Local software firms score $190m WA schools deal

Local software companies Compass and TechnologyOne will deliver the new student management system for more than 800 public schools in Western Australia in a deal worth almost $190 million over the next 15 years.

Edtech software company Compass announced the contract on Tuesday, after what co-founder and chief executive John de la Motte described as “one of the most stringent tender processes we’ve ever been involved in”.

In May 2022, the Department of Education approached the market to find a provider capable of replacing the legacy core student information system (SIS) that has been in place for more than 30 years.

It was the second attempt to do so in eight years, with the department forced to put an earlier attempt on ice in 2019 after the replacement system, delivered by Civica at a cost of $32 million, failed to pass testing.

Perth, Western Australia

The new solution, dubbed Kaartdijin, was tendered as four separate modules covering school administration, student management, timetabling and school finance that would also be accessible by schools “from anywhere at any time”.

On Tuesday, after a year-long tender process, Compass said it had been awarded the contract to deliver the solution to more than 800 public schools across the state in partnership with Technology One.

Compass, which is headquartered in Melbourne and currently supplies over 150 schools in WA with software, will provide the school administration, student administration and timetabling modules of Kaartdijin.

“We’re thrilled Western Australia’s Department of Education has chosen local technology providers to power its public schools,” de la Motte said in statement, adding that “supporting local technology jobs is a key tenement of Compass”.

Technology One, Australia’s largest home-grown ERP software provider, will, meanwhile, deliver the school finance software, which will support the “billing, finance, accounting, budgeting and management reporting function for the department and the schools it services”.

Technology One chief executive Ed Chung, who was recently also appointed managing director of the company, said the solution that will be used currently “empowers more than 1.4 million students globally”.

“This deep sector expertise, honed over the last 36 years, means we understand our customers’ priorities: simplifying business processes to deliver outstanding results for their users and the community,” he said.

According to TendersWA, Compass will receive $135.8 million over 15 years, the bulk of the $189.3 million, for its work, while Technology One has netted a cool $53.6 million for the finance component of the system.

At almost $190 million, the price tag of the new system is significantly more than the $32 million that was to be paid to Civica. It is unclear how much was paid to the company when the contract was terminated.

Do you know more? Contact James Riley via Email.

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