The Department of Home Affairs is set to hand close to all its $130 million budget for improved big data capabilities to core infrastructure providers Teradata and IBM.
The newly-formed department was given the funding in this month’s federal budget to enhance its IT capabilities during the current financial year.
It will cover upgrades to the department’s connected information environment and analytics and threat management capabilities, as well as a new platform for its enterprise identity management system.
At budget estimates this week Secretary Mike Pezzullo said the funding injection would allow the department to “purchase additional data storage capability” for its core Teradata system - which holds transactional data.
“This is Teradata. This is very large scale data handling capability – servers and additional licenses and the like,” he said.
“That will be a boost to not just the department - we’ll spread it across all the portfolio agencies.”
Pezzullo said it would allow other agencies in the mega-portfolio, including the Australian Federal Police and Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission, to avoid having to acquire their own capabilities and the inevitable premiums involved in double-sourcing.
“Whether you’ve got huge data sets for visas, cargo consignments, the AFP investigative database, the ACIC’s very large scale datasets – they all need storage,” he said.
But the majority of the funding for the upgrades has already been tied up using the department's existing standing contract and licensing arrangements.
Acting deputy secretary intelligence and capability group Joe Franzi said that the department would leverage an existing contract with “particular providers”, but when pressed about the identity of the provider named only IBM.
However during the week the department provided more detail to the committee about where the funding would go.
“Of the two largest components of the $130 million, the first relates to IBM,” CFO Stephanie Cargill said.
“We have actually placed an order for software expenditure of $17 million and hardware expenditure of $1.163 million, and that’s placed under the department’s existing IBM licensing software and services agreement.
“And the hardware expense will be procured from the DTA commercial off-the-shelf software and hardware panel, and that’s an open procurement.
“The second major component is with Teradata. This consists of $69 million capex and $28 million opex for procurements and extension of the existing data warehouse and analytics platform, which provides a high-reliability capability to support critical business and intelligence services.
“We’ve placed an order under the department’s existing Teradata deed of agreement, and the Teradata deed of agreement was a limited tender for specific Terradata software and services.”
She said both contracts had been signed only last week.