WA Resources saves with US developer

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Western Australia's Department of Industry and Resources (DoIR) has announced cost savings of around $1 million from a legacy migration away from outsourced mainframe infrastructure.

Western Australia's Department of Industry and Resources (DoIR) has announced cost savings of around $1 million from a legacy migration away from outsourced mainframe infrastructure.

DoIR awarded a contract to US-based software provider Micro Focus three years ago to migrate the department's outsourced legacy systems to Windows. Post-implementation has seen the department's spending drop by around $1 million a year, including major cost savings on software maintenance.

Micro Focus said in a statement that its software maintenance costs had dropped from around $510,000 to $140,000 due to the Micro Focus deployment. Hardware maintenance had dropped from about $190,000 to just over $10,000.

Although labour costs had stayed around the same, miscellaneous costs for DoIR not included under any other category plummeted from some $560,000 to about $30,000 a year, Micro Focus said.

Users were "happy" with the new system, it said.

DoIR had been seeking a solution to the performance issues it was having with its outsourced mainframe infrastructure. After three years, performance had fallen away while costs had increased, it said.

John West, manager of strategy and planning at DoIR's information services arm, said the department had wanted to get back managerial control of its IT systems.

"When we began reviewing solutions, we knew what we wanted to achieve but not how to get there," he said.

DoIR had sought submissions from IT providers and got varied responses. Service providers and integrators had suggested hosted services, rip-and-replace offerings and migration, West said.

The department chose to migrate its systems using US-based Micro Focus.

"One of the biggest issues when replacing or migrating systems is building a support team that has the necessary skills and expertise in the legacy systems as well as the new platforms," West said.

"You need to achieve a blend of existing personnel with in-depth understanding of the systems and what is needed, and new people who are experienced in the latest systems and have no baggage."

DoIR wanted its users to access the system via the world wide web. DoIR staff had used the web for personal banking, online shopping and web surfing so believed it could help improve their delivery of services to customers, Micro Focus said.

The department had 30 overseas and regional offices incorporating 1100 staff, the company said.

Micro Focus made legacy development and deployment software for enterprise platforms. It was founded in 1976, the company said.
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