Winner takes all in revised CenITex outsourcing

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Winner takes all in revised CenITex outsourcing

Bidding to be re-opened to the full market.

The Victorian Government has ditched plans to offload the functions of shared services agency CenITex in five separate bundles, and will instead sign up a single supplier to take over the lot.

In recent months the Department of State Development, Business and Innovation (DSDBI) has been discussing its outsourcing options with interested vendors, who have advised the state to simplify its contracting plans for the sake of efficiency.

“The evidence that the industry members gave throughout the collaborative dialogue was fairly persuasive,” DSDBI deputy secretary and chief technology advocate Grantly Mailes told iTnews.

“A single contract stops operational handovers between vendors, which would add an unnecessary layer of complexity."

The original plan would have seen five contracts awarded: for desktop and end-user devices, processing services, storage services, local area networking services, and service desk.

Shortlisted suppliers in each of the towers were named earlier this year, with only four qualifying to bid across all five.

Mailes said the revised approach was likely to generate a better response from the market.

But the changes mean DSDBI will need to take the offer back to an open market in the name of “procedural fairness”.

All parties – even those who missed out on submitting to the initial expression of interest - with the capacity to take on the full spectrum of CenITex functions will be invited to participate in a new request for proposals (RFP) round, expected to kick off before the Victorian general election on 29 November.

The new approach has vindicated the state's adoption of a collaborative dialogue phase for all major tech procurements, Mailes said, as a way to iron out issues before the probity shutters are drawn down.

“We now know a lot more about the market, and it can better meet our specific needs as a result of these pre-RFP stages,” Mailes said.

“If we hadn’t gone through the collaborative dialogue process I think we still probably would have reached this same conclusion, but not until we were evaluating RFPs.”

Any contract signing will have to wait until after the election when caretaker conventions end.

Forces internal to CenITex are still busy trimming the organisation back to get it ready for the market. Financial results released last week show that the service provider managed to break even on customer revenue for the first time in several years during 2013-14.

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