The information system developed and shared by several New Zealand regional councils is set for a makeover with five vendors shortlisted for the rebuild.
Requests for expressions of interest to rebuild the Integrated Regional Information System (IRIS), originally built by Datacom and rolled out in 2013, were completed earlier this year, said Mark Donnelly, general manager of Regional Software Holdings (RSHL), the company that manages the system.
Five vendors were shortlisted to participate in an request for proposal process, based on the responses received.
Donnelly would not disclose the identities of five vendors, but said they offered a variety of approaches to meeting the sector's requirements.
However, in December, documents obtained by Reseller News indicated US-based Infor could be in the running. It is not known whether that was still the case.
"RSHL is now working with an expanded group of regional councils to define requirements for an RFP, which is scheduled to be released to the shortlisted vendors at the end of November 2020," he said.
The outcome of that RFP should be known by the middle of 2021.
"The ideal outcome is a SaaS solution that meets the needs of all regional councils, based on agreed 'good practice' processes," Donnelly said.
It would also feature improved online and mobile features.
RSHL is a council controlled organisation owned by Waikato Regional Council (32.75 per cent), Northland Regional Council (16.75 per cent), Horizons Regional Council (15.5 per cent), Taranaki Regional Council (15.5 per cent), Southland Regional Council (15.5 per cent) and West Coast Regional Council (4 per cent).
It provides a framework for collaboration between its owners and across the wider regional council sector, supporting the procurement or development of shared software services and products.
A report published by the Northland Regional Council in March said RSHL was committed to ensuring that the IRIS software solution was based on a fully supported and future-facing technology platform.
"As part of this commitment, RSHL is intending to invest in a technology refresh programme that will see capital investment shifting from the current platform towards the design and delivery of a future technology platform," the report said.
"As the roadmap for this technology refresh is developed the investment profile and level of member contributions will be reviewed and reflected in the future [statements of intent].
"This decision is reflected in changes to the mix of capital and operating expenditure in 2020-21 along with an increase in investment in subsequent years to prepare the next generation IRIS platform."