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OUR STORY 10 Years of Cenitex

Our Story: 10 Years of Cenitex


“It’s a combination of a soap opera and a roller coaster... I mean it is never boring”


Our Story: 10 Years of Cenitex

— Kellee Wills Senior Collaboration Engineer

Contents page




A new model for shared ICT services is born


2008 - 2011 timeline




Rapid growth, consolidation and Integration 2008 to 2011


2011 - 2014 timeline


A new vision emerges from uncertainty 2011 to 2014


2014 - 2018 timeline


From clarity to confidence, customer and cloud 2015 to 2018




Banding together


Our culture


Staff development


Public Service


What I love about working at Cenitex



Our Story: 10 Years of Cenitex


THE EARLY VISION To provide “One ICT Service” for the Whole of Victorian Government (WoVG) • • • •


Our Story: 10 Years of Cenitex

one desktop one network one login process one hosting service

OUR BEGINNING A new model for shared ICT services is born On July 16, 2008 Cenitex was officially gazetted as the newest Victorian Government State Owned Enterprise with the aim of providing shared ICT services across government. Our new enterprise combined two government ICT service providers— the ICT Shared Services Centre, and the Information and Technology Services Group—together as Cenitex. The birth of Cenitex grew out of the Victorian Government’s vision to provide increased efficiencies and cost savings to government departments by reducing duplication of resources, providing broad and in-depth expertise, increasing our collaboration capabilities, and harnessing the power of aggregated buying by creating a single shared ICT service. With a mandate at inception for all government departments to transition their current ICT services to Cenitex, a timeline was set for this Whole of Victorian Government (WoVG) transformation. On our unveiling in July 2008, we commenced providing ICT services to our first customers: Department of Transport (DOT), Department of Planning and Community Development (DPCD), Department of Primary Industries (DPI), Department of Sustainability and Environment (DSE) and the Department of Treasury and Finance (DTF); with the remaining government departments earmarked for transition in the coming years.

BABY BOOM Cenitex’s birth wasn’t the only one in July 2008. There were two expectant parents amongst our first employees, one of whom was Senior Engineer Cameron Patten, who is still with us ten years later. “There was another lady who worked here who was also pregnant, and it was almost, who’s going to have the first baby at Cenitex?”, he recalls. On July 11, just five days before our gazetting, Cameron’s wife gave birth to their first child who was promptly given the moniker of ‘the first Cenitex baby.’ “So we won that race and we’ve just had his 10th birthday of course, it fits in nicely timing wise.”

Our Story: 10 Years of Cenitex


2008 to 2011

29 JAN Successful consolidation of server, storage & network support & maintenance contracts for intial customers saves $1.5 million

26 SEPT 24 JUL

First Board appointed

Peter Blades appointed CEO

18 JAN

Cenitex Emergency Management Team (EMT) established

16 JUL

3 DEC 18 AUG

2008 iPhone 3G + App Store released

11 JUL

Jan 7 OCT



Board approves new ITIL service model & realigned org. structure

14 DEC


Oct 22 JUL

MAR Uber launched

Windows 7 released



Bitcoin released

MAY Facebook more popular than MySpace

Black Saturday Fires Minecraft released

11 DEC Chrome released

Our Story: 10 Years of Cenitex

First WoVG milestone achieved with phasing in of Lotus Notes


7 FEB Google turns 10, indexes 1 trillion sites & launches Android



Spotify released

Airbnb founded

Information Security Framework endorsed by GSG & SAC

Business Service Catalogue finalised

26 JUN




VIC Bushfire Reconstruction & Recovery Authority ICT set-up


Intra-Government Secured Network router housed in Ballarat data centre

21 NOV

23 FEB

First Tech Service Catalogue Move to 80 Collins St.


DTF & DPC UNISYS transition

Partnership BMC Softw deliver a se manageme capability ETS

11 NOV

17 MAY

Angry Bi become No. 1 iOS app

FEB MS Azure released


p with ware to ervice ent for the


13 MAY

Dept. of Innovation, Industry & Regional Development ICT services transferred as part of ETS

First internal One Desktop pilot

1 APR New self-service password reset service deployed

8 FEB New self-service password reset pilot for DTF & DPC

26 FEB Shared service for hosting web applications developed, built on DHHS web delivery platform


10 JUN Dept. of Justice becomes a customer

Aboriginal Affairs Online Cultural Heritage Register launched

Reach Portal launched providing web-based IT requests

9 APR One Desktop pilot combining Windows 7 & VDI technologies


Women in Cenitex forum launched

28 JAN Enterprise Risk Mgmt Review Board meet for the first time

Partnership with DPI & Latrobe Uni for network & directory design & implementation for new Bio-Science venture

25 FEB Major data centre upgrades for DPC & DTF

19 NOV New service centre tool, Remedy, launched

EPA becomes our 11th customer

17 DEC


15 APR One Desktop piloted to 13 DPCD staff

Completion of 530 Collins st server migration to Ballarat data centre

10 JUN

24 JUN

Windows 7 Workplace added to our Service Catalogue

25 MAR

Operations complete upgrade to 8,500 DOJ desktops


Service Opertations staff reaches 400 people covering over 80 sites

Jim Monaghan assumes CEO role after Peter Blades retires

20 MAY

New storage system in Burwood data centre handed over to Operations & storage join for DBI & DIIRD customers

Michael Vanderheide appointed as CEO

28 APR







irds es S


21 JAN


2011 3 APRIL First iPad released

26 MAY Apple passes Microsoft as most valuable tech company

10 MAY



Baillieu Govt formed

6 OCT Instagram released


IBM Watson wins Jeopardy

Microsoft buys Skype

DEC Arab Spring protests spread by social media in Tunisia

28 JUN Office 365 released

Our Story: 10 Years of Cenitex


OUR JOURNEY Rapid growth, consolidation and integration 2008 to 2011 While the benefits of a strong single shared ICT service for government were clear to see, the establishment of Cenitex still brought many significant challenges. Chief among these during our first two years was the integration of our disparate technologies, infrastructure and people into a cohesive, functional whole, in order to realise the benefits of our vision. During our first financial year (2008-09) we took control of a wide mix of infrastructure inherited from the ICT Shared Services Centre, the Information and Technology Services Group, and our first government departments who transitioned their services to us. This included data centres spread throughout the CBD and regional Victoria. We needed to combine infrastructure of various ages, technologies and levels of vendor support into a unified system that provided a reliable hosting architecture: the backbone of our services. Cenitex brought together around 300 people under the leadership of Chief Executive, Peter Blades, to tackle this complex task. Many of our early employees came across as contractors from the private sector. We also had significant transfers of people from their previous roles in the ICT Shared Services Centre, the Information and Technology Services Group, and from our first customers. A key enabler of our mission was announced in February 2009 when funding was approved for the Efficient Technology Services (ETS) program, a spearhead for the Victorian Government’s Efficient Government Policy. The ETS program aimed to deliver a consolidated and standardised ICT service across the whole of government.


Our Story: 10 Years of Cenitex

“When I joined XP was the flavour, then there was a massive push to jump onto Windows 7. Now it’s Windows 10, Office 365, and a big focus on cloud solutions”

— Bill Tsiakos, Team Lead, Project Delivery

Over the first three years our people achieved many significant milestones, including: • large updates and investments in our technology infrastructure at our two data centres in Ballarat and Burwood In order to achieve these aims and to realise the benefits of a shared ICT service, the ETS delivered:

• the migration of servers and massive amounts of customer data to our Burwood and Ballarat data centres

• a common core desktop, network, hosting and login service; • an integrated Service Centre; and • the transfer of government departments to Cenitex.

• the release of our first Service Catalogue providing customers with transparent pricing and service levels, and economies of scale and their continued development

To meet the challenges of delivering this ambitious program while serving our customers and rationalising our inherited infrastructure, this period saw our staff numbers more than double from 342 to 751. Nearing the end of our first three years we welcomed three new customers to Cenitex: Environment Protection Agency (EPA); State Revenue Office (SRO); and the Victorian Ombudsman (VO). The first three years was a time of rapid growth. We made significant steps towards consolidating complex infrastructure. We continued to serve our customers’ hosting, networking, application and service desk needs, while upgrading and integrating our hardware to enable a ‘One Service’ model.

• the implementation of our IT Service Management Tool, Remedy • establishment of the Women in Cenitex career support and development forum • a standardised tool to manage the complete lifecycle of identities across WoVG, called Government Identity Provisioning Service (GIPS) • the implementation of a WoVG initiative to have Lotus Notes mail and calendar on a shared platform and on-going roll-out of the latest versions to our customers • significant procurement negotiations with vendors, saving millions of dollars for government, for example with IBM’s Enterprise Licence Agreement.

Our Story: 10 Years of Cenitex


Responding to the Black Saturday fires One of Cenitex’s first challenges was a shared challenge with the government, and indeed the entire Victorian community when Black Saturday ignited on 7 February 2009 killing 173 people and engulfing over 400,000 hectares or nearly half a million kilometres. The fires wiped whole towns off the map and at the time it was the world’s worst fire event, the equivalent of 400 Hiroshima atom bombs exploding. In response, Cenitex set up an Emergency Management Team (EMT) to provide emergency support to government departments and agencies. Four regional incident control sites were rapidly uplifted to primary sites to deal with the disaster, with extra on-call support offered and a dedicated Service Centre line—which received a total of 2,235 calls—set up. Cenitex staff were also deployed to provide ICT support at the headquarters for the Victorian Government’s response, the Integrated Emergency Coordination Centre (IECC), located at 8 Nicholson St, Melbourne.


Our Story: 10 Years of Cenitex

In addition, over 100 computers, 200 Citrix tokens and 12 network switches were deployed to various sites throughout Victoria. A new Citrix server was also added with the internet speed upgraded from 40Mbps to 100Mbps to cope with the increased demand from these services. We were very proud to support the work of government and our community during this unprecedented disaster and for our work to be recognised and commended by Prue Dobbin, the Integrated Emergency Coordination Centre Coordinator, along with Anthony Griffiths, the manager of the Fire Information and Systems Group.

Our Story: 10 Years of Cenitex


2011 to 2014 29 JUL GIPS deployed initially for use by our Service Centre

GIPS offered to first 2 customers: DSE & DPI

Production Services migrated to new internal firewall at the Ballarat data centre

1 JUL 6 customers switch to our new leading RSA service


16 SEP Land Vic’s electronic conveyancing disaster recovery system migrated to Burwood data centre


4 OCT 12

Our Story: 10 Years of Cenitex

PTV becomes our latest customer

24 JUL

Ballarat data centre capable of hosting and transferring services from Burwood

Lotus Notes 8.5 roll-out to VicMin

Office 2010 deployed across Cenitex


DBI joins the Vic Gov staff directory

GIPS rolled out to DSE & DPI

Ombudsman report into improper conduct allegations released

Workplace Simplified Sign-on (WSSO) deployed across Cenitex

27 APR


GIPS deployed to DPC & DTF


23 MAR

Win7 desktop rollout to DPI

Project Enrich loads 20,000 customers into Remedy

16 JUL


One Desktop deployed to DPI

Bio-Sciences Centr project completed




2012 Steve Jobs dies

19 JAN



25 MAY


NASA rover lands on Mars

Space-X docks with International Space Station

4 OCT Facebook reaches 1 billion users

25 AUG Voyager 1 enters interstellar space

Kodak, the inventor of the digital camera, declares bankruptcy

15 JULY Gangnam Style drops

12 OCT

Single sign-on arrives with the pilot of a new web access management system enablin internet access to Cenitex & customer applications

10 AUG

First customer roll-out of the new desktop to 600 DPCD staff


Siri debuts on iPhone

15 JUN

20 JAN

18 NOV

Occupy Wall St.

Final space shuttle mission

14 OCT

Lotus Notes 8.5 roll-out to 15,000 customers




23 SEP

First 6 customers migrated to single Vic Gov staff directory

15 JUL

24 OCT

Migration of 32 physical & 18 virtual servers from 530 Collins St. to the new Ballarat data centre

30 SEP

26 OCT Windows 8 released

21 DEC Mayan end of the world prediction safely passes



11 OCT

12 FEB


Vic Gov IT strategy launched

Restructure of VPS announced


10 MAY

Password Self Service Reset Service launched

17 MAR Win7 deployed to 4,000th customer

s ng

IDAM team creates a direct link from the meta directory to the active directory realising significant cost savings


Notes Traveler launched to support email & calendar access on mobile devices

New search engine deployed across DTPLI websites

15 NOV 50 DHS SQL servers replaced & migrated to Burwood & Ballarat data centres




Nelson Mandela dies

Cryptolocker trojan discovered

10 MAY The cronut is invented

Our Security team first-time finalists in AusCERT’s annual Aus. Info. Security Awards & we are nominated for Organisation Award for Excellence in Info. Security

6 MAY 4 APR Consolidation of DSDBI mail servers realises significant savings


$6 million gov funding for Request for Proposal stage of ICT procurement process




Oculous Rift VR headset is released

Completed migration of Cenitex & customers to Traveler email & calendar system for mobile devices

23 MAY

Jan 5 DEC

29 MAR

Randall Straw appointed Chair of the Cenitex Board


New automated taxi driver licence payments and applications moved online for DTPLI

Approx. 10,000 staff on GIPs with the addition of DPCD users


28 JUN


24 MAR


Review of Whole of Vic Gov IBM Enterprise Agreement

30 JUN

17 APR

‘Selfie’ is Oxford’s word of the year

15 NOV Sony releases Playstation 4

Our Story: 10 Years of Cenitex


A new vision emerges from uncertainty 2011 to 2014 In July 2011 Michael Vanderheide commenced as our new Chief Executive, taking over from caretaker CEO Jim Monaghan. Cenitex’s first few years consolidated many of our inherited, disparate systems and it was now time to improve our service delivery by placing our customers at the centre of our thinking. Refocussing on our customers resulted in significant organisational change as we aligned our people to a service management environment. With this renewed focus, the ETS was wound down in June 2012 and many of its achievements incorporated into business as usual activities. This, along with a reduction in forecasted customer demand amid an environment of fiscal restraint, resulted in a reduction of staff from 751 to 546 people. Downsizing enabled us to significantly reduce our reliance on contractors, increasing our Victorian Public Service (VPS) workforce from 66.6% to 98.4%. Decreasing our reliance on contractors helped strengthen our governance and probity measures—actions which took on a high priority with allegations of staff impropriety and conflicts of interest surfacing. These allegations were investigated by the Victorian Ombudsman in 2012 and its recommendations to tighten our governance arrangements and probity processes were welcomed by our new CEO and leadership team. Becoming a ‘Reorganising Body’ under the State Owned Enterprises Act in April 2012 also afforded us closer oversight and governance from the Victorian Government. Our internal restructuring and transformation over this period included a reevaluation of our mission to encompass brokering and managing ICT services from the market for our customers. This was in response to the changing technology environment and more widespread adoption of ‘the cloud’.

“The original Board hired me on the basis of the need for real change in our engagement with customers … what the Board was looking for was deep customer engagement.” — Michael Vanderheide, Chief Executive


Our Story: 10 Years of Cenitex

This was also a period characterised by uncertainty with the government proposing to sell Cenitex to the private market. Project Evolve was set up in October 2013 to prepare Cenitex for sale. In this difficult and uncertain atmosphere our people responded with resilience and commitment as we continued to meet the service needs of our customers.

Highlights over the period include: • Project 1 Service Operation (1SO) delivered improvements to our day-to-day operations and project delivery through process, people and technology uplifts • One Desktop on the Windows 7 platform delivered to the Department of Planning and Community Development (DPCD) and deployed the new OS to many of our customers • expanded a secondary data centre to our Ballarat facilities • significantly increased our security capabilities and infrastructure, for example with new firewalls and new Threat and Vulnerability Management (TVM) system • the development of the Government Shared Platform (GSP) and the transition of five customers on to this • implemented a cloud-based mail filtering service on the GSP

and 2013 and recording deficits of $37.5 million and $6.995 million, respectively, we broke even in 2014. This was helped in large part by our consolidation and standardisation activities of the previous years which matured throughout this period, culminating in savings of $10 million per annum. It was a time to focus on maintaining service stability, with a hold placed on the development of new services in anticipation of our sale in the coming year. An Expression of Interest (EOI) was completed in October 2014 and we worked with vendors and customers to best prepare for a future in private sector ownership. The technology trends pointed towards rising demand for mobility solutions and the migration of applications and services to the cloud. Our services were enhanced on both of these fronts with new RSA ‘hard’ and ‘soft’ tokens developed for mobile authentication and our capabilities expanded to incorporate cloud support for our customers. This period saw significant restructuring, staff reduction and a reorientation of our vision to incorporate cloud developments. We also renewed our focus on customers, accountability and governance. While we faced an uncertain future, our people remained resilient as evidenced by a historically low attrition rate of 5.5% in FY 2014 — 10% lower than the industry average. The resolve of our people to meet the challenges that lay ahead placed us in a strong position as we looked to what the new year would bring.

• introduced the Cenitex Strategic Procurement Group which was fundamental to achieving certification of WoVG procurement reform. Despite the uncertainty, we welcomed three new customers, Public Transport Victoria (PTV) in FY 2012, followed by the Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation (VRGF) and the Office of Living Victoria (OLV). After investing heavily in our technology infrastructure in 2012

Our Story: 10 Years of Cenitex


2014 to 2018 22 OCT

VicForests, DPC & DTF move to Win7 on GSP

Notes-based Feedback Approval System introduced by PMO improves efficiency of customer proposal process

1 JUL Premium ICT support begins for all business offices run by DEDJTR

9 JAN 19 SEP

1284 post-election service requests successfully completed under budget

Cenitex breaks even with $7 million turnaround after 2 years of deficits

17 APR DHHS moves to the GSP




Malaysian Airlines MH17 shot down

Jan 20 OCT


29 JULY Windows 10 released

JAN AI fears voiced by Bill Gates, Steven Hawking & Elon Musk

Apple Pay released

11 AUG Robin Williams dies


29 NOV Andrews Government formed

24 APRIL July

First Customer Services Roadmap presented to customer CIOs

3 new customer-led reference groups established to advise on new services, service standards & machinery of gov. changes

11 DEC


$2 million Innovation Fund set up to support proof of concepts for new products & services

Minister, Robin Scott, attends his first Cenitex Board meeting

30 MAR




Apr 10 JAN

WiFi provided to DELWP 8 Nicholson St. offices

13 JUN

The Force Awakens Opens

21 APR Prince dies

Google overtakes Apple as most valuable company UK votes for Brexit

23 JUN 16

Our Story: 10 Years of Cenitex


Microsoft buys LinkedIn

8 FEB 17 DEC


13 MAY

David Bowie dies

24 MAR


C G m

Cenitex recognised by Supreme Court Vic. for our work overhauling their ICT services

DHHS network joins the GSP

Vic. Minister for Finance, Robin Scott, visits our Service Centre & takes calls


Apple watch released

Netflix launches in Australia

New int protect system deploye


14 AUG

4 JUN Senior Security Engineer, Simon Lavigne, a finalist in the Individual Excellence in Info. Security Awards at 2015 Aus CERT Awards

11 MAR

New Intrusion Detection & Protection Systems launched to protect cloudbased services & the GSP from malware attacks

15 MAY

Cenitex sale plans reversed, following review by new government. Cenitex to sit under DTF portfolio




Dropb 68 mill reveal



trusion tion m ed

Security Operations Centre (SOC) goes live



Cloud Customer Group inaugural meeting

Customer 2020 restructure released

30 JUN

14 MAR

28 OCT

Microsoft partnership to build secure cloudbased tenancy for Office 365 for Whole of Vic Gov


New online selfservice portal Requestit released to staff

20 JAN

Women in Cenitex win TechDiversity award. Industry Based Learning program begins

6 JUL Pokemon Go released

31 AUG

box leak of lion users led

GO Office 365 migrates Cenitex staff to OneDrive


Jan 11 OCT


GO Office 365 & Requestit demonstrated at DHHS Tech Expo

New Microsoft Azure partnership & CSV joins GSP

Premier’s Private Office migrated to GO Office 356

VicRoads becomes 1st new customer in 5 years


19 APR 14 DEC


Jan 3 DEC


Wannacry ransomware attack

OCT #Metoo movement


2018 SMS 25 years old


VCAT becomes a GSP customer

20 Vic Min offices migrated to GO Office 365


Twitter increases character limit

22 JUN

27 APR

12 JUN

Samsung Galaxy Note 7 discontinued due to explosions

Leonard Cohen dies

ARIA, Advanced Robotic Interactive Assistant, unveiled to showcase automation in Cenitex

Planning for hyperconverged infrastructure begins

Cenitex wins Recognition of Excellence Award at Vic. OpenGov Leadership Forum


Planning begins for move to Sth Tower at 80 Collins St. in 2020

GO Phish enters the Service Catalogue

Cenitex inducted into Melb. Chamber of Commerce

$9.2 million savings & efficiency dividends from pricing improvements

Final modules of Dynamics 365 project go live



16 JUN



12 JAN

Security Services Engineer, Ervina Lee, wins AusCERT 2017 Individual Member of the Year award



1 billion iPhones sold

23 & 24 JUN

26 MAY

Program Unity upgrades over 2,600 DHHS users to GSP Win 8.1 desktops in first month


13 APR

Tesla sends car into space

Same sex marriage legalised

14 MAR


Stephen Hawking dies

MAR Facebook data breach of 50 million users

31 JULY Big Mac turns 50

24 JUN 6 FEB

Saudi women permitted to drive

Our Story: 10 Years of Cenitex


From clarity to confidence, customer and cloud 2015 to 2018 “I would like to recognise the professionalism shown by our people during the past year. In the face of uncertainty, they have responded in a manner which you would expect of those who take deep pride in delivering quality services to their customers and through them, to the Victorian community.”

- Michael Vanderheide, Chief Executive, 2014-2015 Annual Report

Our period of uncertainty was over at the end of the 2015 financial year when the government decided to retain Cenitex and reaffirmed our role as a critical provider of ICT services for the Victorian Government. However, the reprieve came with a catch, there was no longer a mandate for our existing customers to use our services—they were free to choose any provider who best met their needs. More than ever, our services needed to be cost competitive and laser-focused on customer outcomes to ensure our future. Over the next four years, the ETS matured into the Government Shared Platform (GSP), a modern ICT platform distributed across our two enterprise-grade data centres in Burwood and Ballarat via a Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS) network. Operating under Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) service management processes, the GSP delivers high degrees of service availability and utilises state-of-the-art alerting and monitoring systems to support the delivery of business application hosting and physical or virtual workplaces.


Our Story: 10 Years of Cenitex

As our customers transitioned onto the GSP, significant efficiencies and cost savings were able to be passed on. Customers received a 5% reduction in price for catalogue items in FYs 2016, 2017 and 2018. Outside of the GSP, efficiencies with our infrastructure, procurement and internal processes combined with a strong focus on cost management and cost reduction saw Cenitex deliver our first surplus in five years, $8.4 million in FY 2015. This was followed by $7.5 million in FY 2016, $7.0 million in FY 2017 and $1.3 million in FY 2018. The surplus meant we had the opportunity to set up an innovation fund of $2 million for our customers in FY 2016. The innovation fund was used to jointly fund customer projects to develop new services. This led to a range of successful initiatives including the ability to rapidly migrate physical server assets to a virtualised environment, secure access to business applications from mobile devices and hosting applications securely in a public cloud environment— giving our customers better tools and greater flexibility in the way they work. Rapidly building our cloud capabilities was a strong focus and aligned with the Victorian Government’s broader ICT strategy. In 2016, and in close consultation with our customers, we developed a three-year Customer Services Roadmap and a Cloud Services Strategy. In the same year we piloted and launched ‘Infrastructure as a Service’ on Microsoft’s cloud

platform, Windows Azure and brought this offering to market the following year. This was closely followed by a deal with Amazon Web Services (AWS) to enable a roll out of AWS services for government. A key part of our cloud strategy was harnessing the power of Microsoft’s latest cloud-based operating system Office 365 to offer our customers the latest communication tools for increased collaboration, agility and productivity. By the end of FY 2018 we had nine customers, around 24,000 Victorian public servants, begin their migration to Windows 10 and the enhanced productivity tools of Government Office (GO) Office 365. Our sustained investment in the cloud have today resulted in the following cloud offerings: • GO Office 365, Dynamics 365 and Power BI • GO Connect - a seamless, always-on connection from a corporate PC or Notebook to the internal corporate network, regardless of location • VicCloud Microsoft Azure hosting • CloudLink - a high speed private internet link to connect to Amazon Web Services (AWS) • AWS cloud hosting • GO FEX - secure exchange of files from externally hosted sources to the internal corporate network via the internet • GO Phish - an ethical phishing email service designed to educate users to identify and deal with malicious emails Ever-increasing threats of cyber intrusions and attacks saw us redouble our efforts to strengthen our security capabilities.

Our Story: 10 Years of Cenitex


In FY 2015 we participated in the Digital Government Cyber Security Exercise, reviewing the response capabilities of government to cyber threats. In the following year the Board approved a $6 million three-year security uplift program to guard against increasingly sophisticated attacks. We launched Real Time Threat Management (RTTM) in August 2016 with our new 24/7 Security Operations Centre (SOC). RTTM has the capacity to monitor in real time cyber security incidents from around the world combined with predictive intelligence and incident management tools to maintain ICT service confidentiality, integrity and availability. Our expanding governance arrangements saw us welcome customers onto our Board and establish customer reference groups for cloud, cyber security, and ICT architecture. This ensured that customer needs aligned with our services roadmap. These actions continue to give us unique insights into our customers’ needs and closer alignment of activities, services and technologies. With our future more certain, we were once again able to begin engaging with other government departments to win more customers: Court Services Victoria (CSV) and Taxi Services Commission (TSC) in FY 2015, Vic Roads in FY 2017 and Service Victoria the following year. Our growing confidence over this period was matched by the confidence our customers placed in us, with significant increases in our project work for customers. A recurrent theme throughout our ten-year journey has been investing into and refreshing our core technology infrastructure. This program of work has seen a gradual decline in the number of serious service incidents and improved our underlying service performance through thorough root cause analysis and the remediation of systemic issues.


Our Story: 10 Years of Cenitex

Other key achievements during this time include: • transitioning 9,000 DHHS users to the GSP • introducing a new service delivery model based on Prince2 and Agile methodologies • permanently co-locating support engineers and service delivery managers at customer sites, providing more responsive support and greater visibility of Cenitex staff • unbundling services in the Service Catalogue, giving customers more flexibility and choice, and making it easier to compare our services to the commercial market • launching Requestit, a self-service portal for customers to lodge faults and service requests and track their progress online • uplifting regional sites with new hardware and software combined with improvements to their network and internet capacity and rigorous monitoring to identify and remediate problems before they create an impact • introducing a Diversity and Inclusion Leadership Council, and adopting gender balanced short-listing for all Executive and General Manager roles. Our Executive Leadership Team achieved gender parity and women make up 40% of our General Management team.

The past four years saw an increasingly confident Cenitex emerge. We continued to evolve from technology provider to technology enabler.

Our Story: 10 Years of Cenitex


OUR PEOPLE Banding together A strong single shared ICT service for government was always going to depend on the talent and commitment of our people. It is testament to the capability, effort and resolve of our staff that we have reached our 10-year milestone. Our journey has not been a straight-forward one. If the only constant is change, Cenitex has certainly been an exemplar of this with a number of major organisational restructures, workforce fluctuations, not to mention navigating an uncertain sale process. Our first challenge was to combine our VPS staff with a large cohort of private sector contractors to create a cohesive and collaborative whole—one that was unified by culture and values— while experiencing massive people growth during our first three years. Having a diverse workforce had its advantages, as one of our original staff members, Bill Tsiakos (now Project Delivery Team Lead) describes—”having fresh faces come onboard helps mix the government ideas with commercial ideas - we can’t all be the same or we’d never create new ideas.”


Our Story: 10 Years of Cenitex

“It was pretty exciting to come in and start fresh I suppose with everything that we had learned at DHHS and do it all new with a new toolset. So yeah, it was a pretty exciting challenge I thought.”

— Andrew Lagos, Team Lead Projects, Monitoring & Automation

Our people numbers peaked at 751 at the end of FY 2011. This was followed by four consecutive years of reductions in response to fiscal restraint, the ETS program winding down and plans to put Cenitex on the market. This was a difficult time for everybody as Service Delivery Manager Tim Fitzsimons recalls, ‘

“I think initially there was some shock throughout the organisation, people were kind of like, oh geez, I don’t really know what’s going to happen.” The new Chief Executive, Michael Vanderheide, was buoyed by the tremendous professionalism our people showed throughout the two-year sale period. “The good thing that happened during the sale process is that the staff were incredibly resilient. Our attrition rate dropped to about four or five percent from nineteen, so it was a remarkable shift,” Michael Vanderheide said.

Staff Numbers

Our people’s resilience and professionalism was rewarded when the government announced its decision not to continue with the sale process. “It was a major relief to go from just keeping the lights on to being a viable organisation again and then bringing customers back into the fold and start to turn a profit... the dynamics changed, the morale levels went back up again,” Kellee Wills, Senior Collaboration Engineer, recalls. Reflecting on our tumultuous ride, Bill Tsiakos sees our achievements as remarkable in ...

“... the fact that we’ve had significant org. structure changes, changes in management … yet we’ve been able to survive and maintain a commitment to serve.”

Our Story: 10 Years of Cenitex


Our culture Since our inception Cenitex has adopted a number of explicit values which, although the expression of these may have changed, remain in essence today: accountability, courage, initiative, collaboration and respect. However, the best way to really gauge our values and culture based on our behaviours is to ask our people about their experiences working here. What comes through strongly is that our staff really enjoy working with each other. We support each other, work hard and have some fun too. These relationships mean people look forward to coming to work each day and are energised for the next challenge.

“There are a lot of good people at Cenitex and I’ve really enjoyed working with a lot of them … We really take pride in what we do and it’s enjoyable to work in that sort of environment.”

— Andrew Lagos, Team Lead Projects, Monitoring & Automation

Over ten years our people have developed not only collaborative and supportive working relationships but for many, close friendships as well. The Human Resources team along with the Social Work Committee have helped organise many fun social activities where colleagues have been able to interact with other teams and get to know each other informally, building good rapport. Some of the memorable events over the years include the Amazing Race, our wellness program, baking competitions, annual Canada Day celebrations, the Cenitex choir and our Christmas parties.


Our Story: 10 Years of Cenitex

“Personally, I’ve made a few good friends in two years. We have our barbecues, we have our coffees and drinks.”

— Anup Albal, Project Delivery Team Lead Unix, Storage & Facilities

“The people. In Cenitex I guess there’s a lot of talented people, really clever at what they do... what sets Cenitex people apart, there’s just a general sense of belonging. And I can’t quite explain it, but I think people feel it … I think people are cared about.” — Monique Lock, Organisational Development Advisor

“We have people from different countries, we’ve got people with different accents, people with different names, that sort of stuff, so that’s really good.” — Elizabeth Bromham, Delivery Assurance Specialist

Our Story: 10 Years of Cenitex



Our Story: 10 Years of Cenitex

“This place has been more than just work. When you’ve been somewhere for 10 years, it gets into your skin a bit. There’s a lot of good people at Cenitex, that I do enjoy working with.” — Cameron Male, Captain Cenitex Movember team 2018

Our Story: 10 Years of Cenitex


Staff Development Something that our people value highly are the development opportunities available to them. The culture and support of professional development throughout our organisation have enabled Cenitex to attract and retain great people. This support comes in many forms, from formal training programs to encouragement from managers, right through to a colleague taking the time to show a peer how to perform a new task.

“... I think it turned... for the better when I went on, a knowledge leadership training course a few years ago... It was a week-long course and it changed how I saw myself and projected myself.”

“... But it turned out I actually can do a lot of things, more than I think—so I also appreciate the opportunity that my Team Leader gave me.”

Many of our original staff have remained with us along the 10 year journey. Everyone who has been part of the Cenitex team has grown with us in some way, shape, or form.

“Cenitex has given me an opportunity to learn which is rare in this industry. In the commercial world, you don’t have too much time to learn, you’re brought in, get it done and... once you’ve completed your task, move on. But here we have a mindset where everyone works together, and learns from each other.”


— Bill Tsiakos, Team Lead, Project Delivery

Our Story: 10 Years of Cenitex

— Kellee Wills, Senior Collaboration Engineer

— Fengyu Gao, Analyst, Network & Security & 2017 Graduate

Development Profile: Tim Fitzsimons One person who has taken advantage of the development opportunities at Cenitex and risen through the ranks is Tim Fitzsimons. A lack of formal IT training didn’t stop Tim from getting his first job in the industry working in the backyard of a small business owner building computers. “We used to do a little bit of everything—building computers, setting up networks, running cables and all that sort of stuff for small businesses … yeah that’s sort of how I got into it,” Tim said. When one of their clients started setting up a new IT branch, Tim joined them in his second IT role, where he stayed for about two years. His IT career was then put on hold as Tim decided to move into sales for a couple of years before catching the travel bug and spending several years overseas. Upon his return, Tim wasn’t sure if he wanted to resume his career in the IT industry. “I tried carpentry for a while because I was really interested in becoming a builder and getting my hands dirty,” Tim said. But it wasn’t long before Tim came back to IT. “I was looking for somewhere where I could really build my career and move up within the organisation,” Tim recalls. His first job at Cenitex was Service Desk Analyst. “I guess, I started from scratch again at the Service Desk and kind of worked my way up from there.” That journey took Tim from Service Desk Analyst to Senior Analyst in six months, then a year later to Team Leader. Tim was a Team Leader for three years before moving to Customer Engagement as a Service Delivery Manager.

Tim Fitzsimons taking part in the Cenitex Wellbeing Program

So what was it like moving from one role to the next? “Every move felt like a big step, Service Desk Analyst to a Senior Analyst and then moving to a Team Leader role where I was managing people. It was certainly a really good learning experience. Then moving from the Service Desk to Customer Engagement was another big step, it was really different dealing more and more with senior stakeholders.” Looking back now, Tim is grateful for the culture of learning and development here at Cenitex. ”I’ve been really lucky in having the opportunities to progress over the years ... as they came up, I went for them, and was fortunate enough to land a few.” And Tim’s learning journey continues in his current role, “there’s always something new to learn and opportunities to get involved in different areas, which is what I really enjoy about my role.”

Our Story: 10 Years of Cenitex


Public Service Cenitex’s success is based on our people’s dedication to perform at their highest ability. Our staff don’t just strive each day for their own personal satisfaction, there is a real motivating force for the impact our work has on the people of Victoria. This impact is not only a source of motivation but also pride when we achieve outstanding results.

“Anybody who works in the public sector does it because somewhere at your core you believe you are doing things to help the community. Obviously you can get paid more in private, but you probably don’t get the same amount of job satisfaction... you can see the impact of that when you hear in the news this department is now doing this initiative, like Family Safety Victoria for example, we are setting up these hubs for them. Well, I’m doing something for this. It’s something very hard to get in the private sector.”

“I think there’s a real genuine amount of commitment in Cenitex. I think most people really know that they’re here to help the people of Victoria, and I think that that’s a key part of why they do their job.”


— Elizabeth Bromham, Delivery Assurance Specialist

Our Story: 10 Years of Cenitex

— Anup Albal, Project Delivery Team Lead, Unix, Storage & Facilities

Our Graduate Program We’ve always seen our grads as future leaders. Our initial pilot program kicked off in 2009 with nine graduates who were offered mentorship and a range of professional development opportunities across our hosting and operational areas. Not only was the pilot a success, but the Graduate Program has gone from strength to strength and today is highly valued throughout the organisation.

“It brings in a lot of fresh ideas and people into the organisation, I’ve benefitted in my team from it, which has been brilliant. The feedback I get back from my team about the good things they do and what they bring to the team is awesome.” — Mark Metz, Team Lead, Security Operations Centre

It’s been really interesting so far. I’ve got a nice breadth of experience from different parts of the business. From working in HR and assisting them with things like skills mining, change management work at the Department of Treasury and Finance, helping Surface Pro roll-outs to now doing things like helping with customer reporting. It’s been really, really good to get that breadth of experience across the business.’’

Graduate, Nick Ellison

— Nick Ellison, 2018 Graduate

What I love about working at Cenitex

“The work/life balance is something I really enjoy here at Cenitex … that’s the number one thing for me.” — Andrew Lagos, Team Lead Projects, Monitoring & Automation

“Probably the people ... the culture here is good, the people are quite friendly and approachable, no matter which team I went to... that was a common theme with everyone.”

“I think the people … I was fortunate enough to work with likeminded people, you know, workhard play-hard sort of mentality, so that’s always a pleasure... coming to work and it doesn’t, it’s not a drag to come to work, you look forward to it.”

— Anup Albal, Project Delivery Team Lead, Unix, Storage & Facilities

— Bo Duan, Analyst, Network & Security

“Everyone is really nice at Cenitex … That’s what I like most about it, coming in and feeling like I really belong here even though I’m only here for six months.” — Carey Judd, IBL Student

“One of the things I love doing here is growing my knowledge base on the latest and greatest technologies … And it’s more of a community type environment and I really like that.” — Chris Broadhead, Service Portfolio Specialist


Our Story: 10 Years of Cenitex

“The fact that every day is so different. Every day brings its own challenges, escalations, and priorities … you need to be able to problem solve quickly and provide solutions or workarounds.” — Bill Tsiakos, Team Lead Project Delivery

“I enjoy it ‘cause it’s a challenging role, it is good when something comes in and you’re able to facilitate the outcome and turn it around.”

“Cenitex has a lot of talented people here, and they are all very generous to share their knowledge, especially with young people, that’s the most appreciative thing I feel about here.” — Fengyu Gao, Analyst, Network & Security

— Tim Fitzsimons, Service Delivery Manager

“Gosh there’s quite a few things … Definitely the people I mean it’s the people that are always everything aren’t they … [what] I haven’t had in previous jobs is an appreciation when good work is done, when a job is done well it’s noted and commented on … You get that validation and you keep wanting to do good work—I find it a quite motivating space to be in.” — Kellee Wills, Senior Collaboration Engineer

“I like the people. In my team there’s a lot of fun, you know, have a laugh, there’s challenges but otherwise we get on top of them and just enjoy coming in day to day and having fun.” — Cameron Patten, Senior Engineer, Collaboration Services

“I think the public service gives me a really fascinating opportunity to use my skillset and do all the things I know I enjoy in an environment, where I know it’s driven towards helping the public.” — Nicholas Ellison, Graduate

Our Story: 10 Years of Cenitex


OUR FUTURE We can never predict the future, but we can confidently say that to capitalise on the technologies around the corner and the evolving ICT landscape our organisation and our people must be resilient, agile and adaptable in the face of change. Agility to quickly respond to market and robust core services will be key, and our evolution over the next ten years will be spearheaded by a multimillion-dollar technology and organisational transformation—Program Fortify. Program Fortify will significantly improve the resilience, responsiveness and cost-competitiveness of our services. The transformation of our core ICT systems under the Program Fortify banner is the most ambitious technology refresh since Cenitex was formed in 2008. Program Fortify will be funded from cash reserves, which will see Cenitex run budget deficits for the next two financial years. This investment will deliver a technology and systems revolution that will increase the reliability of our core services, enhance security and disaster recovery capability, improve our operational responsiveness and the speed with which we and our customers can take advantage of new technology and deliver new services. Our workforce will also undergo significant transformation, moving to a new home in February 2020, the South Tower at 80 Collins Street, Melbourne. Our new state-of-theart facilities will offer great opportunities for our people to work more collaboratively and adaptively. The Cenitex ‘SouthBound’ team is developing a Workplace Strategy that

considers ways of using the new space to support evolving work practices, virtual teams and greater role flexibility. With our new home and infrastructure platform ready to embrace cloud and digital innovation and the rapid rollout of new services, we look to the future with excitement and renewed vigour. We see ourselves as a key enabler of the Victorian Government to support the people of Victoria achieve happy, safe and prosperous lives.

“The future for the organisation will see us with an expanded customer base … I think how infrastructure is defined will change over time, as it has over the last ten years. It will become more cloud based, much more software driven, and as an organisation those are the skills that we’re going to need to adopt to meet our future customer needs.”


Our Story: 10 Years of Cenitex

— Michael Vanderheide, Chief Executive

... So what we [now] really need to focus on is developing our people so that we can continue to enhance the resilience and the adaptability that they have shown over the past ten years, for the next ten years... so that regardless of where technology goes, regardless of where our customers need us to be, we’re ready to shift to meet their need.”

— Michael Vanderheide, Chief Executive

Our Story: 10 Years of Cenitex


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Our Story  

10 Years of Cenitex

Our Story  

10 Years of Cenitex