Gold Coast considers canning IBM contract

Gold Coast City Council is considering cancelling a software contract with IBM after the council extended its relationship with SAP.

Gold Coast City Council is considering cancelling a software contract with IBM after the council extended its relationship with SAP.

IBM

Gold Coast Mayor Ron Clarke has endorsed a proposal to terminate an enterprise software agreement with IBM. (IBM image by ChrisDag, CC2.0)

Gold Coast Mayor Ron Clarke endorsed a proposal to ditch IBM in a statement this week, saying that the use of SAP Enterprise Resource Planning software instead of IBM would deliver savings for ratepayers.

After the council merged its enterprise resource planning and property resources, it undertook a review of SAP software use within the business and came to the conclusion that the role of existing software could be expanded.

As a result, Gold Coast City Council chief executive officer Dale Dickson told ZDNet Australia that he was in the process of negotiating a contract termination with IBM.

"We will be seeking assistance from our software provider (SAP) to help us keep the momentum of the program going while we consider a number of options for the way forward to deliver the one IT solution," said Dickson.

Despite the fact that the council is in negotiations to terminate its contract with IBM, Dickson said that the decision was not related to poor performance of the software IBM supplied.

"The decision is not based on performance but has come about because the scope of work has changed. As a council, we must pursue an outcome which ensures the best possible investment of ratepayers' money. That is what we are achieving," he said.

However, the decision to consolidate enterprise software has not been without criticism, with many left asking how much the termination of the IBM contract will cost the council.

Dickson has assured local businesses and residents that their money won't be needlessly wasted.

"Given the decision to integrate our [enterprise resource planning] and property programs, [terminating the IBM contract] has been assessed at this early stage as appropriate from council's perspective. The details of a future termination of the contract are confidential between the parties; however, any costs will be easily recouped over the course of the new, integrated approach," Dickson said.

The council expects that it will save approximately $2.5 million by consolidating its enterprise resource planning software.