Western Australia’s Education Dept signs US$ 185m ICT deal

Western Australia's Department of Education and Training has signed a US$185 million contract with Perth-based IT services outfit Kinetic IT to continue to provide infrastructure services and support. We have 200 schools that we manage fully end to end. We've got another 600 schools we're targeting. The seven-year contract, including optional extensions, is worth US$185 million to Kinetic and started at the beginning of February. It won't be unfamiliar territory for the Western Australian IT company, however, since it has held a similar contract with the department for the last four years. Yet a lot has changed over the last four years, according to Glenn Veen, DET manager of infrastructure and telecommunications. When Kinetic signed on in 2003, the department wasn't managing the desktops in its 200 schools under management, he said. Kinetic has been carrying out this work as project work. Under the new contract, the management of these schools will fall under base services.

Veen said the number of schools Kinetic catered for would also increase as the department rolls out standard operating environments out to more schools. 'It's got the capacity to grow into a more managed environment. As I said, we have 200 schools that we manage fully end to end. We've got another 600 schools we're targeting,' said Veen. In total, there are 93,000 desktops which fall under the Department's aegis over roughly 1,000 sites, 880 of them schools. When the currently unmanaged schools have the standard operating environment, tools such as HP's Configuration Manager (which deploys patches and applications) can be rolled out. This saves teacher time which would have otherwise been spent doing the same job. Kinetic has also offered as part of the contract to move the department onto HP Service Manager 7, a new HP release that integrates a lot of products which the department was already using and adds some additional functionality.