Public Works and Government Services Canada has signed a seven-year contract with El Segundo, Calif.-based Computer Sciences Corp. (CSC) to standardize and integrate the

Department of National Defence’s (DND) deployed network operating system.

Gail Clark, a project manager for the DND standardization project in Ottawa, said that the deal will reduce costs by consolidating licensing, support and maintenance expenditures. Currently, the DND consists of a mixed environment of operating systems, but once the work is completed, 1,300 print and field servers will be standardized on Windows 2000 Active Directory.

“”The rapid growth of technology has brought us to this point — to do an enterprise solution for the department to help reduce costs and stabilize and standardize the environment,”” she said.

One benefit to standardizing the operating system will show itself in the process of testing, Clark said. Having a common platform allows for new applications and changes to be tested on one common baseline rather than on multiple baselines. This will reduce both resource time and the possibility for error, she said.

According to Warren Shiau, a Toronto-based research analyst for software at IDC Canada, a cost saving in this environment should be expected.

“”Given the very heterogeneous hardware and software environment, consolidating the platform they’re running should save them a lot in terms of costs on licensing, maintenance, administration and support.”” Shiau said. “”They should save in all aspects that have to do with the cost of ownership of the software — the more environments you’re maintaining, the more expensive it gets.””

Under the $60 million deal, CSC will not only standardize the operating system which will integrate the DND’s entire network system, but will provide planning and management, systems design, integration and deployment, training support and application support services.

Clark said that the initiative is currently at the implementation stage and expects the rollout to begin in the fall after a period of testing this summer.

According to Clark, the biggest challenge is bringing the solution to the entire department and ensuring that the business needs of all of the DND’s field units are met.

“”But we are definitely going to overcome this because we have good buy-in,”” she said, noting that a lot of the department is anxious to move to the new standardized technology.

Jason Bremner, a senior analyst for outsourcing services at IDC Canada in Toronto, said that this type of deal is typical for CSC, which ranked number four in the outsourcing market in Canada.

“”They are not necessarily in the top three comp

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