Scitec gets second crack at Group 5 spoils

Scitec gets second crack at Group 5 spoils

Scitec will get a piece of the $100 million Group 5 contract after all, providing router maintenance services for the project through the successful tenderer, Advantra.

The Group 5 project sees Advantra supply outsourced IT services and maintenance to five Federal departments and agencies. They are the Prime Minister and Cabinet; Communications, IT and the Arts; Transport and Regional Services; Industry, Science and Resources; and the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission. Advantra secured the deal early this year, beating out a host of smaller Australian bidders including Scitec.

The Scitec contract will run over the next five years. Scitec's general manager, Adrian Siebel, said it was selected because of its proven service capabilities in the network maintenance marketplace.

"Scitec has invested heavily in infrastructure, procedures and training, and clients such as Advantra recognise the importance of this in achieving the stringent service levels that today's business environment requires."

Scitec is not the only Australian integrator to share in the Group 5 spoils as AWA Technology Services was earlier this month awarded a $2.5 million contract to provide third-party maintenance and support for PCs and related equipment for the project.

The awarding of the Group 5 contract has been widely criticised in the past, as the tender was supposed to maximise the involvement of small and medium enterprises. Critics slammed the win of Advantra, which is owned by IBM, Telstra and Lend Lease, as a slap in the face to smaller Australian companies.

Riding on the back of the Scitec and AWA deals, Advantra last week hit the public relations trail, boasting that these contracts clearly demonstrated that SMEs were strongly involved with the Group 5 project.

"We are committed to maximising the involvement of small businesses and boosting the local IT industry through this project," said Matt McGuire, Advantra's general manager for marketing.

"By forming partnering arrangements with innovative organisations such as Scitec, not only are we transferring skills and improving opportunities for other home-grown talent but we're providing a major tonic for the indigenous IT&T industry."

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