Home' Defence Magazine : Issue 2 2009 Contents ay 1 marks the
conclusion of the
second phase in the
Officer group’s (cIOg)
to transition responsibility for
delivery of IcT services in Defence
regions to cIOg.
change? What change?
Users of the Defence Restricted and Secret
networks requiring ICT support may have
experienced an improved service during the past 10
months. Equally, users might even be forgiven for
thinking not much has been going on.
They continue to contact the same service desk
numbers – 133 272 for DRN and 133 137 for DSN
and if their problem is not resolved they receive
a visit from a field engineer who assists onsite. In
many cases, the field engineer is a familiar face,
although they may turn up a little sooner wearing
a different polo shirt with a red logo.
What most people will be surprised to learn
is that a massive change has been going on behind
In the last 10 months, CIOG, in collaboration
with new service provider Unisys Australia, has
been overhauling second-level ICT support for
Defence personnel – and it’s been no small exercise.
CIOG’s Regional ICT (RICT) Services Transition
Program is perhaps one of the most sizeable and
geographically-spread ICT infrastructure projects
in Australia, encompassing 100,000 desktops at
460 locations nationally.
CIOG set an aggressive timetable. CIOG and
Unisys had 18 months to effect the transition once
the Service Agreement was signed in February 2008.
Adding to the complexity, the transition had
to be effected alongside a simultaneous shift of
responsibility for RICT services within Defence
from the Defence Support Group (DSG) to the
CIOG, which meant not just changes to processes
and ownership, but impacts to real people and
Supporting people was a clear imperative.
CIOG, DSG and Unisys worked hard to inform
and prepare DSG staff being transferred to CIOG,
offer voluntary redundancy (VR) packages to staff
whose positions were being outsourced, advise the
changes to Australian Defence Force (ADF) members
embedded in RICT teams, and reassure Defence
Groups and RICT customers generally that ongoing
Defence operations would not be disrupted.
Concurrently, outside Defence, Unisys undertook
one of its largest single recruitment exercises – of
around 380 positions nationally – to provide sufficient
skilled technicians onsite and in place for servicing
Defence as needed across the country.
For DSG staff transferring to CIOG, the
move offered a specialist IT career path with the
Defence Group leading ICT capability development
for Defence, and at a time when a new Defence
White Paper is – for the first time – considering ICT
capabilities as a crucial element in the process.
For those choosing to leave Defence,
Unisys offered a continuation of their IT career,
a competitive commercial environment and
opportunities to transfer within a global business.
The bottom line imperative for all parties
throughout the transition has been no reduction in
service levels or disruption to ADF operations and
Defence activities – either in Canberra headquarters
or operational commands in regional Australia.
At the time of writing, CIOG has handed nine
of the 12 regions to Unisys and transition on the
remaining three regions is well under way to meet
the target of 1 May 2009 for completing the second
phase of the transition.
Once the last region, ACT/SNSW, is transitioned
on 1 May, the RICT Service plan will advance to its
national completion phase in which process and other
improvements will be standardised and implemented
across the whole system.
CIOG will monitor the outsourced services
during this third and final phase before formally
signing off on the full transfer of services included
in the Services Agreement to Unisys. This service
handover date is expected towards the end of 2009.
It is the intention of CIOG and Unisys that this
is where further substantive service improvements
will be seen.
Already, an early customer benefit in bringing
all Defence ICT under CIOG is showing in the
significant reduction in open service request tickets
on the Defence Restricted Network. This was a
key recommendation of the Defence Management
Review released in 2007.
In the six months to December 2008, Defence,
with its partner Unisys, reduced the outstanding
tickets queue by 60 per cent, while still steadily
transitioning nine regions. After anticipating and
managing the volume spike from the busy January
March-In-March-Out period, CIOG and Unisys are set
to resume this service improvement trend into 2009.
Standby for more improvements to come.
How it happened
CIOG, DSG and Unisys partnered to
develop a forward transition plan that included
concurrent and sequential activities in different
regions. Staggering the timing of the regional
transitions ensured a smooth transition in which
experience gained in each region was continually
incorporated into and improved the transition
process in the next region.
Within four months of the contract signing,
the CIOG, DSG and Unisys transition teams moved
into the first test region, Sydney West and South
(SWS). The transition was a success. Working
methodically region by region, by December 2008
CIOG had handed over nine of the 12 regions to
Unisys to provide second level RICT Service.
As planned, each changeover was practically
invisible to Defence RICT customers. Unisys met
every milestone and project deliverable on time.
They recruited and filled all of the 380 positions
required, including actively attracting large
numbers of impacted RICT staff, which helped
to ensure service continuity.
The bottom line imperative for all
parties throughout the transition
has been no reduction in service
levels or disruption to aDf
operations and Defence activities
– either in canberra headquarters
or operational commands in
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