Unisys has won a lucrative tender with Australia Post for the supply of 8000 PCs.
The Acer PCs are part of Australia Post's overhaul of its front desk transaction system - which, with 2800 outlets, is the largest retail network in the country.
Gary Pizzey, a Unisys principal, said Australia Post had specified unique needs in the contract, both in hardware and software. Unisys has had a long association with Australia Post, having developed retail software applications for it in the early 90s.
He said the PCs would be rolled out over the first six months next year, and a field trial is already under way.
"(Australia) Post is quite a unique organisation. It is the largest Australian retail network," Pizzey said.
"We were successful because we listened to what the client wanted and met it better than our competitors."
The Acer Integration Centre (AIC), formed to roll out its products on a large scale, will work with Unisys to install the PCs and software.
Unisys will supply personnel for the implementation and AIC will manage planning, scheduling and asset management tracking.
Valda Berzins, Australia Post's chief information officer, said that the existing system, called EPOS, was in need of updating.
"It is based on Progress, OS/2 version 1.3 and has DOS components," she said.
"This system handles one million transactions on a big day, or about 700,000 transactions on a slow day."
She said the new "Riposte" overhaul would allow the group to reduce the time required to develop new branch applications and also solve year 2000 compliance issues.
Berzins said Australia Post would now be able to facilitate applications such as insurance claims processing and theatre ticketing.
The AcerPower 6400 PCs will be installed as counter workstations with point-of-sale bar- code scanners and printers attached. AcerPower 6400 PCs will also be installed as branch office servers.