Defence prepares to put massive IT support deal to market

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Defence prepares to put massive IT support deal to market

Fujitsu, Unisys will need to rebid for work.

The Defence department has taken the first long-awaited step in its plans to replace its massive distributed computing contracts, after putting off the work for almost four years.

The agency will hold a briefing with industry later this month on the end user support services bundle of work it plans to put out to tender in August this year, it revealed today.

These so-called distributed computing contracts have been held by Unisys and Fujitsu since around 2009, for a current value of over $600 million.

Defence had originally scheduled to put a combined outsourcing contract to the market in 2014, but instead decided to put its plans on ice while it dealt with a "significant" IT program of work.

Mid last-year it gave itself a further two years to decide how to proceed with the distributed computing outsourcing procurement, later saying it aimed to start the process in late 2016.

However, it also revealed in November last year that it was unlikely to have any new contracts inked until at least 2019.

In the meantime it has handed Fujitsu and Unisys millions more in renewals to continue providing end user IT support until then.

Today's advisory of a July 20 briefing is the first concrete sign to industry of Defence's plans with the outsourcing work.

Its notice to industry states the briefing will cover desk-side support, ICT service desk, and service integration and management (SIAM).

A public tender for end user support services is expected to be released in August, it said.

Despite its movement on the distributed computing contracts, the agency's IT program of work has showed no signs of abating.

Defence has a $17 billion technology agenda over the next ten years.

It is currently in the very early stages of a $1 billion ERP systems rationalisation and a replacement of its $340 million IT services panel, while it continues work on a struggling HR overhaul, troubled asset management system replacement, challenging terrestrial comms overhaul, its ongoing data centre consolidation, and $500 million next-generation desktop project.

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