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STA updates NSW agencies on Enterprise Software Solutions RFI

by Staff Writers •
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The NSW Department of Services, Technology and Administration (DSTA) is currently considering industry responses to its Request for Information (RFI) to investigate options for NSW Government’s $100 million software spend to ensure the broadest range of options are available to meet future software needs.

On 15 January, NSW Procurement issued an Agency Advice to provide an update on the procurement process.  It confirmed that responses to their RFI would have to include new models for software such as Software as a Service (SaaS) and open source solutions. 

NSW DSTA issued the RFI on 26 November 2009, and encouraged suppliers to respond to ensure their views were considered in the development of future procurement strategies.

When released, the RFI was seen by Intermedium as one of the final elements of the NSW Government’s ICT procurement platform.  At the time the RFI was issued, the medium reported on past reforms to ICT procurement over the past two years.  These included:

  • Telecommunications equipment and services (the GTA suite of contracts);
  • IT Services (contract 2020),
  • PCs, Notebooks and Servers (contract 2007); and
  • Updated Government Selected Application System (GSAS) contracts for enterprise resource planning and document management systems.

Intermedium’s analysis of RFI documents concluded that there was a clear departure from a previously heavily vendor-based approach to software procurement.  The documents also revealed strong linkage with the NSW Government goal of reducing costs by reducing licensing costs and total cost of ownership for enterprise software solutions.

Products sought include:

  • Common word processing;
  • Spreadsheets;
  • Email and internet browsers;
  • Specialised applications, such as development software;
  • Portal services and cross platform business process management applications.

According to the Advice, it is expected new contracts will be established with the NSW Government's key software suppliers later in 2010.  A Procurement Customer Reference Group (CRG) will be established in the first quarter of 2010 to assist with the evaluation phase of the project.  This is a common practice employed by NSW Procurement in major contract selection processes, helping to ensure agency buy-in to the solution chosen.

The Agency Advice recommends that agencies remain on their existing platforms (for example remain with Windows XP and Office 2003 for the desktop environment) unless a business case can clearly demonstrate benefits in performing upgrades.

Intermedium estimates that on the basis of a full three stage approach, the procurement process and strategy determination is likely to take up a significant amount of this calendar year and that the late 2010 estimate of contract award may be somewhat optimistic.

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