The Department of Defence has revealed that three of the largest IT suppliers in the Federal Government Market, Hewlett-Packard, IBM and Lockheed Martin, have been shortlisted to supply and end-to-end solution as part of its Centralised Processing Project.
A Defence spokesperson said that a Request for Tender is currently under development and the shortlisted suppliers will be invited to submit their offers in Quarter Two or early Quarter Three of 2012.
The Centralised Processing project is the second stage in Defence’s program to consolidate its fleet of 280 operational data centres.
The first stage, the Data Centre Migration Project, saw the Department transition from its primary data centre in Deakin, ACT, to a new primary facility in Sydney leased from Global Switch.
This second stage will address the remainder of the data centres. The Department is looking to procure an end-to-end solution for this part of the process, which will feature the establishment of a large secondary data centre and a disaster recovery facility at a minimum, and ten data centres domestically and three internationally as a maximum.
Included within this scope is:
- ICT infrastructure that runs software applications and stores data;
- Specialist data centre facilities that house the ICT infrastructure; and
- A management organisation providing end-to-end accountability for service delivery according to contractual service level agreements.
Defence called for expressions of interest (EOIs) from industry in August 2011, and the aforementioned suppliers have been selected following the completion of this process.
Other suppliers who have won infrastructure outsourcing contracts of the type now sought by Defence include CSC (with contracts at the Australian Electoral Commission; the Department of Immigration and Citizenship; and IP Australia), Fujitsu (including contracts at the Australian Research Council) and Unisys (including contracts at the Australian National Audit Office; and Defence).
While the contract scope outlined in the EOI includes data centre facilities, none of the three shortlisted suppliers are members of the compulsory whole-of-government Data Centre Facilities Panel, suggesting that these components may be subcontracted to panellists at a later stage.
Hewlett-Packard and IBM, however, are both members of the whole-of-government Data Centre Migration Panel, which is also compulsory.
The Department has not given any indication of how much the contract is anticipated to be worth, but the consolidation as a whole is expected to make a significant contribution to the $1.9 billion in savings targeted through ICT reform under the Strategic Reform Project (SRP).
The Centralised Processing contract will also reflect Defence’s efforts to enhance supplier relationships, by consolidating infrastructure sourcing into five bundles:
- Centralised Processing (upcoming RFT);
- Distributed Computing (out to market);
- Terrestrial Communications (Telstra and Optus shortlisted tenderers);
- Specialist Communications; and
- Applications (possibly resolved through the creation of the AMPSA panel).
The closest indication of the value of the Centralised Processing project would come from the ATO where the centralised computing contract with HP Enterprise Services is worth an estimated $254 million per annum.