Network Rail has signed a five year deal with Computacenter to “transition and transform” its desktop services.
The deal will include the provision of hardware, software (including complex licensing) and peripherals. It is worth £65 million over the five year period.
At the beginning of last year Network Rail unveiled huge investment plans to develop the UK's railway infrastructure between 2014 and 2019, involving the centralisation of its signalling operations to save millions of pounds and drastically reduce its frontline workforce over the next fifteen years.
As part of this, it also plans to bring together all of its operations from over 800 disparate locations under 14 new centres, which us common technology platforms and save the company £250 million a year once complete.
Network Rail will be cutting its workforce by 4,000 employees as a result.
Elsewhere, it also signed a framework agreement with five major suppliers to simplify its IT and computing relationships. It has struck deals with Accenture, BAE Systems Detica, Cognizant, CSC and TCS on what Network Rail calls the new 'zero-value IT solutions and Systems Integrator framework agreements”.
The company currently works with more than 270 individual IT suppliers and manages a variety of systems of varying complexity, including some that were designed as far back as the 1970s.
“We run one of the busiest railway networks in the world and rely heavily on IT to keep everything moving,” said Network Rail’s chief information officer Susan Cooklin.
“By creating this framework we will be able to scale more flexibly our resources to meet demand, while retaining our vital assurance role. In this way we can improve our efficiency while continuing to allow 24,000 trains a day across the rail network.”
The suppliers will be responsible for supporting Network Rail’s planned change programmes and will supply technology to support back-office services, including finance, HR and IS management; stakeholder relationship management; corporate compliance; logistics and property management; and infrastructure lifecycle management.
They will also support corporate services, network operations, asset management and investment projects.