Empired wins education contract

18/12/2017 - 15:42

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Catholic Education Western Australia has modified its delivery strategy for the ambitious ICT project it has created in collaboration with Microsoft, with local firm Empired wining work under a new fixed-price contracting model.

CEWA acting executive director Debra Sayce with staff of a local catholic school.

Catholic Education Western Australia has modified its delivery strategy for the ambitious ICT project it has created in collaboration with Microsoft, with local firm Empired winning work under a new fixed-price contracting model.

CEWA told Business News it has moved away from a ‘time and materials’ delivery process for its Leading Lights digital project.

This process normally means the cost of a project is open-ended, and has been replaced with fixed price contracts with local suppliers.

CEWA said Empired was selected after a tender process to develop its school administration platform, which is a major component of the project.

Empired said it was a multi-million dollar contract.

CEWA said this continued its long-standing partnerships with local suppliers such as Empired, which has been working on other aspects of Leading Lights since its inception.

Other local companies to work on the project include West Perth-based data science specialist Optika Solutions, which was hired to develop a database management system, and ICT firms Ignia and Novata Solutions.

CEWA has been planning Leading Lights since 2015 and selected a Microsoft platform approximately 12 months ago, building on an existing agreement it had with the technology vendor.

The stage one implementation commenced in April, and more than half the state’s Catholic schools have already migrated across.

CEWA has described leading lights as a world-leading system that will link 80,000 students and 15,000 teachers and staff across 170 schools and office locations.

The system will customise and connect multiple Microsoft technologies, notably Office 365, Dynamics 365 and the Claned learning platform.

Empired managing director Russell Baskerville said the opportunities for digital transformation in education were extensive.

“We are delighted to have the privilege of working with CEWA to deliver core parts of their leading lights technology program,” he added.

CEWA’s acting executive director Debra Sayce said the Leading Lights project aimed to bring new levels of connectivity, access and equity in education.

“This is a far-reaching project that will give our students outstanding, future-focused learning

opportunities, while also benefitting school communities across the state,” Dt Sayce said.

To support leading lights, CEWA has previously partnered with the Florida Centre for Education Leadership to monitor and evaluate technology integration, and formed a three-year global research partnership with Microsoft Learning.

Today’s news comes one month after CEWA chief executive Tim McDonald left the organisation, after being told his contract would not be renewed after six years with the organisation.

Meanwhile, Empired has confirmed its EBITDA (underlying earnings) guidance for the six months to December 2017 will be between $7 million and $7.3 million.

The company said it continued to expect a significant EBITDA uplift in the second half of the financial year, to June 2018.

Its shares closed unchanged today at 48 cents.

 

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