Integration and services big gun Getronics completed a rollout of a leased and integrated IT infrastructure for Queensland's Maroochy Shire Council (MSC) late last year.
According to Getronics, who won the supply/configure/rollout deal by tender earlier last year, the implementation of450 new and consistently configured Acer desktops in 10 major locations has delivered the desired improved platform stability.
Laurie Heaton, Getronics' account manager, said MSC was a long-standing customer and that the project provided an excellent example of the NetWorkPlace (NWP) methodology which the company applies to its projects.
An integrated project life cycle methodology, NWP breaks all of Getronics' projects into plan, deploy and manage and maintain components, under which a number of services are offered. Customers select which services apply to the particular project.
"It is really a shopping list of services which are not mut-ually dependent on each other," Heaton said. "It is an old methodology that we have adapted to the network space."
Heaton added that the key reason behind the success of the project was that Getronics had its own staff in the Maroochy region (north of Brisbane). Where they face a lot of competition on municipal tenders in the city, many councils outside the metropolitan area have learnt they need local support.
As a result of the implementation, Getronics plans to use the MSC as a reference site which will give them the inside running on future rural municipal contracts.
"It positions us very well for similar tenders in the future," Heaton said. "It is easy to say what we would be able to do for a customer, but with this site for us the proof is in the pudding.
"It is not a stunning configuration that we have rolled out but it was quite large, went very well and was exactly what they wanted. They have lowered the total cost of ownership."
Maureen Klinkert, MSC's information systems manager,said outsourcing such a large chunk of the IT infrastructure was a major decision for the Shire to make. It was one that made sense when factors such as the cost of maintaining its older technology, low residual values on hardware and the cost of support were put under the microscope.
"Three years ago we did an internal cost benefit analysis to determine whether it would be more beneficial to lease rather than buy equipment," Klinkert said. "Given we have around 1000 staff in many dispersed locations across the Shire, desktopcomputers made up a large component of this analysis.
"The PCs were due for an upgrade in 1999, and when all things were taken into account, leasing turned out to be the most cost-effective way to deal with it," she added.
Each of the PCs were configured with a standard operating environment consisting of Windows 95, Microsoft Office Professional and various local government software applications. Klinkert said the standard environment resulted in decreased support calls, which indicated the entire platform was more stable with "lower network administration costs".