Whilst NSW does have the largest population, it is in fact the 5th largest state/territory.
Around a third of servers at Transport for New South Wales, the public transport department in Australia’s largest most populous state, need security patches, some dating back to 2007. But IBM, which provides IT services to the agency, doesn’t have enough people dedicated to the job to get it done in the planned time frame or in …
Wednesday 14th March 2018 23:48 GMT as2003
Thursday 15th March 2018 05:23 GMT Anonymous Coward
So much for RESPONSIBILITY
This IBM is the same IBM that knowingly sold Microsoft operating systems on it's PC that had known faults on them by Microsoft. Microsoft refused to fix them saying IBM signed an agreement to take responsibility for them, but never fully handed over the capacity to deal with those specific faults, so IBM were unable to fix the faults.
Australian consumer LAW, requires both the retailer AND Manufacturers to assume responsibility for their product being sold within Australia.
Both were responsible for the shitty situation (an argument between IBM & MS) IBM told the customer(user) to go to Microsoft, Microsoft told the customer(user) to go to IBM.
FAIL, FAIL, FAIL - people are still working in IT that allowed this to happen, in higher places than where they were when it occurred.
Thursday 15th March 2018 07:01 GMT G2
Re: So much for RESPONSIBILITY
given that IBM is dealing mostly with companies (or should i say "exclusively"?), i'd say that is standard behaviour in Europe.
You are lucky to have such a consumer law in Australia that allows companies to be considered as "consumers" because here in Europe you're generally fucked if you have a consumer-type issue and you are not a natural person. :(
Under EU law, the notion of consumer does not extend to legal persons (companies), even if they have a non-business character (e.g. non-profit associations). So, if it's not directly written in a contract then it doesn't exist. There are some minor differences from this in some EU countries but generally that's the rule.
quote: ‘consumer’ means any natural person who, in contracts covered by this Directive, is acting for purposes which are outside his trade, business or profession; /quote
Not even self-employed traders or family businesses can be considered as "consumers" - but there are, again, some minor differences to this rule across EU countries.
Thursday 15th March 2018 00:44 GMT Anonymous Coward
Meanwhile in a parallel universe, the exec(s) who made the initial screw up in deciding to cut staffing to the point that this basic kind of cock-up could occur, and who got nice fat bonuses for saving costs, were held responsible for their errors and had their bonuses taken back off them and told they're incompetent.
Not in this universe though...
Thursday 15th March 2018 08:27 GMT Dan 55
Don't you just love these multinationals that pocket billions and behind the scenes on every project it's two or three overworked staff barely keeping the thing going, while marketing just sold the cure to cancer which will be ready in six months and suddenly staff need to be taken off other projects to come up with that too.
Thursday 15th March 2018 01:31 GMT Tim99
"as while offshore labour will be involved it can only do so much when on-premises mission-critical servers require reboots. " Well there's your problem. I'm so old, I can remember when IBM's staff were all locals, and the only offshore people your organization saw were very senior specialists that they occasionally flew in...
Thursday 15th March 2018 04:06 GMT Anonymous Coward
In IBM's defence...
The customer brought the name and not the service.
How were IBM to know that laying off all the local staff to employee cheaper foreign staff would only allow them 3-5 years of cost savings before they had to layoff the foreign staff and find someone cheaper?
Or that laying off experienced staff would result in inexperienced staff not doing the job o the same standard that the customer used to expect?
And IBM were cheaper. Well not actually cheaper, but cheaper than the price that they initially wanted to charge the customer before the customer said "are you shitting me?"
It was a perfect storm really...
Thursday 15th March 2018 04:57 GMT Anonymous Coward
Re: In IBM's defence...
They had locals on the account, customer decided they want delivery entirely offshore to save $$$ and pushed IBM to cut local asap. So work was transferred per a schedule and locals were cut per the schedule and to meet staff cuts decreed by Singapore. Problem being that schedule slipped, offshore resources needing to be trained as most were newly minted freshers straight out of school but the cuts locally were made anyway. Factor in attrition of people leaving before they got kicked to the curb and they were down to the point where any absence would have an impact on delivery if offshore teams weren't able/unwilling to take on the work.
Offshore teams (more than just India) didn't step up to take up the work for which they were engaged and the usual excuses provided - not enough Knowledge Transfer, unfamiliar environment, don't know tools, need to hire more staff - not uncommon to see 2-3 times as many offshore staff hired than there were locals on an account and delivery still worse than local teams who had already been decimated.
Other accounts are in similar situation - cut so much locally that there are no free resources available to help out other accounts - most local teams can't cover workload if someone is sick, goes on annual leave - work is prioritised based on who will scream the most if it's not done (or whichever has the highest financial penalty.)
Factor in tight change windows (4 hours in some cases (including customer post implementation validation and testing)) and inheriting systems that had either never been patched or patched inconsistently and barely having enough staff to cover normal activities it doesn't take much for it to all fall apart.
Thursday 15th March 2018 08:47 GMT lglethal
I call bullsh%t...
"The problems at TfNSW seem to have come about in part due to Meltdown patches throwing other plans out of kilter. "
"Around a third of servers at Transport for New South Wales, the public transport department in Australia’s largest most populous state, need security patches, some dating back to 2007."
If you have unpatched servers going back to 2007, the problem is most certainly NOT caused by whatever the latest OS/Chip/general security blunder is.
Thursday 15th March 2018 14:44 GMT Doctor Syntax
Surely IBM has multiple layers of management.
And surely all those managers are their because of their technical competence - aren't they?
So surely those managers could lend a hand to do essential work.
After all, no business would be so foolish as to cut the staff who know how to do the work the company depends on and leave it overstaffed by those who don't. Would it?
Thursday 15th March 2018 18:16 GMT Anonymous Coward
In IBM, there are two types of technical managers:
- the ones taking credit for the hard work of others
- the ones pushing someone else under a bus when something goes wrong
Note that being a hard worker that others are taking the credit for and being thrown under a bus are not mutually exclusive.
Between resource actions and managerial incompetence, it's lucky that IBM has such an effective financing operation going on otherwise they would probably have disappeared already.
Sunday 18th March 2018 23:21 GMT peterjames
Is that not the new norm of most liberal capitalist, ehm, neo-feudal, business?
No investment in or recognition of knowledge or skill, full taking of credit for any results, and the feel of bus rubber over you as part of the daily grind?
Because enlightenment only happened in Europe, right?
Friday 16th March 2018 02:12 GMT FozzyBear
No updates since 2007. Nice it's not like these systems, control switching on the rails, traffic and monitor progress of trains across the network. Timetables, Comms and maintenance schedules.
Interesting considering they invested heavily to revamp the the systems that log lateness of trains at various stops and the associated reporting. Anything short of a derailment is now considered Act of god and therefore outside of their control. Wouldn't want to interfere with the directors and senior executives getting their yearly bonus now would we?
Sunday 18th March 2018 06:36 GMT CFtheNonPartisan
IBM has more ownership of failures across government than any single company has a right to own, yet instead of being barred they keep getting contracts. Therein lies the problem - procurement failures. You cannot blame your customer for your own failures that you should have had the capability of working out prior to the fail - unless you did not understand your own business vis a vis the customer requirement.
Monday 19th March 2018 07:40 GMT Anonymous Coward
TfNSW - NSW Government Jobs for Offshore Workers by IBM
The NSW government should be ashamed for signing off on allowing IBM Australia to Offshore most of the the support roles for TfNSW to cheap low cost countries at the expense of local jobs. The account and TfNSW has had it's fair share of major issues lately without the need to Offshore to unfamiliar workers. Many local Aussie roles like server OS teams have been targeted to Offshore.
When is someone in Labour going to call out the Liberals for allowing this to happen.
IBM sells its capability to draw on it's Global Work force but on a Local account like TfNSW it struggles to support. Keep the Roles in Australia before it's too late. Bow your heads down IBM Australia and NSW TfNSW for this situation continuing.