Tourism Australia eyes cloud services, Windows 8

Tourism Australia is considering adopting cloud services and Windows 8 as part of an overhaul of business systems.
Written by Josh Taylor, Contributor

Tourism Australia is seeking to replace a number of internal IT systems in November, with the potential to move to Windows 8 and adopt more cloud-based services, including Office 365.

The request for tender issued last week specifies that the government agency charged with selling the benefits of visiting Australia both domestically and to the rest of the world is seeking a single operator to deliver a number of new key systems. The systems that require replacement include finance, budget, procurement, human resources, and payroll.

The systems would be used by employees across the world, including in Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Malaysia, India, China, South Korea, Japan, Germany, the UK, Canada, the US, and Indonesia.

Tourism Australia has suggested that the proposed partner would potentially upgrade to Windows 8 for desktops and tablets — but not smartphones — and the partner should consider upgrading to SharePoint 2013 from SharePoint 2007.

According to the document, Tourism Australia is also currently trialling Microsoft's cloud-based software package Office 365, and has said that all of the systems should be able to be delivered through the cloud.

"The ability to scale infrastructure elastically is important. Virtual servers should be able to be provisioned at short notice and with little interaction either from Tourism Australia or the appointed partner," the document states.

Tourism Australia's infrastructure is currently operated by the agency out of the Global Switch datacentre in Sydney, but the agency has said that responders can propose that resources be hosted either on-site or off-site, but would be managed by the partner, and the services and infrastructure do not need to be hosted in Australia.

The agency has requested that tenders explain whether they have had any issues in dealing with the Chinese firewall, and whether that will pose any issues with using the systems in China.

For the replacement human resources and payroll systems, the tender states that Tourism Australia has begun using social media website LinkedIn for recruitment, and tenderers should consider looking at integrating LinkedIn into the human resources and payroll systems.

The tender will close on September 9, and the commencement date has been scheduled for November 4. Tourism Australia said it would like the finance systems in place by July 1, 2014.

ZDNet has sought additional comment from Tourism Australia; however, the agency is unable to comment while the tender has yet to be awarded.

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