Defence IT deployment at major scale

Foxconn Australia

Monday, 18 March, 2019


Defence IT deployment at major scale

The Department of Defence turned to DXC and Foxconn for one of the largest IT asset deployment projects ever undertaken in Australia.

The Department of Defence recently undertook a complete desktop hardware, operating system and application refresh/upgrade across its desktop fleet, encompassing more than 110,000 machines. This was in direct response to the Department’s need to modernise its desktop environment to meet operational, compatibility and security postures, not available from its aged fleet.

The result has enabled the Department to standardise its desktop fleet and ICT environment to a small number of devices and make significant savings through supporting a smaller number of hardware platforms within the environment.

On behalf of the deployment contractor, DXC Technology, Foxconn Australia ran, controlled and managed the inbound tracking, standard operating environment (SOE) and imaging and outbound packaging for over 110,000 desktop PCs and workstations using Dell and Hewlett Packard hardware.

Foxconn Australia (foxconnaustralia.com.au), a subsidiary of the world’s largest electronics manufacturer, has operated Australia’s largest computer assembly facility for more than 15 years. The facility at Rydalmere in Sydney has 10,000 square metres of warehouse, manufacturing and pre-staging space with capacity to process over 50,000 devices per month, all of which go through a testing and quality assurance process before being shipped. The company is accredited under ISO 9001 (Quality Systems) and ISO 14001 (Environmental Systems).

Due to security constraints, Foxconn leveraged the solutions it has developed and runs day-to-day in its factory and worked with Commonwealth representatives to install a similar, yet scalable capability on-premise at Defence in Canberra. The overall approach taken was very different to the traditional model used for desktop SOE imaging and building and yielded an efficient solution for the Department.

The savings actually achieved are not quantifiable; however, they are significant due to removal of impacts on either the project time frame (110,000-plus units in 10 months of build) or the underlying ICT network, which would have required movement of huge amounts of data across wide-area and remote-connectivity links if a desktop-based build had been implemented.

Foxconn personnel worked closely with Commonwealth representatives throughout the design, implementation and operational phase of the project. In addition, the on-premise facility has been left behind for the Commonwealth to distribute and leverage as an ongoing capability well into the future.

The scalability, fit-for-purpose approach, sustainability of the solution and ability to transition to business as usual post-project, were all primary considerations taken into account by Foxconn in conjunction with Commonwealth representatives and DXC.

“Foxconn provided a key element of the supply chain for the largest asset deployment project (by volume) undertaken in Australia by DXC. They were involved from the design phase as a key partner in preparing our commercial submission, and completed the implementation of the build centre on time and on budget,” said Michael Wagner, Solutions Architect for DXC.

“They then met the daily and monthly build targets consistently as required by the project, which required a just-in-time approach to minimise cost by eliminating double handling and reducing storage requirements," added Wagner.

“The Foxconn and DXC partnership was highly successful in delivering on its commitments to Defence,” said Patrick Collins, Foxconn Director of Operations. “The people, systems and processes employed during the course of the rollout ensured predictability and flexibility. The results could not have been achieved without the excellent teamwork demonstrated by all parties involved in the project.”

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