The Ministry of Defence (MoD) is looking to pick a top IT and services player to support the rollout of the Defence Core Network Services (DCNS) programme for up to seven years.
A contract notice this week reveals that the MoD is looking for "a strategic partner" to work with it on DCNS, which it characterises as an "ICT service acquisition change programme aimed at delivering better-integrated end-to-end ICT with greater agility and at less cost".
In the first instance, the programme will replace services across five large networking and services contracts: defence electronic commerce service; defence fixed telecommunications services; defence information infrastructure; defence high-frequency communication service; and Skynet 5.
"However, all ISS (information systems and services) programmes, projects and services will be considered on a case-by-case basis for inclusion in DCNS in the future," adds the notice. "The MoD seeks a strategic partner to support the development and delivery of an integrated approach to the incremental delivery of MoD ICT capabilities."
The initial term of the contract is three years, with four yearly extension options that could take its total length to 84 months. The value of the contract is estimated at somewhere between £15m and £80m, excluding VAT.
Writing in TechMarketView's UKHotViews service yesterday, Georgina O'Toole, director at the analyst, claimed that "the outcome of the DCNS Programme has the potential to massively disrupt the UK defence SITS [software and IT services] supplier landscape".
O'Toole pointed out that a number of major players "derive a significant amount of revenue from the existing (five) contracts". HP and Fujitsu are heavily involved in the information infrastructure deal, as is Logica, which also works on the Skynet 5 contract, she said. BT is a big player in the fixed telecoms deal, while Capgemini works with the MoD in the electronic commerce service.
"These contracts have various end points and one of the key roles of the ‘strategic partner' will be to better manage the transition to new contracts," writes O'Toole. "Essentially, the MoD is looking for a supplier to offer them support and expert advice to build on the strategies, plan and approach for the programme. How this plays out will be fascinating to watch."
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