IBM inks 10-year, 9-figure deal with Dept. of Veterans Affairs

IBM will be upgrading the 50-year-old HR system at the VA to the cloud using its own software products as well as some from Oracle, among others.

If you think your company has a legacy infrastructure problem, try the United States Department of Veterans Affairs for a comparison.

The VA has tapped IBM to upgrade their approximately 50-year-old human resources system. According to IBM reps, the government agency is looking to free up employee workloads so they can spend more time with vets and less time on the process and backlog of claims.

IBM said that the system it plans to implement is a "first-of-a-kind win in the U.S. Federal Government Sector."

Moving with the times and the way enterprise technology is going, naturally it will be delivered via the cloud through a Software-as-a-Service deployment.

The new HR system will be built upon Oracle PeopleSoft human capital management apps and Monster Government Solutions along with IBM's own software products, including the InfoSphere big data platform and Tivoli integrated service management software.

In compensation, the VA's contract with IBM is worth approximately $123 million. Even though the VA and IBM said that this will require "the most basic changes" to the HR IT infrastructure, the project will be ongoing for the next decade.

But real improvements should be seen within the next two years.

Deployment of the new SaaS HR system will start rolling out in phases in 2014 following testing later this year.

IBM said that it expects the new HR system, which will be used by more than 300,000 VA employees, to be ready by the end of 2015.

After that, IBM will provide management and maintenance services over the course of the contract.