Business Memory Lane – IT Profiles A Decade Ago (D)

Business 10: FLIGHT CENTRE

Senior IT executive: Allisa Pollak, CIO
Reports to: Graham Turner. MD
Operating systems: Windows XP/2003/2000/98, Linux, Solaris, IBM AIX, Apple Mac OS/X
Database systems: MS SQL Server. Oracle, Sybase, Omnis
Applications: Veritas_ MYOB. Datalex, Calypso
IT staff:110
IT budget: Undisclosed

FLIGHT CENTRE offered some unusual responses this year. It was one of a handful of organisations using software as a service, with a recent implementation of Salesf orce.com in its corporate travel management business. The company has also gone against the grain by bringing some applications back in-house “to achieve greater flexibility and a reduction in cost”. The company says it is using MYOB, an accounting and business management package, which is generally associated with far smaller organisations. But this year will see the company play with more heavyweight tools. From an application point of view, it will continue, and hopefully complete, a full integrated travel distribution platform expected to “allow an improvement in front-end productivity as well as a reduction in errors”. This project has the board’s attention as the No.1 IT priority for the coming year. Another priority is virtualisation, which will be applied to more servers with the assistance of VMware.

Business 11: TOYOTA MOTOR CORPORATION AUSTRALIA

Senior IT executive: James Scott divisional manager information systems
Reports to: Bernie O’Connor. executive director corporate services
Operating systeme Windows XP. Linux. IBM AIX
Database systems: MS SQL Server. Oracle
Applications: SAP
IT staff: 82
IT budget: Undisclosed

SENIOR IT executive James Scott has three key areas of focus for Growth: outsourcing; implementing the Australian arm of global technology projects: and settling down the IT team after the implementation of a new management group back then. Then, long-term Toyota employee and previous chairman and CEO of Toyota France, Max Yasuda, became president of Toyota Australia. Along with the appointment came a new attention to sales, manufacturing and parts distribution, designed to cut the fat from the supply chain and increase market competitiveness. The management group is currently revving up the Australian information systems division to become a solutions leader and trusted partner across the group. Strengthening and improving the existing outsourcing deals with IBM and Fujitsu are a priority, with Scott emphasising the need to improve Toyota’s satisfaction and to reduce overall cost and gain better service levels.

Business 12: UNIVERSITY OF NEW SOUTH WALES

Senior IT executive: Michael Kirby-Lewis. director IT
Reports to: Peter Graham, COO
Operating systems: Windows 2003. Linux. Solaris
Database systems: MS SQL Server. Oracle
Applications: Oracle. PeopieSoft IT staff: 340
IT budget: Undisclosed

THE UNIVERSITY witnessed back then. the commencement of a three-year IT change program. aimed at consolidating and rationalising infrastructure through providing high-end storage and processing capacity. including a second data centre. The program also includes plans to adopt a cross-university approach to IT, including consistent cross-university IT utility services. The change program aims to relieve users and IT staff of the task of managing basic IT facilities and to focus on initiatives that directly assist teaching and research. This should align “IT with the university business units and UNSW’s strategy with appropriate IT governance”. It is continuing an identity management program with the provision of single sign-on for some enterprise systems and further web-delivered self services this year. IT is also rolling out a new wireless network to students on a “free, provided responsible” basis. Following high growth in portal usage, the portal infrastructure and technology platform has been upgraded and is about to go live.