The field has narrowed to four bidders for a $20 million contract to supply integration and application services to a syndicate of eight local councils in NSW. The tender comes after Geac Computer announced it would discontinue its support for a product it acquired in 1998.
According to ARN sources, submissions to the invitation-only tender have been received from Deloitte Consulting, Sanderson, Cap Gemini Ernst & Young, IBM GSA and Solution 6 -- which is understood to be leading a consortium of 16 partners. Geac will also be bidding for the tender.
The successful bid for the five-year contract is expected to be announced next month. However, Anthony O'Brien, media spokesperson from Parramatta City Council said the selection process could take until the end of the year. Other councils in the syndicate include Lake Macquarie, Hornsby, Rockdale, Randwick, Wyong Shire, Hurtsville and Ku-Ring-Gai.
A copy of the tender document obtained by ARN states the proposed tender is the result of a discontinued support agreement between former software provider Geac Computer and the local councils.
In 1984, several local councils tendered separately for Total Corporate System (TCS) software developed by Stowe. In 1995, the company revamped the TCS software with a number of third-party developers, and renamed it Pathway. The revised software included HR/payroll, financial management, records management and asset management software based on a client-server architecture.
Stowe successfully re-tendered for the councils before Geac acquired the software company in 1998. Geac offers its own integrated software suite called SmartStream, and announced it would discontinue support for the TCS software by 2002.
Faced with this situation, eight local councils have grouped their requirements in order to leverage a centrally managed IT infrastructure, and inter-operate across a common platform.
Geac officials were unavailable for comment when contacted by ARN.