​ASX-listed Empired scores AU$15m WA government IT contract

Empired has been appointed by NEC to deliver services under Western Australia's GovNext-ICT initiative.

IT services provider Empired has been awarded a contract worth AU$15 million to provide the Western Australian government with cloud services as part of the state's GovNext-ICT project.

Perth-based Empired will provide the WA government with centralised directory services, centralised identity services, and certificate authority under a consumption-based model, with the potential to scale beyond 140,000 government users based on agency take-up of the GovNext-ICT platform.

The five-year contract, with options to extend for a further five years, will see Empired act as a subcontractor to Japanese IT giant NEC.

The WA government announced in January that it had signed NEC, Datacom, and Atos to provide IT infrastructure to service the entire state government over the next five years under the GovNext-ICT initiative.

At the time, WA Minister for State Development; Transport; Innovation Bill Marmion said he is expecting the newly formed agreements to save the state between AU$60 million and AU$80 million in IT infrastructure expenditure annually.

Under the new arrangement, all government agencies will purchase through one contract where the three vendors will continuously compete to sell their IT infrastructure services.

NEC's contract will include datacentre co-location services, private cloud services, public cloud integration, network and communication services, and identity management, in addition to general IT-related operations.

NEC will also implement a cloud brokerage service that it expects will enable government agencies to use Infrastructure-as-a-Services (IaaS) and Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) under a utility model.

The state kicked off its GovNext-ICT program in late 2015, with Marmion highlighting the benefits of moving to a subscription-based model as a way of allowing the state to concentrate on delivering government services.

The GovNext-ICT program replaced a model that was riddled with outdated approaches in which agencies owned and operated on-premises datacentres and server rooms, and ran their own isolated networks.

"This resulted in an ICT environment that is complex, duplicated, siloed, and expensive," the government previously said in a statement. "Furthermore, agencies are limited to the infrastructure they can afford to purchase and maintain. The complexity of this environment has made it difficult for government to take advantage of the as-a-service paradigm shift taking place with the ICT industry."

For the first half of the 2017 financial year, Empired reported AU$6.4 million in earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation, and amortisation (EBITDA) on revenue of AU$84 million.

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