The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister (ODPM) has confirmed that the channel could be in the running for two lucrative public sector IT outsourcing contracts worth £65m over five years.
The ODPM is outsourcing its IT operations and those of the regional government offices through a scheme dubbed the IT Services Outsourcing Project. The first contract, worth £35m, will provide desktop and network infrastructure management and support to 3,000 IT users in four ODPM London locations. The second, worth £30m, will provide desktop infrastructure outsourcing and disaster recovery to 3,800 users in 14 government offices for the English Regions.
An ODPM representative said: “We are looking for companies that have an excellent track record in ICT desktop outsourcing services. Potentially, just two companies could be awarded the contracts, but we aren’t ruling out a consortium bid.”
The ODPM contract will involve separating its IT infrastructure from that of the Department of Transport’s.
Government outsourcing contracts have previously come under intense channel criticism for allowing larger providers to ride roughshod over smaller channel players when bidding for public sector IT contracts. As a result, the Office of Government Commerce and the Department of Trade and Industry’s Small Business Service are to launch a web portal to give SME resellers a better chance in the bidding process.
Pete Mistry, technical sales consultant at VAR Eclipse Group, said: “We would love to get involved with this. Smaller resellers are likely to provide a better service than bigger ones.”
Stuart Nicholson, tenders and bids manager at Miscal, said: “We evaluate tenders by those we have a chance of winning. We don’t have a strong relationship with the ODPM.”
The deadline for tender applications is 19 July 2005.
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