Poor performance prompts Auckland council tender
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Auckland Council is seeking vendors to standardise its desktop environment, which has been negatively impacting its bottom line and customer service due to “poor performance,” according to a recently published RFP document.
The council says IT operational costs have become excessive because the disparate systems used require complex user administration and desktop support. In addition, council workers from librarians to politicians are unable to work off site, and often cannot access data on what should be a combined Wide Area Network (WAN).
The RFP seeks a solution to standardise the build of operating systems and devices used by the council. In particular the council says it is concerned about Windows XP losing update support from Microsoft in 2014, as more than 8100 council machines run the operating system.
“If our desktops are not upgraded before this date, no security updates will be available for Windows XP, leaving our desktops vulnerable,” reads the document.
The successful vendor is expected to package and deploy 600 applications to the new desktop environment, which will use a common operating system based on Windows 7 with the Office 2010 suite. Although the council uses the term desktop, it clarifies that this will also include thin clients, thick clients, and mobile devices.
Also included in this body of work is the consolidation of the council’s Active Directory environment, which it says it inherited from the Auckland Transition Agency (ATA) after the creation of the ‘Super City’.
A new directory and domain was created for the new Super City, but users, devices, and resources are still contained in the nine legacy domains. Vendors are expected to migrate all council users to a single new domain.
The council says it will achieve the migration in two stages.
In stage one applications with duplicate abilities will be removed, consistent builds for devices will be procured, and mobile workplaces will be supported, among other things.
By stage two the council says it hopes to have its “One Council, One IS Landscape” initiative fully running.
This will include a fully standardised desktop environment, with bring your own device (BYOD) support.
Out of scope for the desktop migration are Watercare Services, the Maori Statutory Board, and Auckland Transport.
Auckland Council has been criticised in the past for rushing a previous RFP.
In 2010, Computerworld reported that SAP was chosen as the vendor for Auckland Council’s ERP project without a formal tender process. Computerworld understands that the process was rushed as the now defunct Waitakere City Council, Auckland Regional Council, and Auckland City Council were all using SAP systems, substantial investments which they wished to continue exploiting.
However it was revealed ratepayers would be paying at least $62 million towards creating a new system from scratch instead of recycling systems that were already available at the local councils, including a $2 million system deployed by Auckland Regional Transport Authority (now Auckland Transport).
Computerworld reported sources saying a large chunk of that cost was due to extensive use of consultants.
The desktop environment RFP document was released on May 29. Responses will be accepted between June 29 and July 3.
Posted by Keith at 17:46:29 on June 23, 2012
Posted by Anonymous at 21:42:11 on June 20, 2012
Posted by Anonymous at 14:54:37 on June 21, 2012
Posted by Lost in Space at 15:03:17 on June 20, 2012
Posted by Anonymous at 10:36:18 on June 20, 2012
Those that spent it are running around having review's, meetings, muttering to each other while not making eye contact. Hence generating more RFPs to finish the job....
AND more importantly, the beloved Council machine will absolutely be planning to increase our rates. With tunnels, trains, bridges, parking charge increases and other delusional grandiose dreams of non central govt funded ambition....PLUS a bottomless IT money pit, rate increase have to be double digit - Be prepared !
Ahhhh... the good old days - Remember when one council was going to save us money..? Remember when the "cheque was in the mail...."? Remember when he said "Ive had a vasectomy...?"
Posted by PLS increase my Rate's - PLEASE at 16:34:00 on June 20, 2012
But hey, I advocate making a more gradual transition - start by using FOSS on Windows XP, and milk XP until 2014. XP will be more usable (e.g. with Firefox and Chrome rather than dirty old IE).
Linux and FOSS already reign supreme in every other significant computing niche besides the desktop - from embedded to mobile up to super computers, and all of the web/cloud in between (except for the tiny bit that MS has built).
MS will continue be proposed by big players for Gov't in NZ *because it makes them more money*. It's that simple. They can use existing staff, the solutions require more support, they make an additional margin on license fees, and they know how to sell it.
Ultimately, the big corporate vendors' bias toward MS solutions amounts to a cartel which needs to be broken. It'll continue to be fun and games for the big corporate vendors until either a rogue comes along or one of the big players blinks and throws FOSS into the mix for competitive reasons. Then the glory days of fat margins and massive profits will end, and governments (and taxpayers) will start getting much much better value for their money. That's exactly what's happening elsewhere in the world. All those clever Anonymous folks who can see the writing on the wall should start getting their CVs in order.
Posted by Dave Lane at 9:36:51 on June 20, 2012
Posted by Confused at 22:25:20 on June 22, 2012
and we are all waiting for that day to arrive, but it never seems to
Posted by Anonymous at 22:08:09 on June 20, 2012
Posted by Anonymous at 13:13:29 on June 20, 2012