beats IBM, Accenture
Government services minister Stuart Robert announced the deal on Friday, 29 November, during the Australian Information Industry Association’s (AIIA) ACT Ministerial Forum in Canberra.
Centrelink, Australia’s social services’ pivot is currently powered by a 30-year-old system called income security integrated system (ISIS) and is in desperate need of overhaul and regeneration.
Since early this year, Infosys, IBM and Accenture had been vying to get the lucrative contract to rip out and replace the calculation engine. It seems, Infosys proposal won the hearts in Canberra’s officialdom and they have been given the contract to do the replacement and repair work.
Infosys was picked after a 13-week “Competitive Dialogue” process with the then-Department of Human Services, which involved developing prototypes, by Infosys, IBM and Accenture. That exercise cost the government $500,000.
To get the Centrelink contract, Infosys said it was made to demonstrate a “rigorous risk-mitigation strategy” during this phase.
The new system, called an entitlement calculation engine (ECE), will be powered by Pegasystems due to its “highly agile and configurable” platform.
Under the new deal, Infosys will deliver an “innovative” entitlements calculator engine solution built on “highly agile and configurable” Pegasystems platform to allow the department to future-proof the welfare payments system.
The entitlements calculation engine (ECE) is the latest part of the department’s massive billion-dollar Centrelink payments system overhaul affectionately known as the welfare payments infrastructure transformation (WPIT) program.
The system is used for the complex, high-risk task of deciding how much to pay to welfare recipients through the country’s SAP-based Centrelink payments platform, which has already been replaced under the WPIT.
“[The new engine] will allow us to build a new flexible business rule engine that will go a long way in addressing the rigidity and complexity of our current rules construct called ISIS,” Robert said.
Infosys will create a Proof-of-Design as phase one milestone of the project, which is expected to be completed by mid-2020.
Upon approval, Infosys will proceed to the build, implementation and support phase stages.
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“A robust, responsive and agile welfare entitlements system is crucial for all Australians, particularly those in need, so Infosys is tremendously proud to support Services Australia on such a transformational project that underpins the Australian community and broader economy,” Infosys ANZ region head Andrew Groth said.
“The project will enable Services Australia to more quickly implement policy changes for the benefit of Australians without disrupting services and deliver operational cost savings,” he said, adding that it would allow the department to respond to policy and other regulatory changes more quickly.
Infosys well placed
“With the technology and technical skills of our 5,500 strong team here in Australia, as well as the unique global expertise from similar projects which we can draw upon, Infosys is well placed to add value to Services Australia and enhance the outcomes of the project for all Australians,” Andrew Groth added.
“We are proud to contribute to this important initiative and look forward to working with both Services Australia and Infosys on achieving better outcomes for all Australians”, said Pegasystems regional vice president Luke McCormack.
Since Accenture was chosen to provide systems integration in 2016, awarding of this contract for the new calculation engine is the first major procurement under WPIT.
Whatever convinced the government in favour of Infosys this time, it was the only company not on the systems integration panel for the mammoth welfare system upgrade, which consisted of Accenture, Capgemini, IBM and DXC.