Council counts on managed help desk

Creaven said using a managed service has worked for the council in the past because it gives them access to resources that would otherwise be difficult to find

The Australia Council for the Arts is tendering for a complete managed service for its Sydney-based operation.

Tender documents released today stipulate the managed service provider will be responsible for management of the council's existing fleet of roughly 184 workstations and 32 laptops. Part of the tender stipulates the winner must provide an on-site network administrator for at least 15 days per month to the agency's Elizabeth St operations.

The council currently has a managed service deal with Alphawest. Kieran Creaven, information services manager with the Australia Council for the Arts said they are going to tender because the market has changed a great deal since they signed with Alphawest in 2000.

Creaven said using a managed service has worked for the council in the past because it gives them access to resources that would otherwise be difficult to find.

"To be specific we need particular expertise on an ad hoc basis as there is more online stuff going on now — the arts world is changing and people are not interacting with the council in the same way they have done in the past," Creaven said.

"From an IT perspective we need to keep applications and usefulness to a recent standard — we are never going to be bleeding edge in terms of technology used but we like to be fairly close to that ...

"We have standardized Windows XP on the desktop and 2003 in the servers ... the way we have structured the managed service at the moment is we have found with the advent of remote service or help desks that the remote service desk can scale to match the load and the staff here like a physical presence and consider a network administrator as part of the family."

Stipulated in the tender documents is a request for the service desk to be situated remotely, but accessible via e-mail or telephone.

The documents read: "It will be necessary however for a network administrator to be present on site at least 15 days per month, and for additional resources to be available to be on-site at short notice".

The tender closes on August 1, 2007. For more information go to http://www.ozco.gov.au/news_and_hot_topics/news/msrft/

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