IBM, CSC at edge over $5m Baycorp contract

IBM, CSC at edge over $5m Baycorp contract

Looking to streamline operations and consolidate infrastructure, data management and analytics solutions provider Baycorp Advantage will oust either IBM or CSC as a tier-1 outsourcing partner on its upwards of $5 million a year services project.

Baycorp Advantage chief information officer, Andrew Carline, said the company began its IT transformation project, dubbed the Baycorp Business (Change) Blueprint, or "B Cubed", in May with the anticipation of spending $24 million, including capital.

Carline joined Baycorp in July last year and was hired to deliver the technology component of the transformation the business was planning. "We want to [widen] our traditional credit offerings to a broader base of information services," Carline said.

With an IT shop of 120 people in Australia and New Zealand, Baycorp does application development, desktop support, and network support in-house with CSC used to run the mainframe, and IBM hosting a backup data centre for disaster recovery.

Baycorp's infrastructure is a "mix of mainframe and pSeries" systems, but there is also an in-house iSeries application for its New Zealand operations. In the last two years the company also built a commercial bureau,, on the pSeries with Java, WebSphere and DB2.

"Our biggest issue is the diverse technology across geographies [which is] a cost imperative," he said.

"If we can operate existing platforms more efficiently, we can invest in transforming and growing the platform."

Carline also identified as key challenges the company's "speed to market" ability and finding technology that "scales more readily".

"We're very likely to standardize," Carline said when asked about the future of Baycorp's numerous platforms.

"We are committed to a single platform on a trans-Tasman level [and] the investment we have in pSeries was made in the past two years, so we are looking to leverage that."

Baycorp is investigating the feasibility of re-hosting its mainframe and iSeries applications on the pSeries. Also on Carline's radar is moving away from iSeries application development to Java and .Net.

"The main issue is consolidation of outsourced vendors and a little more outsourcing of infrastructure," he said, adding that the decision to go with IBM or CSC will be made in the next few months.

"There are no performance issues, but if I have fewer partners [and they] understand my business better, I can get price benefits; I also look beyond that to see what value they can bring."

The winner will be charged with the running of mainframe, network support, and "potentially the opportunity of managing the pSeries and iSeries going forward but not currently in scope".

Carline believes large outsourcing contracts "tend to come in cycles", and although he is looking at consolidation it won't be to the extent that it fails to bring an appropriate level of expertise and scale.

The B Cubed project will not include an open source strategy, but Baycorp does "occasionally use" open source software and is employing a proof of concept for intrusion detection around open source.

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