Unisys Australia has won a drawn-out tender with the NSW Department of Education (DET) to supply a range of Internet services to more than 1.2 million teachers, students and administrative staff.
The three-year, $33 million deal will see Unisys, in conjunction with several vendor partners, provide managed Internet services such as secure e-mail and Web hosting.
DET schools and TAFE campuses in New South Wales already have desktop infrastructure and local area networks in place, connected to a wide area network managed by the department's data centre in Sydney.
The deal will see Unisys contract telecommunications carrier Optus to build a "fat pipe" between the department's data centre and Unisys's facility in North Ryde.
Unisys is in the process of building a solution on Windows 2000 servers that will allow students, teachers and other staff to access e-mail, bulletin boards, chat rooms, and Web development tools from the browser. All of these features will be made available through Microsoft Exchange and Microsoft's "digital dashboard" software.
Unisys has an existing outsourcing deal in place with TAFE Queensland in which it manages everything from network devices to student administration systems. It also hosts both the student administration systems for Education Queensland and a PeopleSoft HR solution for the Western Australian Department of Education. Allen Koehn, Unisys's general manager, public sector, said it was this base of experience that tipped the deal in the company's favour.
"If we aren't the largest IT provider to the education market in Australia, then we're pretty close to it," he said.
Unisys's vendor partners on the DET dealMicrosoft: Windows 2000, Exchange Server, Digital Dashboard software.
Nortel: Carrier-grade switch between DET and Unisys data centres.
Optus: High-bandwidth link between DET and Unisys data centres.
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