Qld government gets Big Blue for big deal

IBM announced yesterday that it had signed a four-year contract with the Queensland government as part of its Shared Services Initiative in a significant step towards consolidating the management of its business processes.

The Queensland government has signed a four-year deal with IBM as part of its Shared Services Initiative aimed at consolidating the management of its business processes.

IBM said its first priority as the state government's new shared services partner will be to implement new human resources systems in the Queensland Department of Education, Training and the Arts; Queensland Health; Queensland Corrective Services and the Department of Emergency Services.

The Queensland governments Shared Services Initiative is aimed at reducing duplication by streamlining a number of business processes and consolidating systems across the state.

"As far as shared services projects in Australian government go Queensland is one of the biggest," said Richard Harris, research vice president at analyst firm Gartner.

"The Queensland Shared Services Initiative has had its problems, the formidable task of implementing a state-wide consolidated finance and human resources system is one that comes to mind," he said.

The state government contract will also include a consultancy component for IBM, involving members of its human capital management and financial capital management sectors to assist in application development, training and change management.

According to IBM, its involvement will also include the rollout of a new SAP based finance suite in addition to the consolidation of the government's human resources systems.

"Presuming this is a substantial involvement that IBM is having with them -- which it looks as though it is -- this is a step up in type of engagement the Queensland government has sought with other service providers before," said Harris.