Contractor army wanted for Qld Health's middleware overhaul

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Contractor army wanted for Qld Health's middleware overhaul

Getting into meaty part of big transformation.

Queensland Health has put a call out to the market for an army of IT contractors it can turn to for help with its long-running middleware overhaul.

In late 2015 the department revealed its intention to incrementally replace its massive legacy environment by implementing new plumbing between the systems.

Addressing the middleware means the agency can overhaul small pieces at a time without impacting stability of other systems and applications.

Later that year it chose Fujitsu to help it implement Orion Health's integration software into its sprawling environment.

At the moment, around half of Health's critical legacy applications use the aged Oracle e*Gate and JCAPS products, while the other half rely on bespoke point-to-point interfaces and messaging.

The department has now revealed that it has completed the planning and design phase of the project, and expects that it can have the implementation ticked off within two years.

But it needs extra resources to meet this timeframe.

As such, it has turned to the market to procure a pool of IT contractors it can augment with its in-house expertise.

"While the [agency] will own program management and overall delivery responsibilities for the project and related initiatives, it seeks support from suitably qualified supplier(s) to provide capabilities in integration design-build-test-operate and migration services," Health said in tender documents.

It wants contractors that are specialists in software development and modification, and software support services, with expertise in integration migration and design-build-test-operate capabilities.

The contractor pool must be flexible and scalable, able to respond to requests for both long-term and short-term assignments, and able to work in Brisbane.

It will also call on the contractors to help out on the integration element of its $91 million laboratory information system (LIS) project.

Health expects for the first two years, it will need six full-time equivalent architecture experts, 15 design-build-test specialists, and four application support gurus.

Demand will be the highest during the first three--to-six months of the project, the agency said, and then will remain steady for the remainder.

The contractors will need to work in conjunction with Fujitsu, who was selected in late 2015 to deliver the middleware overhaul.

It will stop taking pitches on April 3, and expects to award the successful bidder and commence the arrangement on May 5. The contract will be in place for two years.

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