ABC signs deal for online overhaul

Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) officials have awarded EMC a content management system contract as part of an overhaul of the public broadcaster's Web site.The ABC is currently undertaking a multi-million dollar replacement program of its IT infrastructure, ZDNet Australia understands.

Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) officials have awarded EMC a content management system contract as part of an overhaul of the public broadcaster's Web site.

The ABC is currently undertaking a multi-million dollar replacement program of its IT infrastructure, ZDNet Australia understands. One result of the revamp will be the relaunch of the ABC Web site.

Last month the ABC opted for EMC's Documentum content management platform, which will drive the changes.

Around 500 ABC staff will use the new system, to replace a legacy internally developed system. 

The ABC did not return calls from ZDNet Australia about the project. However, EMC software group general manager Andrew Littleproud said the existing system delayed the ABC in publishing breaking news.

"[The ABC] were taking 30 minutes to get breaking news on their Web site," he said.

The delays were partly caused by inconsistencies in indexing data and an inability to enforce roles on users, he said.

"They did actually tell us they were replicating, or duplicating, a lot of information."

The new platform, once implemented, will relaunch the ABC online news section by the end of the year.

After the news section is relaunched, other sections of the ABC site will follow.

The new platform will act as the foundation for the ABC to publish more video and 3G content to a range of computing devices such as phones and PDAs.

The site has about 28 million registered users, according to Littleproud.

Both the ABC and EMC declined to reveal the value of the contract. However, EMC said it beat rivals including FileNet, Vignette, and IBM for the tender.

"We were told IBM was cheaper, but [the ABC] considered EMC a better solution fit," said Littleproud.

The ABC then invited both vendors to run 12 month proof-of-concept projects. IBM was subsequently ruled out.

"[IBM] failed technically," said Littleproud.

IBM did not return calls for comment on the story.