ABC enterprise management system

Requests for proposals closed this week [Mon Feb 1] for an enterprise management system (EMS) for IT systems spanning the entire ABC.

The strategy would cover command and control, production control, infrastructure management and security, said Edward Kerr, ABC's manager - system management services.

Driven primarily by a need to proactively manage its IT systems, Kerr said cost-cutting and long-term savings were also a consideration.

"The ABC is always going to be on a limited budget," he admitted. "When I arrived a year ago, I could see we had these multiple operating systems to cope with and a number of routine tasks - like keeping track of disk space and what's up, what's down, what needs to be monitored.

"We need to have tools that we can manage proactively and it tells us, for example, when the Rockhampton server is running out of diskspace, instead of us finding out at 5.30 am in the morning when some poor journalist is trying to put a story to air," Kerr said.

The ABC currently has around 3500 PCs and 200 servers at 41 locations around the country.

"We are managing as well as we can with what we have at the moment, but this is an attempt to help us do it better."

The request for proposals should provide the national broadcaster with one of three options - outsourcing, integrating point problems, or establishing vendor-specific frameworks - Kerr said.

"It may well be software that we buy and we run inhouse, but we're totally open with this," he said.

"We need to look at all of the possibilities, of which outsourcing is one, to see just where the cost-justification is."

Kerr said it was likely the EMS would not be a single piece of software.

"In an ideal world, yes we'd be able to pick from three or four off-the-shelf products and it would all work. We run multiple operating systems, we have a number of different bits and pieces of hardware and networking gear," he said. "And no vendor is necessarily going to be able to link all of that together.

Kerr said the ABC should announce the successful proposal within the next three weeks.

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