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Department of Defence embarks on massive software refresh

The Department of Defence will dump around 3000 complex legacy applications and replace them with new database and middleware products under a four-year, $63 million contract with software giant Oracle.

The deal is part of Defence's Strategic Reform program aimed at providing $1.9 billion in ICT-related savings between 2010 and 2020 by simplifying its core applications and introducing shared service agreements.

Under the agreement, Defence has access to more than 200 Oracle database and middleware products that are expected to reduce total-cost-of-ownership by reducing duplication of applications and the amount of effort that goes into managing them.

A Defence spokesperson told CIO that the contract consolidated Defence's existing investment in Oracle technology, and through the acquisition of additional capability, "now provides Defence with the ability to satisfy the requirements of several strategic initiatives."

These included building infrastructure for HR sustainment; rolling out a document records management system, as well as migrating and consolidating Defence's data centres.

A key project under the new agreement is the JP2080 initiative to upgrade Defence's existing Oracle PeopleSoft application to provide human resources and payroll services to more than 100,000 full-time and reservist personnel.

Greg Farr, Defence's outgoing CIO said HR analytics, in particular, will help Defence better understand its workforce including "identifying high quality applicants, improving employee retention, reducing absence costs and designing compensation that rewards performance."

Defence's Farr recently resigned as CIO and is being replaced by Dr Peter Lawrence, who will commence on November 26.


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