Customs CIO: Vista gives our staff PCs that work

Customs CIO: Vista gives our staff PCs that work

Summary: Australian Customs' chief information officer, Murray Harrison, says the department has almost completed rolling out Vista to its 6,000 PCs, and has improved security for its laptop fleet using Microsoft's encryption tool, Bitlocker.

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Australian Customs' chief information officer, Murray Harrison, says the department has almost completed rolling out Vista to its 6,000 PCs, and has improved security for its laptop fleet using Microsoft's encryption tool, Bitlocker.

"We've got a new desktop environment and have rolled out Vista to the desktop. We're almost three quarters of the way through," said Harrison, speaking at Gartner Symposium 2007 yesterday.

Earlier this year Customs announced its One Office project, which aimed to simplify its operating environment and replace the department's Windows 2000 NT operating platform for its desktops.

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Customs has reduced the number of standards in its operating environment from 35 to one, leaving it "very Microsoft-centric", said Harrison. It has also deployed Microsoft's Bitlocker -- a tool that encrypts and decrypts hard drives to aid the safe disposal of old hardware and reduce the risk of data leakage from lost laptops -- for its laptops, which form half of Customs' PC environment, he said.

"Bitlocker fits very well with our laptops and is useful for remote access," said Harrison.

However the fundamental issue, according to Harrison, is that the rollout of Vista has given staff "a computer that works". "Give someone a thing that works, and you've done your job," he said.

Customs brought its PC and LAN environment in-house after axing its decade long single-supplier outsourcing arrangement with EDS.

Topics: CXO, Government AU, IT Priorities, Microsoft, Windows

Liam Tung

About Liam Tung

Liam Tung is an Australian business technology journalist living a few too many Swedish miles north of Stockholm for his liking. He gained a bachelors degree in economics and arts (cultural studies) at Sydney's Macquarie University, but hacked (without Norse or malicious code for that matter) his way into a career as an enterprise tech, security and telecommunications journalist with ZDNet Australia. These days Liam is a full time freelance technology journalist who writes for several publications.

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4 comments
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  • big deal

    Since when does customs or govt for that matter know anything about technology
    anonymous
  • sometimes...

    I bet they have all the details on the number of times you have been rubber gloved on passing through customs. Problem is you have become a consistent offender and they fear you appreciate their service way too much
    anonymous
  • nice one

    Enjoy a fista do you? Another govt technology sheep mouse jockey. Get a real job.
    anonymous
  • vista vs xp

    What a load of toss. Xp would have also done the job, what are they saying, they were too incompetent to get XP to work?? More focus on back end rather than heavy client would have been a better, and web client would have done then, no requirement to update PC's, linux or mac would have also done the job easily.
    Gees, vista really works for us.... we can now open a word document, read our email and use served applications... that is pathetic. Someone is getting kickbacks from a well known large mediocre software vendor.... By the way, how is the BMW Harrison? Better than the software I would say.
    anonymous