ATO signs $30m deal for 17,000 KM seats

ATO signs $30m deal for 17,000 KM seats

By Gerard Knapp and Paul Montgomery

The largest knowledge management deal in Australia has been signed by the ATO, delivering software from Fulcrum, FileNET, Staffware and Microsoft to 17,000 desktops.

The deal, said to be worth $30 million, was the first tender written expressly to find a knowledge management solution. The victorious system integrator was Aspect Computing.

Under the agreed solution, users of the ATO wide area network (WAN) across the country will have access to information on ATO databases the Standard Operating Environment (SOE) on their PCs.

The SOE is built around Microsoft technologies - Windows NT 4.0, with Office 97, Outlook 98, Exchange 5.5 and SQL Server - but the new deal will add the Fulcrum Knowledge Network 2.5, and elements of FileNET's Panagon package for imaging and document management, with Staffware's workflow software running on selected desktops.

Rob Whyter of Fulcrum claimed that the ATO would save $2 million by rolling out the upgraded SOE to all 17,000 WAN users, instead of a more traditional approach of identifying power users and targeting a smaller implementation.

"By giving every user access to the technology, the knowledge management network will follow," Mr Whyter said.

Other vendors said to be involved in the deal did not comment.

It is understood that one of the main benefits hoped to come out of the project will be process improvements and cost benefits in searching for tax cheats, but it is not clear exactly how much of the ATO's huge database of financial records will be immediately searchable from employees' desktops.

Currently, the most sensitive files are stored offline from the WAN in a dedicated server and tape library.

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