Downer EDI kicks off major IT transformation

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Downer EDI kicks off major IT transformation
Sydney's Millennium Trains are made by Downer Rail, a division of Downer EDI.
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The next major undertaking is a consolidated Exchange email environment that is to be hosted on the HP infrastructure. 

"That's about to start pilot and user acceptance testing," Amoia notes.

"We're still working through exactly what's going to be included in [the Exchange environment]," he says.

The team is still considering whether to include features from Microsoft's Lync unified communications platform, although this is not part of the pilot.

Part of the reason a consolidated Exchange environment is possible is a major body of work to consolidate 16 Active Directory instances across the Downer Group to one.

"It's an exercise we started long before we signed a contract with HP in terms of understanding the current state," Amoia says.

"There's been a lot of work to consolidate those Active Directories. It's very complex but we're trying to simplify it and I think we have a pretty good plan with HP on how that's going to happen."

Application transformation

Other aspects of Downer's environment will be progressively "forklifted" into HP's data centre from March or April with a staged transition over the next 12 months.

The company has started the second part of its IT "transformation agenda" by examining the complex enterprise app environment that sits atop its existing infrastructure.

Some applications could potentially be retired.

"We are looking at where we can consolidate applications and turn applications off," Amoia says.

"The initial focus of transformation was on the infrastructure, and then it was how do we really add value and enable the business and I guess the strategy the business had there was it wants to provide a single face to customers.

"What we're doing [now] is looking at how we provide a level of group enterprise applications which will allow that to happen."


Enterprise resource planning (ERP) is a prime candidate for reform. The firm runs disparate systems including JD Edwards' EnterpriseOne and World products, Oracle's eBusiness suite, and smaller systems such as COINS.

The entire existing ERP environment is to be forklifted onto HP infrastructure.

Amoia concedes it's a "huge job".

"The bigger job is we're now going and developing a program on what an enterprise ERP may look like for Downer," he says.

Ideally, that will consolidate ERP across the group onto a single platform.

"One of the reasons we decided to go down the [infrastructure] outsourcing path is because I didn't really want to have to worry about the infrastructure," Amoia says.

"I'd much rather be having a conversation with my business colleagues around applications and how we help the business work better and how they work better with their customers."

Read on for how Amoia's change communication strategy to internal IT.

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