WA utility inks $15.4 million IT services contract with CSC

Part of dramatic increase in local mainframe outsourcing

The Western Australian government owned electricity network utility, Western Power, has signed a three year, $A15.4 million IT services contract with Computer Services Corporation (CSC).

The deal is part of a broader trend in Australia which has seen a long list of local companies outsource their mainframe operations.

According to Danny Willmott, CSC's director of mainframe infrastructure, its mainframe customer base has grown dramatically in the last three years from 3000 Mips to 11,000 Mips.

That's in addition to a further 9000 Mips for disaster recovery, which is good news for Australia.

The Western Power contract includes three one-year options and has a potential value of $21 million if all options are exercised.

It is the first IT outsourcing contract to be awarded by Western Power.

As a part of this contract, CSC will provide Western Power with mainframe operations and support services. In addition, Western Power's mainframe infrastructure support staff will transition to CSC in June, 2008.

Western Power CIO, Leigh Sprlyan, said CSC was able to offer a contemporary consumption-based pricing model that provides the flexibility for the utility to pay only for the mainframe capacity it requires.

Through this model, Western Power will be able to continue its critical mainframe services, while reducing costs as it decommissions mainframe applications over time.

CSC will migrate Western Power's mainframe processing to its Melbourne-based mainframe centre.

This facility provides mainframe processing services to a number of CSC clients including AMP, Coles Myer, Western Australia Police Service, Alcoa, Westpac and the Australian federal government.

The president of CSC's Australia operations, Nick Wilkinson, said the win strengthens CSC's presence in the region, and reaffirms the company's position as the largest provider of IT services in Western Australia.

"It also contributes to our growing list of utilities industry clients around the globe," Wilkinson said.

Mainframes still dominate the IT landscape and this is likely to continue due to its ability to handle major workloads and fit into a corporate environment where organizations are moving to fewer data centres.

According to Gartner large mainframe users have been increasing their mainframe environments, measured in MIPS (millions of instructions per second) over the past four years.

Most of these users will continue to increase their installed MIPS at a compound annual growth rate of 15 to 20 per cent through to 2009, Gartner estimates.

Not only is the mainframe secure, offering unparalleled availability, it also draws less power and cooling which is ideal for today's push toward Green IT.

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