vForum Awards 2011 - The Winners

There isn't a CIO out there that doesn't aspire to run their department and deliver projects in a way that makes other CIOs sit up and take notice. That's exactly what the winners of this year's vForum Awards did. We take a look at each one.

There isn't a CIO out there that doesn't aspire to run their department and deliver projects in a way that makes other CIOs sit up and take notice. That's exactly what the leaders of Macquarie University, Fonterra New Zealand and HP Enterprise Services Canberra have managed. They're the winners of this year's vForum Awards and we take a look at each one.

 Innovation Excellence - Macquarie University, NSW, Australia 

As the winner of the innovation Excellence award, Macquarie University operates an environment that supports 400 concurrent desktops on 12 Dell blade servers with 96 GB RAM and 2 x Intel Xeon 6-Core 2.9Ghz hyper-threaded CPU per blade. Clients access their software through VMware View 4.6. 

Macquarie iLab is Macquarie University's computer laboratory product that enables students to use the Microsoft Windows and Mac OS X applications they require to do their University work from anywhere on most common platforms. 

The solution is accessible from off-campus to students world-wide and client agnostic with Windows XP, Vista and 7, Mac OS X Leopard, Snow Leopard and Lion, Linux, Android and iPads all providing students reliable access. The solution promotes the study experience for students, being free to study alone and in groups at their own location and schedule. It also allows Macquarie to save on the maintenance and real-estate of physical computer laboratories. 

Outstanding Business Value - Fonterra New Zealand 

Fonterra's challenge was to migrate a business-critical SAP system used by 6500 users to a virtualized infrastructure to improve workload and performance, and upgrade disaster recovery system to meet business requirements. Any outages, particularly during peak production, are extremely difficult for certain parts of the business to tolerate. For example, during peak periods, the warehouses pack and ship around 550 containers per day - any outage of the SAP system would create an extremely large backlog throughout the Fonterra supply chain


Fonterra moved the SAP system from a Sun Solaris platform to a virtualized infrastructure based on VMware vSphere. This enabled Fonterra to double workloads while halving response times and to establish a sound disaster recovery platform using SRM. After a year, the SAP system is managing more than double the workload while the average response time to users has halved. 

The improved performance of the SAP landscape means Fonterra can more quickly complete critical processes such as financial reporting and inventory checking, and provide better service to its customers. Adding extra capacity to SAP is now far easier. Previously, Fonterra would have had to order and wait for extra hardware, which would have potentially taken up to a month. Now it takes as little as a week to deploy a new application server and a quarter of the effort. 

IT as a Service Leadership - HP Enterprise Services

HP Enterprise Services created a self-service developer environment for a major Australian Tax Office. Built on vSphere 4, LabManager 4, HP Quality Centre 11, Windows XP, 7, 2000-2008, Genilogix vLab addin for Quality Centre and a F5 virtual appliance the solution met or exceeded the client's expectations. Improvements in flexibility and cost reduction, process optimisation and formation of a platform for more complex and integrated capabilities aligned to the business and operational strategic roadmaps. 

As a result, the ATO is in the process of adopting this capability as basis for transforming its developer environment, currently comprising some 1000 developers and 4000+ server and desktops. As a result processes such as server deployment for development, that used to take weeks, are now provisioned in minutes the with backups restored in seconds and not hours. 

The vForum Awards Honour Roll 

Innovation Excellence 

Winner: Macquarie University 

Runner Up: Cooper Grace Ward 

Outstanding Business Value 

Winner: Fonterra 

Runner Up: Auburn City Council 

Runner Up: QIC 

IT as a Service Leadership 

Winner: ATO & HP Enterprise Services 

Runner Up: Servicenet

Read more on Information technology (IT) in Australia & New Zealand