How the vendors are placed in Supercity ICT

Council CIOs push incumbent vendors for Supercity systems.

Documents appear to confirm that IT vendors with strong existing installations in Auckland councils are in the box seat to become ICT suppliers to the new Auckland Council, which takes charge of the city on November 1. Auckland Regional Council's group manager of ICT, John Holley, recommended last October that the Auckland Transition Agency should use systems that are already in use within the councils or systems selected as part of a recent tender, to deliver both strategic and tactical IT services on Day One of the Supercity.

Holley gives examples such as ESRI GIS (geographic information systems), Pathway for ratings, Business Objects for reporting, VMware for server virtualisation and Citrix for remote offices.

In the same memo, he writes: "If SAP is selected as the core ERP — based on existing usage within the Auckland councils, scalability and the comprehensiveness of implementations at Auckland City and the ARC — then an initial system could be in place and configured by April 2010. This assumes the use of ACC and ARC staff and acceptance of ACC/ARC business processes."

He notes Microsoft Exchange is used by all councils, "so it would appear that this is a simple choice", though that does not extend to archiving.

Applications Holley defines as tactical on Day One include payroll — and once again SAP appears well placed.

Like other CIOs responding to a memo from the ATA's business process and systems workstream head, Mike Foley, Holley emphasises that any decision on platforms has to be defendable and that to achieve this the Office of the Auditor-General should be involved.

It is not known whether Holley's recommendation has been accepted, but he isn't alone in pushing particular applications and platforms for the new city.

Colin Smith, CIO of Manukau City Council, writes that Business Objects and data warehousing used at Manukau could be used to consolidate financial information from existing systems if these are retained in each of the councils.

"For websites, the initial discussions regionally indicate that leveraging the existing MOSS [Microsoft Office SharePoint Server] and associated CMS capabilities will support the 'thin veneer' of pragmatic deliver required to support a good 'Day One' customer service experience."

Smith also notes potential e-recruitment solutions as CapitalHire or Snaphire, with the latter having a larger presence in the Auckland councils.

In the other responses to Foley's enquiries received by Computerworld, from Auckland City CIO Ian Rae and Waitakere City group manager information management John Johnson, no specific vendors or platforms are named.

Both councils use SAP, with Waitakere rolling the software out most recently, in 2007. Computerworld NZ