The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Australian Diplomatic Communications NETwork (ADCNET) is a secure message system developed by BHP IT for the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade largely during the 1990s (before they became CSC TS). ADCNET ER3 carries the Department's secure diplomatic communications between the central office in Canberra and the overseas diplomatic missions (there are about 80 of these). The system comprises client server configurations at each location, which provide office automation and secure messaging services, interconnected by a secure international communication networks.

The ADCNET contract was BHP IT's first major government contract, signed in 1990. The fixed price part of the contract was valued at $10.4M.

The initial release of ADCNET, focussing on delivery of the functionalty at overseas posts, was developed and rolled out internationally during the early 1990s, with DFAT's mainframe based message continuing to act as the central hub. Development of the ADCNET message switch commenced in 1994, but came to a halt in 1996 due to problems with the principle subcontractor. Work on the contract resumed in 1997, with BHP IT undertaking development of the software itself - one of the largest and most complex object-oriented software development projects in Australia at the time.

The ADCNET ER3 message switch was formally accepted by DFAT August 1999 and sucessfully set to work in January 2000. Since then, work on ADCNET by the CSC TS team, has focussed on maintenance and enhancement activities.

Manfred Rentz (Project Manager).

Several months after ADCNET ER3 went live it replaced the IBM switch which was decommissioned.

You can meet some of the team members below:

Front Row (from left): Ted McCulloch, Tuan Nguyen, Neera Mahajan, Hong Ly, Heather McCormack, Trent Delardes, Ralph Holland, Manfred Rentz and Praveen Nanda.
Back Row (from left): Ray Powell, Andrew Parfett, Graeme Tinney, Brian Heath, Tom Allen, R Vishwanathan and Simon Stringer.
Missing from photograph: Aaron Klassens and Josh Milthorpe.

(Arising Technology Systems Pty Limited was involved in a sub-contracting capacity between the years 1998 and 2000.)

The decomissioning of the IBM.
The ADCNET book of perVerse kept here for posterity.
The last farewell lunch (we think).

Photo: Arising Technology Systems Pty Limited.
Words: by Manfred Rentz originally published in CSC "What's the Goss".