WA Education inks $15m ASG deal

By Paul Hemsley

The Western Australian Department of Education has expanded the role of its IT services provider ASG Group (ASZ) beyond its regular duties of finance, human resources and payroll services to the Department through a new contract worth $14.8 million to help it “modernise” its existing investment in Oracle technology.

The publicly listed company (ASX:ASZ), which is an Oracle technology provider, had previously entered a partnership with the Department in 2006 and provided finance, HR and payroll managed services and project services, which was under a contract that was renewed in 2010.

However, the contract recently announced between the Department and ASG is a new deal that is an expansion of the existing services that was required to go through a normal tender process that is compulsory under government procurement rules.

As a result, the new five-year contract will be managed by ASG’s Business Solutions team that will provide the Department with a “strategic support and licencing modernisation solution” as the company presently provides all of Oracles licences to the Department, which has the largest payroll in the state.

The head of ASG, Geoff Lewis said the company has built a “strong understanding” of the Department’s “mission critical” Oracle environment.

Mr Lewis said expanding ASG’s relationship with the Department to include its Oracle Business Solutions “attests to the strength” of the relationship and the company’s ability to anticipate the Department’s future needs.

“We anticipate that this new agreement with the WA Department of Education may lead to additional projects and managed services over the term, including in New World computing,” he said.

As the company has claimed that this deal marks the first time that it has provided this type of solution as a restructuring of an existing customer’s Oracle licences, Mr Lewis suggested that other customers are eligible for such a service by the company.

“The deal also opens the door to similar types of contracts with customers that are looking to modernise their Oracle licencing as their business grows or changes,” Mr Lewis said.

ASG general manager, Michael Simkovic said the new deal is a “transaction” from the previous contract that was renewed in 2010, “but that deal was very much in line with the strategic road map we’ve been developing for the department”.

According to Mr Simkovic, the “modernisation” process that the company has been contracted to do will involve serving the Department with advice about what it will do with its software-as-a-service, what it wants to use in cloud computing, maximising investments and applications of business intelligence.

The administrative services that ASG will be providing haven’t been the only component in the WA education sector that’s received attention from the state government.

Technology upgrades have been sent to the frontline in 176 of WA’s schools through the state government’s $4 million investment in interactive whiteboards, which will boost the number of schools using the technology in the state up to 300.

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