Vic govt dept to get reporting software

Victoria's Department of Human Services (DHS) will early next year implement a corporate reporting software solution supporting some 3,000 internal and 100,000 external users.DHS is the largest department within the state's government, employing more than 11,000 people and providing health, aged care, housing, disability and children's services.

Victoria's Department of Human Services (DHS) will early next year implement a corporate reporting software solution supporting some 3,000 internal and 100,000 external users.

DHS is the largest department within the state's government, employing more than 11,000 people and providing health, aged care, housing, disability and children's services.

In tender documents recently released, the department said the move was part of a larger business intelligence project, and had come in response to a review of DHS's reporting requirements. That review was stimulated by iniatives outlined in the department's new corporate ICT strategy.

"DHS would like to initially support 3,000 internal DHS staff or an equivalent of 500 concurrent users," the department said of its plans.

DHS added there were over 100,000 external parties involved in delivering services supported by the department. "DHS will provide information for these people," the documents said, noting another 500 concurrent users would consequently need to be added to the tally.

All users will need access to pre-defined reports and data extractions, with smaller percentages requiring management performance and planning reporting, ad-hoc and user-defined reports, and reports for statistical analysis purposes.

DHS will short-list vendors for the reporting project in early December, with proof of concept demonstrations being undertaken by those companies from mid-January through mid-February next year. Subsequently, a final vendor will be selected in late February, with contract discussions getting underway in late March.

Beyond the BI
The tender documents also detailed DHS's wider ICT environment.

"DHS has implemented an enterprise architecture that is based on a browser and World Wide Web deployment capability," said the department. "All applications, infrastructure and services should be allligned to this Web/browser/portal deployment model."

Common enterprise services used to tie applications together include:

  • IBM Tivoli Access Manager (ID management)
  • IBM Websphere (portal services)
  • IBM Lotus/Domino, Quickplace, Sametime (collaboration/e-mail)


On the desktop front, the department maintains some 9,400 desktop PCs, including 1,500 portable machines, some of which are external and communicate over secure links. There are some 1,200 networked printers in operation.

DHS uses a standard desktop operating environment based on Windows XP, running Microsoft Office 2000, Internet Explorer 6 and Lotus Notes 6.

Key business applications include an Oracle financial management system and a SAP-based human resources system, in addition to executive information, licensing, budget payment, client and case management, and agency management systems.

In its datacentres the department runs some 120 Hewlett-Packard Series 9000/HP-UX Unix, 50 Sun Microsystems Solaris and 250 Windows 2003 servers.

The Unix servers run Oracle and CA-OpenINGRES II databases, while the department's Intel-based servers run Microsoft's SQL Server 2000 database and IBM's Lotus Notes/Domino collaboration suite.

"In addition, some key applications used in DHS are based on externally hosted and supported database systems, such as Sybase and SAP," the tender document said. Citrix technology is used to deliver some applications via dial-up access, in addition to operating as a broader client-server application delivery model.

DHS uses both IBM's Websphere and Microsoft's .NET framework in its application server environment. Tibco Businessworks is used for integration.

But that's not all. The DHS's Information Services Branch also manages an extensive wide area network consisting of over 100 sites and even external parties.

Three sites in Melbourne's central business district are connected by optical fibre, with the majority of other sites operating on data links varying from 2-100Mbps and ISDN backup links to major sites provided by Telstra. Cisco routers are in use.

"The department is also investigating its current telephone network and will be migrating towards a Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) network within the next two to three years," the documents said, noting a mixture of analogue and digital PABX systems were currently used.