The virtual desktop is the latest "as-a-service" offering to be the subject of a potential all-of-government syndicated procurement. At this stage the Department of Internal Affairs has issued only a Notice of Intent (NoI) for procurement of "desktop and application services."
This requires no communication from potential suppliers and DIA emphasises further progress is contingent on a business case. The purpose of the NoI, it says, is "to enable suppliers to mobilise their resources" ahead of the potential release of a Request for Proposal in February or March.
There is already interest from "a range of New Zealand public-sector agencies" in setting up a Desktop-as-a-Service environment, the NoI document says, and these agencies are working with DIA on the business case.
If this stacks up, DIA expects "a limited number of suppliers" to be appointed to a syndicated supplier panel for DaaS.
The department declines to name the agencies helping to develop the DaaS case and hence having particular interest. This information cannot be released "for commercial reasons", and will emerge at the time of any RFP, says DIA senior communications advisor Debbie Hannan.
The contemplated procurement complements an RFP by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment for thin-client machines late last year, which signalled the possible DIA DaaS procurement (Computerworld, December 20).
Answering Computerworld queries on the earlier RFP, MBIE disclosed that Inland Revenue already has 7900 thin-client machines, suggesting a requirement there for DaaS.
The emphasis in the present NoI is on "desktop operating systems and applications delivered using virtualisation and shared session technology, desktop operating systems and applications installed on traditional desktop devices [and] application packaging services."
Delivery of the desktop on portable devices is within the scope for the prospective tender, Hannan says.
This may include delivery on bring-your-own devices "if agencies deem that appropriate."