Small and medium resellers are examining with interest the Federal Government's latest outsourcing tender in the hope of reaping benefits from the policy.
As the only application not involving mainframe infrastructure to date, these resellers hope the tender, covering six departments and agencies, might provide strong business opportunities, particularly for medium players. However, some resellers have also expressed fears that stiff competition for the business could make the work uncompetitive.
"This piece of business has potential for resellers like ourselves. Other government contracts have simply been too large for small and medium resellers to contemplate," one reseller said.
"But one of the issues we will have to consider with an opportunity like this is that too many people might bid for it. In the end, it's got to be a profitable piece of business and you have to work out how to make money on it before you make a bid."
A number of smaller players are expected to go through the bid review process, weighing up the pros and cons of handling the contract on their own.
"We're interested in priming, but that might not be the best way to approach this particular piece of business," another reseller said.
The so-called Group 5 agencies comprise the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission and the Departments of Communications and the Arts, Industry, Science and Tourism, Prime Minister and Cabinet (DPMC), Transport and Regional Development (DoTRD), and Workplace Relations and Small Business (DWRSB).
In scope are computer services for around 4000 desktops, LAN infrastructure and servers (including applications servers), applications development and maintenance, and voice and data telecommunications services. These services will be predominantly required in Canberra, but will include services to all States and Territories, including remote locations and some overseas locations.
Tenders are expected to close mid 1998 but a successful bidder is unlikely to take over until early next year.