Rio Tinto is migrating key IT systems back to Australian data centres under a major regional centralisation push.
The mining giant has been working on a data centre migration project in the Asia Pacific for about 18 months.
In that time, the company has migrated SAP and other business systems used by its Coal Australia subsidiary from data centres in the United States back to Australia.
The SAP migration covered all SAP modules and a number of associated systems that included deployments of EMC Documentum and talent management software Nakisa.
Rio is also in the process of consolidating some 50,000 Exchange mailboxes into centralised data centres - which again includes facilities in Australia.
A Rio Tinto spokesman declined to comment on the project.
The migration of SAP systems back to Australia, in particular, raised questions of a strategic change at Rio Tinto.
As late as mid-2008, the company migrated some older SAP systems hosted in an IBM data centre in Sydney to new infrastructure in one of its global data centres in Chicago.
Other Rio Tinto global data centres are located in San Diego, Europe and Australia.
Rio Tinto is a major global user of SAP business systems, counting about 31,000 users worldwide.
Rio outsources other parts of its IT environment. It is in the third year of a $70 million deal signed in 2008 under which it offloaded service desk and desktop services to CSC.
The mining giant has also previously outsourced application development and maintenance to Infosys.