The Queensland Government is preparing to approach the market in September this year for a panel of suppliers to provide hosted email solutions to a number of cloud-ready agencies.
“It is intended to establish cloud and hosted e-mail and collaboration panels with the market to provide flexible ‘as a service’ options for Government,” a spokesperson from the Department of Science, Information Technology, Innovation and the Arts (DSITIA) told Intermedium.
“The Government is currently finalising its requirements prior to submitting to the market in September this year.”
Transitioning all departmental email systems to external cloud providers could create savings of up to $17 million per annum, IT minister Ian Walker told an estimates committee hearing in July.
“Several departments are now in a position to take advantage of these savings,” he said.
Earlier this year, trials for Google Apps for Business and Microsoft Office 365 were established in the Queensland Government Chief Information Office (QGCIO).
“A trial of Google Apps has been running successfully in QGCIO since March 2013 for email and calendaring services only,” said the DSITIA spokesperson.
A full transition to email-as-a-service is expected by the end of 2013.
DSITIA is also looking to assess ERP-as-a-service options for finance and payroll systems before January 2014 as part of the planned changes to Queensland Shared Services (QSS) contained in its recently-released ICT Strategy 2013-17. Potentially this might also lead to the establishment of another panel of cloud providers.
“An Invitation to Offer has recently been released to seek an industry partner to work with the department to assess future business models for Queensland Shared Service,” said the spokesperson.
“As part of this ITO, an assessment on the options for ERP as a service for finance and payroll systems will be considered.”
In assessing software-as-a-service solutions, the Queensland Government may look to the NSW Department of Trade and Investment, Regional Infrastructure and Services, which has successfully implemented a cloud-based ERP system. The SAP-based system is expected to save the NSW Government around $12.5 million per annum, and plans are underway to roll the solution out to other agencies.
As well as exploring ERP cloud solutions, the successful Industry Partner will head the reform of QSS into a contestable market provider of ICT services.
The industry consultant is expected to deliver a project plan and a high-level business case outlining the future service model and a business transformation plan for QSS by 15 January 2014. This will include a breakdown of all services currently provided by the shared services unit, and an assessment of which should remain governmental and which should be procured directly from the market.
QSS currently provides finance, human resource, payroll and case management services to 18 of the 20 Queensland Government departments, covering over 60,000 full-time equivalent employees. It has approximately 26 enterprise bargaining agreements in place, and operates multiple systems including SAP, Aurion and LATTICE.
The decision to reform ICT shared services procurement follows the release of the final Queensland Commission of Audit report earlier this year, which found significant inefficiencies in the operations of both QSS and the Government’s ICT infrastructure provider CITEC.
The approach to market for an industry partner for the QSS reform process closes on 29 August 2013.
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