The Government of South Australia is the state democratic administrative authority of South Australia. The authority delivers services and determines policy and regulations, including legal interpretation, by a number of agencies. The agencies are principally grouped around departments, comprising a number of portfolios covering specific policy areas across the department and allocated statutory authorities, trading enterprises, boards, councils and other public bodies.
Agencies have varying levels of operational autonomy, and deliver one or more frontline public services, administrative functions and law enforcement, while some are structured as for-profit corporations. A range of other agencies support the functions of these departments. There are currently 28 South Australian government departments and agencies.
This South Australian government department (the Department) had recently transitioned a majority of their server fleet to a new DELL VxRail hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) to provide modularity, scalability, high availability and cost savings to the organisation. VxRail includes compute, storage, networking and virtualisation resources in a single device.
After discovering their incumbent service provider could not offer the full range of services needed to support the transition — and the Christmas period imminent — the Department was concerned with the risk of potential business disruption. A new service provider was required urgently to support their 200 strong fleet.
Aware that DXC Technology had the necessary skillset and expertise to manage large-scale transitions and a robust service delivery capability located in Adelaide, DELL recommended the Department immediately transition its service needs to DXC.
As strategic partners, DXC have recently achieved DELL Technologies’ highest level of partner status — Titanium Black.
"In the first few months of operation we’ve enjoyed the proactive nature of DXC’s care — they maintained high touch and cadence, which is reassuring"
Spokesperson South Australian Government Department
DXC has worked on multiple projects with a number of South Australian government agencies over many years. When presenting its support capabilities for this project, it was identified that not only could DXC take care of the Department’s existing support services but also, critically, the technical coverage of the hyperconverged VxRail systems.
An agile team of skilled and certified resources from DXC’s Restricted Engineering Hub were made available immediately to manage the large-scale transition of workloads to the new support system.
DXC’s Restricted Engineering Hub, based in Adelaide, is specifically designed to service secure government customers at both a federal and state level. The Hub provides a 700-seat facility with access to experts trained to manage on-premise, hosted and public cloud infrastructure environments. The Hub also provides architects, solution designers, application support teams, ITIL service management practitioners, cybersecurity experts, project managers, service desk and account management staff. These high-demand, specialised staff are available to undertake work in restricted and high security settings with resources having relevant national police and federal clearances.
Using their extensive expertise and experience the DXC team worked quickly to analyse the technology environment and took a leadership position working directly with several disparate but important stakeholders — including existing hardware and software vendors, as well as the incumbent service provider — bringing all the parties together to undertake this urgent project.
As timely execution was key, agile processes were introduced and the project was surrounded with a superior level of governance to overcome risk and ensure that issues would not adversely impact the environment or disrupt day-to-day business operations.
Utilising quality, robust processes and daily “stand up” meetings involving all stakeholders ensured a clear, strategic path was maintained throughout the project, with the team-based approach instrumental in ensuring a successful transition.
In addition to the technical response, communication was also critical. DXC’s team provided weekly updates to Department executives which created a regular and immediate forum for escalations to be addressed.
With several disparate stakeholder groups involved, Nick Maerschel, client partner, South Australian Government for DXC, commented, “We had senior management buy-in and engagement from both sides. If the project team encountered a snag, both teams had committed channels to clear them immediately. These are the impacts that can cause delays — but conversely have a huge positive impact on success if handled correctly.”
"We are now making proactive recommendations for service improvements at the Department which include a whole range of initiatives to benefit the organisation."
Nick Maerschel Client partner, South Australian Government for DXC
Results and benefits
In just three weeks — and before the onset of Christmas — the Department’s 200 critical workloads were seamlessly transitioned, with no issues, outages, or gaps in support. The smooth and on-time delivery to the Department’s strict timeline was made possible due to the service delivery capability and immediate availability of DXC’s highly skilled and experienced local resources.
A spokesperson from the Department said, “DXC comprehended our problem and moved quickly to deploy an agile team. This resulted in an exceptionally smooth transition to optimise our environment with no disruption to day-to-day work. From our employees’ perspective, everything remained the same — which is exactly what was required. In the first few months of operation we’ve enjoyed the proactive nature of DXC’s care — they maintained high touch and cadence which is reassuring.”
With the success of the project, DXC is now a trusted partner of the Department. Nick Maerschel went on to say, “We are now making proactive recommendations for service improvements at the Department which include a whole range of initiatives to benefit the organisation.”