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State officially begins the IBM termination process

Been a long time coming.

The state gave notice to IBM [last] week that it will terminate the troubled $863 million data center consolidation contract. The process could take a full two years as the Department of Information Resources finds companies to finish the mammoth job and they take over the merger of 28 state agency data centers.

In the meantime, the existing contract requires IBM to provide “termination assistance” by maintaining staffing and providing the necessary information to ease the transition, said Ed Swedberg, DIR’s deputy executive director.

This break-up was telegraphed months ago when DIR said it would restructure the project and seek new companies to do the work. The restructured project will be broken up into several smaller, more manageable pieces in contrast to the the huge IBM-led effort.

That rebidding process will hit a critical milestone in January when interested companies must submit their plans. The objective is to have the new companies selected in August.

Swedberg said that process is now far enough along that the state felt comfortable starting the two-year clock on dismantling its relationship with IBM.

The first signs of trouble were reported two years ago, and after an attempt to fix things in January, it all fell apart in a hail of fingerpointing, with the beginning of the end in August. Let’s have a moment of silence for yet another failed privatization project on Rick Perry’s watch.

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