Immigration issues major enterprise computing tender

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Immigration issues major enterprise computing tender

Seven-year services deals to expire.

The Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) is seeking mainframe and enterprise computing service providers to replace a range of expiring deals worth a total of $627 million.

The department has issued an extraordinarily large pack of 57 tender documents, calling for suppliers for one of three enterprise computing packages: mainframe services, selected ICT services, or both.

Prospective tenderers were required to apply by 20 August, with the new deal to commence on 1 July 2013 and span five years, with the option of four additional one-year extensions.

DIAC’s current enterprise computing contracts with CSC and Unisys have been in place since 2005, under a multi-sourcing model.

CSC provided all mainframe services and some midrange services including storage, in deals worth $191 million over the past seven years.

Meanwhile, Unisys has looked after DIAC’s end-user computing services, service desk and gateway services in deals worth $436 million since 2005, according to Government tender system AusTender.

While “value for money” remains the main factor in determining the successful bidders, DIAC’s tender documents give incumbents an advantage in the evaluation.

Tender documents indicate that a 20 percent weighting will be given for “previous experience” and a further 10 percent for “transitional plans" for the handover. 

Other applicants may point to their experiences with similar ICT projects, but Unisys and CSC would be the ones to beat on these criteria alone.

DIAC’s ICT environment

Tender documents described a distributed ICT environment within DIAC, with about 40 offices and detention facilities located in all states and territories interconnected by a virtual private network.

DIAC’s ICT systems support about 9200 onshore personnel, with some 10,500 desktop PCs, 1750 laptops that have been based on Windows XP since 2004.

The department is in the process of upgrading its servers to Windows 2008, and workstations to Windows 7 and Microsoft Office 2010 under a ‘Desktop Modernisation Program’.

It will also move from a Lotus email environment to Microsoft Exchange with residual Lotus Notes business applications to be redeveloped in the future.

DIAC’s data centres are located in Sydney, Melbourne and Canberra; the former two locations house mainframe services, while DIAC’s secure gateway services, Unix and Wintel servers are located in Canberra.

The IBM z-series mainframe runs on z/OS and primarily employs Adabas/Natural, COBOL, AppBuilder and DB2 technologies. It occupies 4.2TB on a shared Hitachi storage area network (SAN), which is also connected to DIAC’s application servers.

The mainframe supports DIAC’s core border management and client services functions with applications such as the Adabas/Natural/Telnet travel and immigration processing system (TRIPS) and the COBOL/DB2 integrated client service environment (ICSE), which manages front- and back-office applications.

Both platforms make extensive use of MQ-series middleware to interact with platforms, a VTAM Connection between the LPARS for integration between ICSE and TRIPS.

DIAC’s major midrange systems include e-Business, TRIM, SAP, IRIS and data warehouses that run on IBM AIX (P7-780 LPARS), Windows 2003/2008 Server and Redhat Linux.

The majority of the Windows and Linux environments are virtualised with VMware technology.

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