The South Australian IT community will be chasing $1 billion in new government contracts next year, following the SA Government's decision to release a new tender for the contract it has held with EDS for the past five years.
The first invitation to tender that went to the market last week was for the provision of ICT equipment and services, which includes desktop and mobile access devices, server equipment for the storage and processing of data, and peripheral equipment including printers, photocopiers and network devices.
The ICT equipment contract presents enormous opportunities to local suppliers and service providers, with about 70,000 PCs and notebooks, 2000 servers and 4000 printers and copiers currently in use by the State Government.
“It’s all a bit confusing at the moment about who is going to bid, how many local companies vendors will be partnering with in their bids,” managing director of IT outsourcer Protech Australasia, Nick Cuthbertson, said. “There’s still a lot of manoeuvering going on. Given the nature of the tender, it lends itself to the bigger end of town.”
Local IT companies have been negotiating partnerships with their vendor partners over the past months to try and get a slice of the action, and according to local pundits that is the only avenue open to them.
Many local businesses feel they have been stiffed by the Future ICT Service Arrangements Program, the State Government initiative designed to improve the government tendering process and assist the development of the local ICT industry.
“The initial feeling [in the South Australian IT community] was that this has been a sell-out,” Cuthbertson said. “There was some disquiet when the program was announced. It didn’t seem to focus on local IT companies except to suggest that local companies get into bed with the multinationals for the work.”
For the full story see this week's issue of ARN..