CSG takes Qld water firm to the cloud

Queensland water-services and waste water-services company Unitywater has outsourced its IT services to CSG for the next three years.

Queensland water-services and waste water-services company Unitywater has outsourced its IT services to CSG for the next three years.

The two organisations signed the contract earlier this year in January, sealing Unitywater's choice to move more of its IT services to the cloud. While Unitywater opted not to disclose the sum of the agreement, it told ZDNet Australia that it is performance based, and has scope for extensions.

The water-services company found itself with the challenge of having to organise and integrate the limited IT systems from the Sunshine Coast and Moreton Bay regional councils that it inherited when these two organisations merged their water services together.

"[We] received very few ICT datacentre assets from the owner councils, as the councils still needed them for their own use," Unitywater CIO Mat Thomas said.

Additionally, these IT systems did not necessarily suit Unitywater's business model, so the company opted to change its approach to its implementation.

"Unitywater's ICT needs are somewhat different from the owner councils, and several enterprise systems are being established for the first time, such as a customer information and billing system and an asset-management system, both of which are distinctly different from council requirements. It made sense to put these systems into a new environment," Thomas said.

"This was seen as the ideal time to leverage a different model ... rather than establish a large asset base at high capital outlay."

The contract will see a number of Unitywater's infrastructure and platform services moved to a private cloud hosted by CSG, including its payroll, human resources, finance and corporate email systems.

In terms of support, Thomas said that Unitywater is still in the process of building and consolidating its own systems, and, as such, support models for these are not yet set in stone. Nevertheless, it has offloaded some of the work, where possible, to CSG. These services include datacentre, service desk and desktop support services.

"Off-site datacentre services have been around for years, but this goes further, to platform as a service, such that Unitywater does not need to be concerned about provisioning issues," Thomas said.

CSG has already positioned local staff in Caboolture and Maroochydore to provide desktop support in those regions, and has begun the migration work to move Unitywater's systems to the cloud.

"In just three months, we've seen CSG start running the domain for Unitywater, managing the desktop environment for 1200 PCs, laptops and notebooks, as well as getting the cloud services up and running," CSG managed services general manager Mike Barber said in a statement.


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