The federal Treasury department has signed a $5.8 million, three-year contact with Queensland enterprise software maker Technology One to provide the foundation of its new enterprise resource planning solution.
Treasury went to market in April for an ERP provider that would help the agency shift off its mix of individual systems and onto a single hosted COTS solution.
The department currently uses SAP for finance, Aurion for HR, iCMS for expense management and Microsoft Dynamics for CRM.
Treasury has now signed up for TechOne's OneGovernment solution, hosted out of Amazon Web Service's Sydney data centre.
The deal includes a shared services arrangement where the Australia Bureau of Statistics will piggyback off the Treasury contract.
It caters to 1000 Treasury and 2500 ABS seats and around 100 concurrent users.
The departments won't, however take up all of the platform's modules initially.
Treasury has opted to keep using Aurion for HR, and the ABS will continue using a PeopleSoft solution.
CIO Peter Alexander said the TechOne HR module was not quite where the department needed it to be.
"It's not bad, but it's not configured enough for government out-of-the-box. In 18 months we'll re-evaluate and see if it's modified enough to use it out-of-the-box - they're doing a lot of work on it, and we've given them a lot of input," he said.
Treasury will also keep using its iCMS system for expense management and Microsoft Dynamics for CRM.
It will pick up the OneGovernment financial, asset management, business intelligence, performance planning and enterprise budgeting modules.
Alexander is celebrating what he believes is a true cloud offering, devoid of any licenses.
"You've got to pay a baseline, but it's workable," he said.
"It's a genuine, scalable offering, whereas I think a lot of [other] vendors wanted us to buy a license, they'll provide us with the service and value-add bits, but they still want us to buy the license.
"[That model] can still work, but I think we're all moving to a space where when we move to a cloud service, we want to buy a service, have a vendor responsible for the service and accountable for it and deliver it.
"And when you start getting into 'pay for the license, pay for the hosting, pay for the implementation', it starts breaking that model."
He expects both Treasury and the ABS to have the platform operational by the end of the financial year.
Treasury has so far only signed up the ABS as an official shared services partner under the deal, but it's got its sights set on bigger things.
The department wants to become a service provider to other small-to-medium sized agencies, in line with recommendations of the government's 2014 Commission of Audit.
The audit suggested the government implement a shared services model to improve the efficiency of corporate services. The model has been popular at the state level but not widely used in federal circles.
Alexander said several other similarly-sized agencies had expressed interest the model.
"This is a really flexible arrangement for agencies to use," he said.
"The base is that they share our platform, in which case they get their own instance of TechOne and they can use whichever module they like, but they share the platform through us, and we all benefit from the scale.
"So if we had an agency with 100 concurrent users, that pushes us all up. The pricing declines as more people come on board, then we average out the pricing and everyone who's using the platform gets the benefits."