by Hamish Barwick

Downer EDI slashes multiple IT systems with outsourcing

Mar 01, 20123 mins

Years of mergers and acquisitions had left Australian engineering and infrastructure management services company, Downer EDI, lumbered with eight data centres, 36 operating systems and five data networks.

It is one of the main reasons chief information officer, Joseph Amoia, signed a six-year outsourcing contract with HP that includes data centre, network management and workplace services. By the end of the contract, Downer EDI will have a single virtual data centre, operating system and network.

“The outsourcing is about consolidating and simplifying to help the business provide a single face to customers,” he said.

“Because we’re a contracting organisation, I needed the ability to respond to these business demands with technology offerings in an agile manner which was difficult under the previous IT environment.”

According to Amoia, the outsourcing would also put Downer EDI in a more competitive position in the marketplace so the organisation can focus on winning contracts.

He admitted there were a few IT job losses as a result of outsourcing, but Amoia said where possible IT staff were redeployed to other areas within the company or given the option of working at HP on the Downer EDI account.

“We tried to minimise job losses as much as possible so my strategy was to be open with staff and explain that their jobs would not be affected by the contract for up to six months,” he said.

Downer EDI has a total of 200 IT staff across Australia, New Zealand and Asia.

The outsourcing contract was signed in July 2011 with the transition of its service desk to HP occurring on 1 December. The transition of IT services is expected to take up to 15 months.

The firm is also set to begin a pilot for a new Microsoft Exchange email system which will be hosted by HP.

A migration of eight data centres to HP’s facility in Eastern Creek, NSW, will take place during May 2011. Most of Downer EDI’s servers are to be virtualised as part of Amoia’s target to reduce the company’s data centre footprint by 75 per cent.

The HP also contract covers replacement of desktop PCs and notebooks with a refresh program currently underway. It will be rolled out to 6500 employees in Australia, New Zealand and Asia.

The company is also undertaking a separate application transformation program.

“One of the reasons I wanted to outsource was that I wanted to focus on the application transformation. Not having to worry about the day to day infrastructure was attractive,” Amoia said.

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