Smaller resellers are claiming a public sector supply victory as the winners of Buying Solutions’ £6bn commodity IT framework were today formally announced.
Some 20 firms reached the Intention to Award phase nearly three weeks ago. In the intervening period Fujitsu Services has been added to Lot 2, which covers infrastructure hardware, after having its entry re-scored.
Manchester-based Cisco, VMware and NetApp partner ANS is among the 12 other firms to make Lot 2, which was originally contested by 102 outfits.
Managing director Paul Sweeney said it was refreshing that niche outfits such as ANS made the cut alongside the “usual roll-call” of catalogue and corporate resellers.
“I think this time around there was an appetite to include people that could drive value as well as shift tin,” he said.
“If the public sector is going to be squeezed, companies such as ANS that can help deliver value and reduce costs need to be on these types of framework. We can provide virtualisation reports that can show them how to save power, which they are not going to get from a catalogue player.”
Nottingham-based Ergo Computing was another smaller outfit to make the cut, featuring in both the desktop and infrastructure Lots.
Neil Bellamy, director of Ergo Computing UK, said: “As a UK SME allocated a place on Lots 1 and 2, this is a great win not only for the employees of Ergo Computing but for the wider industry, as it demonstrates that smaller British businesses can compete – and win.”
Alastair Edwards, senior analyst at Canalys, said: "Maybe this is recognition that just because you are a big player it does not mean you are going to provide the highest quality of services and support.”
HP was among those on the previous four-year framework not to make the cut after confirming its appeal was unsuccessful. BT, NEC, IBM, Centerprise, Bytes and XMA are among the others not to feature this time around.
In a statement, HP said it was “extremely disappointed” that its appeal had failed, but that it respected Buying Solutions’ decision.
Its submission included various parts of HP’s Direct UK business.
An HP representative said: “As the appeal process has reached its end, we want to reassure our loyal customers and partners that we are committed to the public sector in the UK and will continue to provide value for money products and services to the market through the various supply chain routes.”
A Buying Solutions representative confirmed that public sector customers could use both the old framework and the new one until 30 April, and only the new one thereafter. The three-and-a-half year framework covers public sector customers including central government, local authorities and the NHS.
James Bird, chief executive of Stone Group, which was successful on Lot 1, said: “It would be no exaggeration to say that this award has the potential to dramatically change our business.”
Here is a full list of those to make the grade
Lot 1: Desktop hardware
Lot 2: IT Infrastructure hardware
Bull Information Systems
Fujitsu Services (added since ITA phase)
Lot 3: Software
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