to one of the new data centres easier for the 50 or so agencies facing the complex and risky task.
“There will be a range of migrations, relocating anywhere between 3 and 300 racks of equipment and involving some 50 separate agencies.
“This specialised information entity aims to assist NSW Government Agencies by reducing the time and increasing the quality of their internal selection processes for migration services,” says the RFI.
It is anticipated that the data centres, currently being built by Metronode, will be complete by August 2013. The full 8,000kW of NSW Government data centre demand will start being transitioned soon after this date.
One of two anchor tenants, NSW Health, has already issued an RFQ to members of State Contract 2846 (for Storage, Server Platforms and Virtualisation Technologies) and State Contract 2020 for its own migration process.
The second anchor tenant is the NSW Department of Education and Communities, with NSW Corrective Services also expected to be one of the first data centre occupants.
The data centre migration service catalogue is not to be confused with the cloud-based Service Catalogue listed as one of the key action items in the NSW Government’s ICT Strategy. This Service Catalogue is expected to emulate the UK Government’s Cloudstore for applications on-demand.