NZ Post rejects XP upgrade criticism

New Zealand Post is rejecting suggestions its upgrade to Windows XP is over budget and behind schedule.

A source close to the project told Computerworld the effort is heavily delayed with a ballooning budget. He says the upgrade was signed off in August 2006 with a budget of $3 million. This was later boosted to $6 million, he says.

The upgrade was supposed to be completed in May 2008, but there is still “a myriad of problems” to solve, he claims. According to the source, the desktop environment is “undisciplined” and there is no accountability for the project.

However, NZ Post insists the project is on track. Tracy Voice, CIO of Postal Services, says she expects the infrastructure and operating system upgrade, which she values at $6.4 million, will be finalised in April.

Voice says the upgrade is progressing according to the board-approved budget of $6.4 million “and the timeline established in 2007”.

She says the project started in October 2007, when New Zealand Post, IT services provider Datacom and Microsoft conducted a design discovery analysis that resulted in some financial adjustments, “not uncommon in a project like this”.

The project includes a full infrastructure upgrade and a refresh of the operating system — from Windows 2000 to XP.

“There are no issues with our providers and the project is subject to full accountability under New Zealand Post’s internal processes and procedures,” she says.

Voice did not comment when asked whether there were any plans to upgrade to Windows Vista or Windows 7.

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