QAL outsources IT to Data#3

Manufacturing giant Queensland Alumina Limited (QAL) has outsourced its IT operations to Data#3 in a contract worth more than $4 million over three years.

QAL information systems superintendent George Dambitis said the goal of the project is to increase overall IT quality by outsourcing noncore functions and freeing up internal staff to concentrate on core business improvement projects.

"The critical issue was the growing complexity of our business and the need to maximise business improvements through IT in order to become the low-cost producer of alumina worldwide," Dambitis said.

Under the terms of the agreement Data#3 will advise the company on strategic initiatives, provide technical support and helpdesk function, manage QAL's local area network (LAN) infrastructure as well as 800-plus desktops.

Eight Data#3 staff will work on site at QAL and will also undertake asset management and procurement.

Contract labour will also be made available for QAL's application development and maintenance group, which is planning a transition to enterprise resource planning from legacy systems later this year.

The company currently runs a Nortel-based ATM and fast Ethernet local area network with Microsoft Windows NT servers, using Compaq hardware for all desktops and servers.

QAL administration manager Phil Hughes said the IT services provider was selected after an exhaustive weighted scoring process.

"We took into account 22 criteria such as cost of service, complete suite of services and local infrastructure and resources. Data#3 already has a presence in Central Queensland," he said.

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