EDS marches on defence sector

$5 million training, R&D investment

EDS has embarked on an ambitious attempt to capture a large chunk of the Australian defence industry market.

Launching a new offering dubbed 'Australia Defence Service', EDS will partner with 12 suppliers to deliver services for logistics support, administration and battlespace planning.

It will invest $5 million in 2007 alone on training and research and development.

EDS A/NZ vice president, Chris Mitchell, said there are major opportunities in the current Australian defence climate.

"We've done small pieces of work for defence over the years, but we're now really focusing our attention of this as a market," he said.

Launched at a Parliament House in Canberra last night, the event was presided over by Defence Minister, Brendan Nelson.

Nelson welcomed "some of the most senior people in the Government" and opposition, including Attorney-General Philip Ruddock, as well as shadow minister for Defence Joel Fitzgibbon and his predecessor, Kim Beazley.

In an effort to counteract the IT skills shortages in the Defence industry, EDS also plans to offer a Defence scholarship program for university and TAFE IT students.

It will transfer over 50 engineers to the new service, which will be based in Adelaide.

South Australia is keen to be a major defence delivery centre.

EDS has also engaged 10 defence subject matter experts for the venture, with expertise in the fields of battlespace planning, systems and software engineering, logistics, administration & support and the life cycle management of military personnel.

EDS executives hold out the promise of allowing the defence forces to shave 20 per cent off their current IT costs, mainly by attacking inefficiencies in infrastructure, applications and processes.

EDS Australia has a staff of over 6,000 employees. The company has worked for Australian government agencies, such as the ATO, in the past.

The company has also had 25 years experience as a military supplier with clients including the US Navy, the Pentagon and the British Ministry of Defence.

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