Failed Workcover project back to the drawing board

Plans by the executives at Workcover in South Australia to e-enable their organisation have hit the wall, and the project effectively has to be restarted.

"Back to the drawing board" is how suppliers who were briefed on the progress described it.

That's the washout, after the withdrawal earlier this year of Internet consultancy MarchFirst, the project leader, from the market.

Internal meetings and roundtable discussions with stakeholders have yet to finalise what happens next with the project, although elements of it, including vendor selection for various software components of the deal, continue to proceed.

At this stage there is not even agreement over who is project managing the deal, Compaq or Delphi.

Originally intended to "turn the organisation into a dotcom", according to observers, the project is valued at between $10 million and $20 million and incorporates a number of elements. These include customer relationship management and enterprise portal content management.

"There is a lot of pain going around at the moment" according to one project insider.

Delphi Consulting was brought in to pick up the pieces of the project in the wake of the MarchFirst debacle.

Suppliers involved in the project or bidding for business include Compaq, Opentext and Hummingbird.

Interestingly enough, some of the biggest infrastructure providers in the Internet space such as Vignette are unaware of the project.

When it first announced its plans for the e-business project, Workcover said, "The corporation plans to transform its business strategy and operations, including development of a full range of Internet-based services to allow faster and cheaper service delivery and improve workplace health, safety, rehabilitation and claims management outcomes for employers and employees.

Clearly this will involve significant organisational change -- change that will be managed carefully in order to protect the scheme's current good results."

In glowing terms it described MarchFirst as, "a worldwide leader in the delivery of strategic business and Internet".

While confirming it is involved in the project, Delphi declined to comment citing client confidentiality.

However, another source said the withdrawal of MarchFirst was a "blessing in disguise", allowing Workcover to reassess where it wants to take the project in light of the changed circumstance of the internet market since it first announced the project.

Story courtesy The Industry Standard Australia

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