The BBC has begun preparing for the end of its ten year £2 billion deal with Atos, where it plans to work with a variety of suppliers in the future by breaking up the monolithic contract into a number of service towers.
The BBC Technology Framework covers all of the broadcaster's major technology projects and all of its in house technology – ranging from telephony, to laptops, technology support, and broadcast technology – and is due to expire in March 2015.
A BBC spokesman told Computerworld UK that the contract will now transition into a number of 'towers' by 2017, which will be let to a variety of suppliers, and managed by an in-house Service Integration and Management team (SIAM).
He said that this will allow for “best in breed” technology and that the BBC is also keen to work with SMEs going forward.
Atos will work with the BBC to transition to the new model, after an in-house SIAM team is established, which will commence in the third quarter of 2014 and likely take up until 2017 to complete. This transition period is likely to cost the BBC up to £285 million.
The BBC said that the new tower model will bring “maximum value for licence fee payers” and brings the following benefits to the organisation:
- Increased control over how services are performing and the ability to act quickly to improve them
- Working with specialist suppliers for specific services rather than one for all services
- Greater flexibility and access to new technology as it emerges
According to a document provided by the BBC, seven towers are being proposed for the new framework: technology service desk, end user compute, connectivity services, hosting platforms & services, business systems, production & broadcast services and distribution services.
In other news, the BBC recently had to write off £125 million worth of IT assets after it found that its Digital Media Initiative was no longer viable, which has resulted in the sacking of its CTO John Linwood and a number of grillings by MPs.