NRMA outsources infrastructure to IBM GSA

NSW's road service and insurance giant NRMA has outsourced its IT infrastructure to IBM GSA, prompted partly by difficulties in attracting and retaining staff with appropriate skill levels.

The National Roads and Motorists' Association (NRMA) pursued the outsourcing avenue for strategic, rather than financial, reasons, said Gary Dransfield, general manager of information systems. NRMA will retain its procurement, application development and maintenance and architectural strategy. The outsourcing agreement is designed to provide maximum flexibility to NRMA in selecting suppliers and managing costs, he said.

"Saving money was not a key driver to this project," Dransfield said, although he admitted NRMA's bottom line would benefit from the contract.

The "strategic goals" of the project included the staffing issue, as well as managing the NRMA's complex computing environment, Dransfield said. He said about 85 of NRMA's existing IT employees were offered positions with IBM GSA.

Additionally, NRMA needed assistance with systems consolidation and infrastructure integration as a result of recent mergers with RACV and SGIO, he said. Dransfield said NRMA invested $125 million in IT infrastructure in the last year alone.

The seven-year agreement covers NRMA's mainframes, mid-range and more than 11,000 desktop computers as well as its LAN, WAN and voice networks, Dransfield said.

IBM GSA was selected ahead of its arch-rival CSC Australia, he said. NRMA has an existing Y2K remediation agreement with Unisys.

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