The WA government has whittled down 73 bids for its new whole-of-government cloud and data centre panel to a shortlist of just six consortiums headed by major players, who will now compete for the lucrative infrastructure deal.
The state, under the guidance of its freshly appointed government CIO Giles Nunis, opened bidding for the ‘GovNext’ procurement in November.
The centralised deal will establish a new buying mechanism for agencies to access compute, storage and unified communications services on an as-a-service basis, bringing together the nebulous and inefficient data centres and networks currently used by WA agencies.
The GCIO office has now revealed that the six consortiums still in the running to nab the deal are headed by:
- Dimension Data
Last month, Finance officials told WA parliament’s public accounts committee the GCIO was conducting “interactive workshops” which each of the six shortlisted bidders, ahead of a formal request for proposals, due for mid-April.
The bulk of the members of WA’s soon-to-expire data centre panel have not made it onto the GovNext shortlist, but could still potentially be subcontracted under the consortium model. The state government has not published the full membership of the tender groupings.
The most noteworthy absence from the shortlist is Fujitsu, which is currently the data centre provider for many of WA’s central agencies including WA Health, the Department of Finance, the Department of Commerce and WA Main Roads.
The GovNext contract will replace the existing data centre common use agreement once the latter expires in October.
The GovNext network arrangement will also replace the government-run Service Net business, a cost recovery-based internal ISP supplying government customers.
The GovNext program is the first step in Nunis’ mission to overhaul the way WA buys and manages IT, which has garnered the state more than its fair share of negative attention in the past.
In February, the state’s auditor-general Colin Murphy revealed that poor contract management had allowed the health department’s data centre deal with Fujitsu to blow out by a forecast $81.4 million - including $44 million worth of contract add ons that were never properly authorised by health officials.
The procurement overhaul aims to consolidate 60 different data centre sites currently used by WA agencies into “a small number of interconnected, efficient, high grade data centres with a multi-tenanted community cloud for WA government”.
The GCIO hopes the GovNext program will see the majority of the public sector migrate into private or public cloud, and start using a single, unified network.
Nine WA agencies have already committed to buy from the GovNext contract.