DII and EDS, handbags at dawn?

#1
Seems the relationship between EDS and the MOD is starting to turn a little sour

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2006/03/21/eds_sec_mod/

Anyone want to wager that this amazing, wonderful, value for money project is starting to come unglued? More to the point should we cave in to EDS and pay them more of our tax money for a system that has yet to be shown to work anywhere out side of Corsham and a delivery date that has already slipped by more than a year?

Thoughts anyone?
 
#2
I worked on one of the competing bids for this... Its a massive contract, both in terms of commercial and technical complexity, so, whilst I'm loathe to offer EDS excuses, in my opinion the real blame lies with the MOD, as well as the people who advised them on the procurement. They are tendering for contracts that they themselves can't manage, with technical risks and significant commercial liabilities falling on contractors who should know better than to bid for work that can't be delivered.

If you want to see what the end result is - look at the NHS "connecting for health projects". 2 years + in - and they are haemorraging money without really delivering...
 
#3
Again, i'm loathe to stick up for EDS but having read the article the problem seems to be MOD changes in programme deliverables. Nothing new there then. I've worked on the project and Atlas/EDS seem to be employing some really good people, and forcing them to work like idiots. That being said, if the MOD are changing their minds about their expectations for DII i'm not surprised that EDS are worried.

Interesting point in the article about management of change. Within our environment, the major concern of staff has been the impact of change and getting any answers to alieviate fears is next to impossible. Too big a project, too quickly and badly managed by both the MOD and Atlas IMHO.
 
#4
#5
Should have given the job to BT. BT's own system has over 80,000 linked and secure terminals including over 30,000 RAS laptops. Whilst I'm not saying its perfect it works and is upgraded 24/7.

Not only that, I'm sure BT didnt spend £4 billion on it either. Having seen the standard of DII instalations I'm sure the average BT engineer could have done just as well too. Moving on from there are we getting VOIP phones etc with DII?
 
#7
WhiteHorse said:
Moving on from there are we getting VOIP phones etc with DII?
Nope. I asked the same question to our local DII project manager - he asked me why i want one. I didnt persue it
 
#8
WhiteHorse said:
Moving on from there are we getting VOIP phones etc with DII?
Funny enough I mentioned that to an Estate Manager the other day................... All i got was a funny look, a mumbled 'Security Issue' followed by 'How about getting the system installed first' So at a guess I'd call it a no in the short term.
 
#9
nodandawink said:
If you want to see what the end result is - look at the NHS "connecting for health projects". 2 years + in - and they are haemorraging money without really delivering...
And the MoD is about to announce its own version (DMICP), 'connecting for health' had the NHS jump in with both feet and ignore existing providers, who in reality are keeping the project afloat. Like most things it centered around loads of project managers (non technical officers) who didn't know what they were talking about and spent most of the time ring fencing their organisations from blame.

As for WhiteHorses comments about BT, my recent dealings would indicate its 'good to talk', we've spent so much time trying them to talk to each other. I work with an ex-BT guy who has sort of followed the RSigs Supervisor stream, he's a great guy to work with, maybe industry should look in on the corps model for technical people.
 
#10
Whitehorse - I don't think that giving the contract to any other provider would make much difference. The reason that EDS are in such (very public) trouble with large scale outsourcing contracts is that they have greater exposure - they got into the game ahead of everyone else. The contracts are just too big and can't really be controlled without top-class management. The management are too busy with other things (you can judge for yourself whether these are important - in the case of the MOD, I can understand that they might be a bit preoccupied with matters in Iraq.).

What the whole government procurement process should offer is a process that offers smaller chunks of contracts from the beginning, with more output-based specification. And they will have to be prepared to pay for it. Industry is getting hacked off with the bad press from these contracts going wrong, and some of the high-quality players (CapGemini, IBM, Accenture) are getting very nervous about staying in Government work. IBM didn't bid for the health work - why do you think that is..?

WhiteHorse, I know BT and their service provision side (BT Global Services) very well - I worked there for 3 years. They are learning, but have as many if not more faults than EDS. They run the Defence Fixed Telephony Service, and run it very well - but is it any surprise that BT can run a telephone service? If they had to run DII, they'd be making as bad a job of it as EDS. If you want an example, look at the N3 Broadband project, the London CFH cluster, and the SPINE project on the NHS.
 
#11
EDS gets slated for every single big job that it does. Like in boxing, you're only as good as your last fight, and surely when every job is a disaster that has to be taken as a strong hint! I work in a unit which uses an IT system heavily controlled by EDS and they have made an absolute dog's dinner of it. Imagine an adhoc network that keeps growing in size, each bolt-on at a different build state, hybrid operating systems for totally fanciful 'security' reasons and a tiny team of people (try counting on one finger) who know it intimately. What a bl00dy disaster. Er...no prizes for guessing the name of this anonymous system.

They screw up the employment service, inland revenue, NHS etc etc....so what do we do? Book EDS for our next system! WTF?
 
#12
IMHO the majopr problem is corruption in the uk defence industry and no matter if all your dealings are far above board these companies get tarred with the same brush so no matter what the problem someone always looks at that as the reason.

The marconi collapse is good example of the problem in the uk industry
 
#13
nodandawink said:
I know BT and their service provision side (BT Global Services) very well
Ah the company that recently resold the RLI IGS service back to the DMS. Blimey GP3Bunny has replied to this thread :lol:
To be fair to those NHS companies it was may a mistake for many of them to base themselves in the same neck of the woods, have you seen the number of IT jobs is West Yorkshire, most are struggling to get people with medical informatics experience.

nodandawink said:
IBM didn't bid for the health work - why do you think that is..?
They have bid for MOD Health Programe, they or LogicaCMG the likely winners of the contract
 
#14
How big is MOD health? I'd be surprised if either LogicaCMG or IBM would win without big support from a healthcare provider - there surely can't be that many skilled healthcare people left after the NHS programmes have hoovered them all up...

"Like in boxing, you're only as good as your last fight, and surely when every job is a disaster that has to be taken as a strong hint!" - fair point. But its not like any of the companies out there are doing a great job on any of the mega contracts is it?

Some of you guys are at the coalface on DII, DFTS etc - who is good to work with? If you were making the decisions, who would you give the work to?
 
#15
God bless all these hugely complicated projects that go Pete Tong. At least it keeps lots of ex-squaddies in work when they leave!

Result! :D
 
#16
nodandawink said:
How big is MOD health? I'd be surprised if either LogicaCMG or IBM would win without big support from a healthcare provider - there surely can't be that many skilled healthcare people left after the NHS programmes have hoovered them all up...
NHS - How will electronic health information be made available to those treating members of the British armed forces?

e-health-insider -> MoD to announce EHR contract shortly

First link states 1/4 million patients/soldiers, in theory this programme covers a soldier at initial point of wounding (role 1 on BOWMAN) all the way through to Role 4 Hospital on NHSNet (obviously using Falcon/DII etc at different stages), maintaining a complete electronic copy of the injured persons records.

Yes the MoD current supplier (EMIS) is working with both parties (the same primary care supplier that failed to sign up for any LSP in the national programme and had many GP's complaining they couldn't use their system). BT is also working with one them to aid the NHS Spine interconnection.


DII has made supporting MoD systems a lot harder, a simple task of dropping a replacement DLL onto a few servers has gone from: phoning EDS and asking them to do it, to building an MSI and then passing it to a project manager to call several other project manager who basically decide to arrange a meeting with EDS which eventually decides to email the guy at EDS and ask him to drop the dll onto the servers, then firms B, C & D needs to test the change, which months latter fails as I'd spelt something wrong and finally a year latter the DLL gets deployed. A process that used to take about 3 hours.
 
#17
Seems the NHS are a tad annoyed with EDS as well

http://www.computerweekly.com/Artic...compensationoverpatientrecordssystemdelay.htm

The main issue as far as I can see over DII is purely the MOD trying to get as much as possible, as cheap as possible with EDS quoting as low as possible to make as much money as possible without delivering anything!
DCSA should stop while it can, get a tech design/project team in place and decide what it wants and needs to deliver before continuing.
 
#19
I used DII two years ago and it was a major improvement to what the unit had - stand-alones! However, I realised that the project management might not be all it should be when the work for the connection between two major sites in the Garrison came to a stop because the MOD had sold the intervening married quarters and hadn't kept the access rights.

I could just about understand that the MOD had sold the quarters without retaining right of access, but for the project team not to have the "potential issue" on its risk register told me a lot about the project!

I was impressed by DII and look forward to its installation here, but it has already been delayed and I reckon I will be posted first!

However, I note that the EMS Directory which, I understand is part of DII, is frequently out of date, which is worrying. I have friends and colleagues who have been in post for months but who do not yet appear on the directory.

Litotes
 
#20
The EMS directroy in DII & CHOtS & CASH was a manual import from EMS, if the data EMS gave to us was wrong there was nothing we could do, we just imported what was given.

If that has changed in the past year since I left I dont know. I left just before DII/F was announced But DII/C was a very good and stable system.
 
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