Optima completes initial DET roll-out

Optima completes initial DET roll-out

Optima has completed the first of this year's planned PC deployments for the NSW Department of Education and Training (DET) putting $5 million of equipment into Hunter/Central Coast schools.

The roll-out is part of a $544 million DET Technology for Learning Plan (T4L) to provide PCs to all public schools across the state. Optima delivered 3300 Optima WorkPro 7000 series desktop computers and 400 notebooks to establishments located in the region.

All are accompanied by LCD monitors and have been fitted with a special bolting device and intrusion switch for security.

The vendor is also undertaking hands-on training to the school's IT coordinators. Optima chairman, Cornel Ung, said it had been given four weeks to deploy the equipment.

"We had to do the schools concurrently," he said.

"It wasn't easy, but we did it."

The roll-out is the first of three expected to be undertaken by the DET this year under its T4L whole-of-government plan. This will see up to 35,000 PCs allocated.

Over the next four years, a total of 100,000 PCs are scheduled to be delivered to state schools.

Optima expressed disappointment about the deal when it was first announced in November, claiming its share of the NSW education market had been substantially reduced as a result of the centralisation of government purchasing.

According to the DET, local manufacturers would represent one-third of the contract, while the rest was expected to fall to international supplier, IBM.

Other vendors involved include ASI Solutions and Apple. Ung said its first-year portion had nearly doubled since the initial announcement. "[The DET] never told us which region we'd have but informed us of the quantity," he said. "But we have gotten more than we were advised on earlier."

Ung said the DET had only allocated the amount of PCs required until October.

But given its success on the latest roll-out, he was confident Optima could increase its share of the contract by the end of the year.

"It seems likely that since our share has risen this year, we can expect to increase it next year," Ung said. "We hope to get close to the 40 per cent share we used to have."

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