After the inevitable delays, contracts for the government's monster IT hardware and solutions framework have finally been dished out.
Divided into 12 Lots and supposedly worth £4bn over two years, the framework is designed to save the taxpayer money by increasing the government's purchasing power on a modest number of pre-set PC, laptop, tablet, server and other hardware specifications.
Successful bidders were given the nod last week, following the closure of a cooling-off period. Ten of the 12 lots were based partly on e-auctions.
Stuart Fenton, EMEA president at successful bidder Insight, said the process had been well managed by the Government Procurement Service (GPS).
"It does appear to meet the government's objective to rationalise the assortment of products that are purchased," he said.
Jamie Burke, public sector sales director at Softcat – which made it on the thin-client Lot – said the VAR was "disappointed" not to have made it onto more Lots but that the framework was "better suited to more established resellers and vendors".
"This said, Softcat is not in the business of responding to ITQs [invitation to quotes] based purely on price," added Burke. "We have invested heavily in the public sector, building an experienced team of advisers who have delivered growth in excess of 100 per cent over the past 12 months.
"I am confident that due to the depth of relationship we hold and the unrivalled customer service our clients experience, we will continue to take market share".
Sources expect the contract to go live in July, although ChannelWeb was awaiting official word from the GPS on the launch date and the full line-up of suppliers as this article was published.
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