A consortium led by systems integrator Fujitsu Australia has won a tender to rebuild the Web site for the Department of Communications, Information Technology and the Arts (DCITA).
DCITA put out a tender for the contract in late 2000/early 2001 for the redevelopment of its Web site (www.dcita.gov.au). The contract was won be systems integrator Fujitsu Australia, who will integrate a site based on a combination of Vignette software on the Microsoft Windows 2000 platform.
"The department was looking for an infrastructure more than anything," said Roger Walker, national manager for Government, Education and Health at Vignette. "Fujitsu is a good strong company, has good partnerships with the vendors and the capability to bring the project together."
The new improvements intend to make the Web site stickier, with personalised information being presented that is relevant to user needs. Walker also expects the back-end management of the DCITA site to be much stronger than its current set up. The first version of the new site is expected to go live in mid June.
The contract is a particularly important boost of confidence for the Australian office of Vignette; plagued with a comprehensive staffing and operations restructure being directed from the US. Recently the Australian office lost its managing director, several support staff in Sydney and Melbourne, and one employee in New Zealand. Walker said the vendor has decided to restructure from the top down, re-organising its executive ranks in Austin, Texas to include former Siebel executive Tom Hogan.
He expects the changes to slowly filter down into the Australian office. In the meantime, senior sales manager Keith Sheridan is running the Australian operations, with Chris Mollo running the channel sales division after the exit of colleague Peter Hilsen.
But the restructure is not preventing Vignette from making further inroads into the Australian market. According to Walker, Vignette has won a number of new Government tenders, none that he can yet name, since he was appointed to generate leads in the Government space in February 2000.
"Vignette is winning government contracts because we understand what the government site does," he said. "It is not about profits or market share -- it is about providing a service, reducing costs and organising workflow from a policy point of view."
Vignette channel partners have also shown little concern over the restructure, with Walker pointing out the recent success with Fujitsu Australia, and that representatives from integrator partner Solution 6 are currently in Austin to attend Vignette's annual Vignette Village' customer and partner conference.
"I think there is more confidence than ever in Vignette," he said. "History will tell that we did the right thing at the right time. We had the balls to do something quickly and proactively."