FreightCorp, the NSW state-owned rail freight corporation, is proceeding with IT outsourcing and has invited service providers to pre-register interest in the contract on Tuesday, December 1. Services to be outsourced include IT service desk, LAN management, WAN management, desktop services, and application management and support.
Some application management and support, for example train management systems, will remain in-house due to their strategic importance, said Peter Enderby, information technology manager at FreightCorp.
Following pre-registration, FreightCorp will pick five organisations to submit a detailed proposal, with a view to selecting a preferred partner to provide a full range of required services.
"There are some bad war stories out there but there are some good ones as well," Enderby said.
"The way we want to handle it is with an incremental step-by-step approach - the help desk will probably go first - the rest will happen gradually."
However, Enderby envisaged that most of the outsourcing will be complete by June 1999.
FreightCorp has had some experience of working with the big names in the outsourcing game. Its decision to outsource is part of a wider IT strategic plan, developed within the last few months, with the assistance of IBM Global Services Australia (IBM GSA).
As part of the contract, IBM GSA supplied the services of James Drogan, a transport expert from the US who has worked as a consultant to US Rail.
In choosing a service provider for IT outsourcing, FreightCorp - which transports more than 72 million tonnes of freight each year - will look for an organisation with characteristics such as: a detailed knowledge of the transport and rail freight industry; extensive experience of IT outsourcing in Australia; experience of providing IT services to government organisations; and a good organisational fit with FreightCorp.
To assist with the selection process and contract negotiations, FreightCorp has enlisted the services of outsourcing facilitation specialist Axio, Enderby said.