Defence puts next-generation desktop rollout to market

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Defence puts next-generation desktop rollout to market

End-user computing deal to be signed mid-2015.

The Department of Defence has approached the market for a partner to help it expand its ‘next-generation desktop' environment across the agency’s restricted network.

The department this week issued a request for quotation to the five suppliers on its lucrative applications managed services partnership arrangement (AMSPA), excluding any outside parties from bidding for the work.

Accenture, BAE Systems, CSC, IBM and HP are accredited AMPSA partners.

This means the company credited with designing and piloting the solution – defence specialist Thales – will not be in the running for the ongoing project.

Thales ran the 1200-seat pilot of the next-generation desktop model, which was completed in 2012. According to AusTender, the firm has completed roughly $60 million in work orders for Defence related to the project.

But it doesn’t have a seat on the department’s closed AMPSA list, which was established in October 2011 as way of streamlining IT services procurement within the CIO Group and sharing the burden of risk with Defence’s key partners and prime contractors.

Defence has been working on overhauling its desktop environment since 2010, in an effort to put an end to the days of personnel having to run separate PCs on each desk to connect to the department’s ‘restricted’ and ‘secret’ networks.

The rollout of thin client desktops across the organisation’s 116,000 seats will allow staff to access both networks from the same screen, while additionally upgrading the department to Windows 7.

It has already begun to transition ‘secret’ network accounts over to the new environment. This latest deal will be limited to work on the ‘restricted’ network.

The agency expects the new desktop setup will "improve lifecycle management, sustainability and resilience to support a stable, secure and standardised Defence ICT environment".

The AMSPA deal will remain in place until 25 September 2016.

The department plans to have down-selected a preferred tenderer for the end-user computing work some time in Q2 next year.

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