Auckland Council brands Revera IaaS as 'too costly', keeps hardware strategy secret
- 07 June, 2018 05:30
Auckland Council is reviewing every area of ICT procurement, but keeping some plans under wraps
Auckland Council's new software procurement strategy, to be presented to a committee next week, is part of a bundle of ICT procurement changes, some of which are being kept secret.
In April, the Strategic Procurement Committee discussed Council's use of infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) in a private session. However, a public part of the agenda shows Council's contract with Revera is under review.
Auckland Council has been using Revera under the All of Government IaaS agreement managed by the Department of Internal Affairs since 2013.
"In the last five years the market has shifted significantly with growing options for the provision of data centre services," the agenda states. "Council has reviewed its current IaaS model with the market and believes the current model is too costly and restrictive in meeting the needs of Council."
As previously reported by Reseller News, Auckland Council spends more than $15 million a year with Revera. Over the last year that has declined somewhat to around $12 million according to council spending disclosures.
A strategy to shift to a hybrid cloud model was proposed in the confidential part of the meeting.
(Update: Auckland Council has inked a new deal with Revera covering hybrid cloud services including IaaS, public and private cloud.
Council said its decision to move towards a hybrid cloud model takes advantage of both public cloud and private cloud opportunities including the AoG IaaS offering from Revera.
"There is a clear drive from Auckland Council to drive costs down in this space while retaining the appropriate level of service," Council head of ICT procurement Aaron Donaldson said. “We have been negotiating with our strategic supplier, Revera, regarding the opportunity to partner in the delivery of our hybrid cloud model.
"This partnership will allow Auckland Council to recognise immediate and significant cost savings to the ratepayer as well as work with a trusted provider to deliver the best value model going forward.")
Hybrid cloud is a combination of public and private cloud using orchestration to dynamically assign workloads. If that is the route the Council is planning, it already has some experience with both Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure, according to ICT staff LinkedIn profiles.
The Council is also already using Microsoft's cloud-based Office 365.
At a March meeting of the same committee, changes to hardware purchasing policy were presented in secrecy in the closed part of the meeting.
"Note that confidential report contains information which if released would have negative impact on council’s ability to deliver the best value for the ratepayers," the agenda for the meeting adds.
Council did give some background, saying it buys ICT hardware in three main areas - peripherals, computer and mobile hardware and network and unified communications hardware.
Like most organisations, Auckland Council has a constant requirement for purchasing new hardware as it replaces equipment that has reached end of life.
"Over the past four years, council has moved from working with a small number of suppliers in a non-competitive way, to taking most of its hardware purchasing through a closed Request for Quote (RFQ) process with appropriately qualified resellers under the All of Government (AoG) agreement," it says.
However, while using the AoG agreement has reduced hardware purchase costs, it is carries a high overhead and is inefficient due to the staff time required.
"Council believes there is a more efficient way of using the AoG agreement to delivery further savings," it says, "Further information is provided in the report on the confidential agenda of this meeting regarding how we propose to approach ICT hardware procurement."
Further significant work is evident in the June meeting agenda where it is noted a plan for engaging the market to purchase technology services such as cloud, data centre services, print and network services is expected to be presented in July.
Plans for changes to professional services and professional technical services procurement are also expected to be discussed.