Defence spending boosts local software firms

Two Australian software firms are laughing all the way to the bank after inking separate deals with the US and Australian defence departments.Canberra-based Tower Software said on Wednesday that it had signed a deal worth AU$45.

Two Australian software firms are laughing all the way to the bank after inking separate deals with the US and Australian defence departments.

Canberra-based Tower Software said on Wednesday that it had signed a deal worth AU$45.2 million with the US Department of Defense to license its TRIM range of enterprise content management (ECM) products that help organisations manage and secure their sensitive data.

According to Martin Harwood, Tower Software's Managing Director, the deal involves supplying software to the US military services, US intelligence agencies and the US Coast Guard.

"The U.S. Navy currently runs the biggest ECM solution in the world, with current deployment of 360,000 seats... With this agreement, we expect the number of users of Tower Software's TRIM Context solutions within the US military and related agencies to exceed one million," said Harwood in a statement.

Meanwhile, the Maritime System Division of the Australian Department of Defence (DoD) has spent an undisclosed sum licensing Axis, an ERP and supply chain management system developed by Brisbane-based Mincom.

According to Ian McDonald, senior vice president of defence at Mincom, the system will be introduced in two phases to ensure there are no interruptions to the DoD's systems, which process around two billion transactions every year.

"We are in the first phase of the project which focuses on integrating spare parts and consumables, giving DoD electronic availability of its order and payment activities. The second phase will focus on integrating equipment maintenance systems such as work request information exchange with DoD's heterogeneous ERP systems," said McDonald in the statement.

Brigadier David McGahey of the DoD said the system will help improve supply chain efficiency and accuracy: "Secure electronic enablement of payment processing and purchase ordering will improve order accuracy, visibility of order status, shorten processing time, and reduce cost per order. This will increase supply chain efficiency and help us to report to government on our assets accurately."

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