IBM Australia has been granted a $32.6 million contract from the Federal Government’s Department of Human Services (DHS) for the provision of its Power Systems server infrastructure.
The multimillion-dollar, seven-month contract is for additional IT hardware and software to expand the Department’s current IBM Power Systems-based platform, a spokesperson for the Department of Human Services told ARN.
IBM’s Power Systems infrastructure offers servers built with open technologies and designed for mission-critical applications.
According to tender documents, the contract provides for the Department’s Power Systems-based private cloud solution.
“The scope includes supply of operating and management system software and hardware,” the spokesperson said, noting that it was not related to a broader IT project, such as the Department’s mammoth Centrelink payments system overhaul, pegged to cost upward of $1 billion.
The new contract, which runs until the end of January next year, was won via a limited tender process via a standing offer deed with the DHS for the provision of IT hardware, software, documentation and services, and expands upon IBM’s existing procurement arrangement with the Department.
The Power Systems deal comes hot on the heels of a $13.7 million contract awarded to IBM from the Department of Human Services for the provision of mainframe storage infrastructure.
That contract was for refreshed IBM Mainframe Disk Storage Arrays to replace the ageing IBM Mainframe Disk Storage Arrays that were approaching end of support, a spokesperson for the Department told ARN at the time.
The big Government tenders continue to roll in for the global systems integrator, despite the company finding itself at the centre of a Parliamentary inquiry into the handling of the 2016 Census and its troubled eCensus online portal, of which IBM was lead IT partner.
Ultimately, IBM struck a financial settlement with the Federal Government over its role in the failure of the Australian Bureau of Statistics’ (ABS) online Census portal to withstand a series of distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks on Census night in early August last year.
The incident and its fallout subsequently saw IBM launch legal action late last year in the NSW Supreme Court against its upstream telco partners for the eCensus project, Nextgen Networks and Vocus Communications, over their respective roles in the project.
According to court documents, IBM Australia alleged that Nextgen Networks and Vocus Communications were negligent and in breach of contract in relation to their work associated with the 2016 eCensus portal.
The court documents also revealed that IBM wants Nextgen Networks to pay for the settlement it reached with Australian Government over the Census troubles, alleging that Nextgen Networks is liable for the claim brought against IBM by the ABS.
Regardless, IBM seems to have remained a favourite within Government quarters, with the Department of Human Services including the company on its procurement panel of just four systems integrators selected to work on its landmark Welfare Payment Infrastructure Transformation (WPIT) program.
Late last year, IBM and Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) joined Deloitte and Capgemini on the panel for the billion-dollar project.