SA Lotteries punts on IT refresh

Upgrade essential for business continuity

South Australia's Lotteries Commission, SA Lotteries, must replace its legacy network of 750 point of sale terminals by no later than September 2009 to ensure the sustained delivery of gaming services over IP networks throughout the state.

SA Lotteries Online Lotteries System (OLS) is the central processing platform of the organization and facilitates the management, sale, and distribution of all lottery games and the distribution of prizes.

An expression of interest (EOI) was released this month requesting suppliers "with the capability to provide a turnkey solution" to propose a replacement of the OLS, including 750 point of sale terminals throughout more than 530 agency locations.

The Replacement Online Lotteries System (ROLS) project was established to coordinate the replacement of the current OLS that was installed in 1999 and is approaching the end of its planned operating life.

The existing OLS is still encumbered by a legacy network, and Telstra has given notice that the current low-speed Digital Data Network (DDN) is approaching end of life.

"Any new lottery system must support Internet Protocol (IP) communication from the host to the lottery terminal," according to the EOI.

Expressions of interest close this month, with evaluation of the proposals due for completion in early August, and a preferred supplier will be announced in September.

SA Lotteries will then evaluate a proof of concept in late October 2007 with the final go-live date for the new system scheduled for September 13, 2009.

The OLS replacement will involve new hardware and software under a purchase, supply and maintenance support arrangement.

"The proposed solution must provide for a new central system with disaster recovery capability, test systems and terminals operating with IP communications infrastructure," according to the EOI. "The systems supplier would provide software support and development."

Once the new system is commissioned, ownership will rest with SA Lotteries, which will also manage its operational requirements.

Applicants are encouraged to offer alternative suggestions that may improve business outcomes and the end results to achieve an "innovative and effective solution".

SA Lotteries' main objective for the overhaul is, not surprisingly, to "maximize returns" to its stakeholders, but it also anticipates the new OLS will facilitate sales of existing online games and the introduction of new games, provide a player registration system that allows players to store their regular numbers on a central system.

With the IP-based lottery network complete, SA Lotteries is also looking to leverage the new capability it brings by introducing alternative channels of distribution, provide for a diverse network communications environment, and obtain comprehensive wager profile information that can be imported into report generation software tools for market analysis and business intelligence.

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