ACCC upgrades to Office 2007

Summary:The ACCC has conducted a desktop refresh, including upgrading to Office 2007.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has refreshed its fleet of desktops as part of a transformation program of its IT services, and has rolled out Microsoft Office 2007 to all desktops.

The watchdog's outsourced managed services contract expired on June 30, 2011, and the ACCC selected Datacom for the contract on June 4, 2012, after the organisation reviewed its service model.

In the ACCC's annual report (PDF), it said that all desktops and monitors were replaced in the last financial year, with employees given 24-inch monitors to replace 19-inch monitors. The organisation decided to upgrade the Office software to 2007 at the same time, despite the newer version of the software — Office 2010 — already being widely available.

"Concurrent with the desktop upgrade, users were upgraded to MS Office 2007, limiting the need to run multiple versions of Office and having to inefficiently convert files to the correct format."

The ACCC is intending to upgrade to Office 2010 after other software upgrades are completed. In the last financial year, the ACCC also signed up for Microsoft's volume-sourcing arrangement with the government.

The ACCC also replaced some laptops with tablets, and it is currently conducting a pilot study to let staff access email, calendar updates, and documents via smartphones and tablets. The ACCC has used the Defence Signals Directorate's (DSD) iOS hardening guidelines as part of this pilot.

All ACCC users are now on virtual desktops to allow them to work from any site, or through a remote connection. An unsecured wireless network was also established in the ACCC's Sydney, Melbourne, and Canberra offices to "decrease the effect of any possible system outage."

The Information Management and Technology Services (IMTS) branch within the ACCC also worked on reducing the number of file servers used by the ACCC in 2011 to 2012. This involved decommissioning file servers across a number of sites, and migrating physical servers to virtual servers. The ACCC also relocated Australian Energy Regulator systems from its Adelaide datacentre to its Canberra datacentre. The Adelaide datacentre is set to be decommissioned in the current financial year.

In the year between July 2011 and June 2012, the organisation's IT team grew by 40 percent, adding nine employees. The ACCC said that this allowed the commission to adopt agile development methodology for software changes within the ACCC.

Staff were given access to Facebook and Twitter in late 2011 "after due consideration of security and risks", but the ACCC noted that some unnamed social-media sites remained blocked due to "high security risk."

Topics: Government, Australia, Government : AU, Microsoft

About

Armed with a degree in Computer Science and a Masters in Journalism, Josh keeps a close eye on the telecommunications industry, the National Broadband Network, and all the goings on in government IT.

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