Wellington City Council has gone on the front foot after strong criticisms from NZRise and IT consultant and commentator Ian Apperley about its process in naming Australian company TechnologyOne as the preferred vendor for its major technology upgrade project.
In a statement emailed to Computerworld New Zealand, spokesperson Richard MacLean says WCC “disagrees with the views of NZRise” and remains “confident in our stance because we have put considerable effort into identifying the best solution for Wellington City Council’s operational requirements.”
”While NZRise and Mr Apperley have strong views about this, we respectfully point out that we have the best knowledge about our operational system requirements and what is required to meet our own needs,” MacLean added via email.
“We have provisionally pointed to TechnologyOne as our preferred supplier because its proposal best meets these needs and it has a proven track record of providing reliable off-the-shelf systems for local government in New Zealand and across the Tasman.”
In a bid to diffuse the situation amidst rising industry pressure, MacLean was quick to reiterate points which WCC believes seem to have been lost in the debate.
“We ran an open procurement process that allowed any IT firm to respond,” MacLean added. “Any Wellington companies that were capable of providing a solution either chose not to participate or provided a bid that was assessed to not be as suitable as the proposal from TechnologyOne.
“As part of the shortlist process we assessed a large number of successful TechnologyOne implementations of similar systems across Australiasia. We are confident that TechnologyOne can deliver on their proposal as they have done so for many other clients.”
MacLean advised that the direction WCC is taking is to adopt standard processes for delivering standard services in the “most efficient and cost-effective” way for staff to serve customers, and increasing the number of services that are available to customers for them to self-serve online.
“It is our intention to have a system delivered that would replace about 70 separate ‘core’ systems which, at the moment, constitute a ‘Heath Robinson’ arrangement that presents big risks to our ability to provide core and critical services,” he added.
“There are about 50 more ICT systems that provide specialist services. Replacing core systems with more robust standardised ones will offer us a future opportunity to add innovative technology systems to them.”
MacLean said WCC may look to local bespoke suppliers of ICT systems to upgrade some of its specialist services or add to them once its core systems upgrade is in place; “so NZRise’s claim that we are putting all of our eggs in one basket does not stand up,” he added.