NAB ditches Windows NT for XP

NAB has now achieved a "reasonable standard" of efficiency, according to a spokesperson for the bank, following its turbulent two-year, 28,000 seat rollout of XP.

NAB has now achieved a "reasonable standard" of efficiency, according to a spokesperson for the bank, following its turbulent two-year rollout of XP.

The upgrade, completed at the end of last year, saw NAB's entire fleet of 28,000 machines move to a single operating environment under Windows XP.

The bank's desktops had been working on the unsupported Windows NT operating system for a number of years prior to the rollout. However, NAB's acquisition of investment firm MLC in 2000 further complicated its desktop environment.

"We had five different platforms being used. There was no centralised management and coordination of the operating environment so this is a significant step forward for us. [XP] will bring us up to reasonable standard," Megan Lane, head of technology communications for NAB, told ZDNet.com.au.

"The most significant issue was moving from the NT environment which was no longer supported," she said.

Besides the complexities of managing multiple operating environments that support the bank's 700 applications, NAB's acquisition of MLC left it with two concurrent desktop support outsourcing contracts: while IBM provided desktop support to MLC, Telstra supported NAB.

However in December last year, NAB announced it had ditched Telstra and its subsidiary KAZ in favour of IBM for the desktop service outsourcing contract, which will expire at the end of 2010.

"As a result of [the XP rollout], we have a much more simplified desktop environment and with the contract expiring for Telstra, we're now able to go to a single service provider for our desktop support," said Lane.

Although NAB will still retain Telstra for its voice and data outsourcing contract, the agreement with IBM is expected to bring "greater stability" and "better value" than Telstra was able to deliver.

"We expect improved service for staff, more stability and better value. This is not about savings, but better value," said Lane.

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