The Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) has selected Computacenter as preferred bidder for the department’s desktop infrastructure tower contract, fending off competition from the likes of CSC, HP and Fujitsu.
The desktop tower contract forms part of the FCO’s forthcoming IT services framework, which is estimated to reach up to £350 million worth of spend over a six year period. BAE Systems Detica was also recently chosen as the department’s Service Integration and Management provider.
“Following a detailed and rigorous re-procurement process, Computacenter is the Preferred Bidder for the Desktop Infrastructure (DI) contract, and BAE Detica for the SMI contract. We are in the process of obtaining Ministerial approval to award both contracts and once obtained will arrange for both contracts to be signed," said an FCO spokesperson.
“We need to reduce our IT running costs from between 30-40% over the current Comprehensive Spending Review (CSR) covering the period FY 10/11 to FY 15/16. The new DI supplier will replace Hewlett Packard and work closely with BAE Detica as the FCO’s newly engaged Service Management Integrator (SMI) provider, to help us better manage our IT, whilst at the same time maintaining business continuity of our critical IT systems.”
According Georgina O’Toole, director at analyst house TechMarketView, Computacenter was “always at an advantage” in the competition for the deal, as it is not “negatively perceived by the Cabinet Office as already controlling too large a proportion of the government’s ICT infrastructure”.
She said that by selecting Computacenter the FCO and the Cabinet Office have shown a desire to work with a broader range of suppliers, while still choosing a player large enough to bring financial stability and a proven ability to manage complex services contracts.
This ties in with the government’s agenda to diversify its supplier base and move away from handing most of its large contracts to a handful of suppliers, which have been criticised in the past for high costs and failing to deliver on big IT projects.
TechMarketView estimates that the public sector accounts for approximately 20 percent (£74 million) of Computacenter’s full year 2012 UK business – where most of its success has been in local government, education, and health.
“This is a significant deal for Computacenter as it tries to grow its business in Whitehall, giving it the opportunity to evidence how it can deliver significant savings in the end user computing space across central government (in line with its experiences in the private sector),” said O’Toole.
In other news, the FCO recently revealed plans to recruit a Digital Transformation Unit in a bid to support the government’s digital by default strategy.