Katherine Ziesing | Canberra
On December 17 last year, CIOG held a market briefing about the upcoming Defence INSIGHT program – the ERP effort the ICT branch of Defence will be undertaking.
For those not familiar with ERP and what it means for an organisation, the following definition might be useful: “Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) is business process management software that allows an organisation to use a system of integrated applications to manage the business and automate many back office functions related to technology, services and human resources”.
As part of their engagement program and to let industry know what CIOG are up to in this space, the market briefing set out some odd rules of engagement in their briefing slides to the audience.
- Defence has no obligation to answer any question
- Defence may take any question on notice and provide a response by email to registered attendees at a later time
- Defence may publish all questions and answers from today’s industry briefing at a later stage
- Do not approach Defence attendees and do not engage with them in sideline discussions
"Since the program, estimated to be worth around the 'plus $1 billion over eight years', is slated for first pass approval in July this year, there is much work to be done."
The program office confirmed through Austender that all communications are to happen through written channels via Austender. The probity adviser is certainly working hard on this program it seems.
Since the program, estimated to be worth around the “plus $1 billion over eight years”, is slated for first pass approval in July this year, there is much work to be done.
The program office under Matthew Smorhun is looking to short-list potential System Integrators for Joint Solutioning before May 2016. You read that correctly – ‘joint solutioning’ in this case will examine capability fit, solution options, and commercials & pricing.
The briefing outlined how CIOG is looking for two systems integrators (SIs) to work alongside SAP under CIOG management to deliver a range of capabilities and services in three tranches: Tranche A for foundation and finance; B for logistics, procurement and estate; and C for engineering and maintenance.
This system will need (at least for some time and due to the iterative nature in a variety of different configurations) to work alongside other Defence legacy icons such as:
- MILIS (which ADM understands has significant third party software obsolescence issue that may impact on its viability post 2020),
- ROMAN (financials), SAP DFPS (people management), and
- CAMM2 (engineering and maintenance management, another platform with questionable ability to extend beyond the immediate future).
At some stage all of these programs will need temporary integration until their own replacements come into play.
Likely contenders for the two SIs include Accenture, Lockheed Martin, IBM, Fujitsu, and CSC with a range of second tier IT companies as part of the larger team.
There was an emphasis from Defence that the two SIs go into the process with no holes in their teams, perhaps reflecting experience with other recent industry partnerships.
ADM Comment: How will this program integrate with the JSF maintenance program Autonomic Logistics Information System (ALIS) and other new systems currently deemed “out of scope”?
One of the biggest bugbears that the services have with CIOG is their emphasis on process and standards, which can come at the cost of operational capability.
ADM also understands that the Tranche A program to replace the financial part of the system currently covered by ROMAN has been estimated to cost just over a billion dollars alone. Yet CIOG is budgeting around the billion mark for all three tranches.
IT programs are notorious for running behind schedule, over budget and not delivering as promised.
Have the foundations already been set to see a repeat of this outcome?