Thales Australia has successfully completed the Australian Department of Defence’s (DoD) next-generation desktop (NGD) project pilot programme, which is designed to provide significant cost savings for the country.
The A$6.2m ($6.5m) pilot programme began in July 2012 and involved evaluations of a new, secure and easy-to-use desktop computer system by approximately 700 DoD personnel.
Thales has now received approval from the federal government to move ahead with the roll-out of a single, large desktop to users for accessing both defence restricted and defence secret networks, which currently require multiple terminals for different networks.
Thales Australia CEO Chris Jenkins said that the pilot programme demonstrated an efficient means of gathering real-world data from multiple operators.
"The pilot not only demonstrated the viability of this server-based computing solution, but also generated valuable implementation and de-risking experience across several defence sites and networks that will prove highly beneficial as the programme continues," Jenkins said.
"We have also recently completed a series of joint workshops with the customer, and are currently discussing how to proceed with full scale implementation of the NGD solution."
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Thales was selected as NGD project’s prime contractor by DoD in October 2011 to modernise its 115,000-seat end-of-life desktop environment in an effort to reduce hardware, power and sustainment costs and also improve the experience for operators.
The company’s partners include Raytheon Trusted Computer Solutions (RTCS), Microsoft and Citrix, which are providing their Trusted Thin Client (TTC) software and hardware, Windows 7, Hyper V, MED-V and AppV, as well as XenDesktop and XenApp respectively for the programme.
Launched in 2009 as part of the DoD’s strategic reform programme, the NGD project aims at generating an estimated A$20bn ($20.9bn) in savings between now and 2019, CIO has reported.