ASI expresses DET disappointment

ASI expresses DET disappointment

NSW Department of Education (DET) supplier, ASI Solutions, has expressed disappointment over the rollout of the department's Technology for Learning (T4L) PC initiative, claiming local providers have continued to be overlooked in favour of multinationals.

The comments came as the PC assembler completed its first deployment of PCs to state schools.

Education manager, Steve King, said the T4L contract included providing a mix of PCs, notebooks and servers to public schools located in the Sydney metropolitan area.

The size of the deployment was similar to the $5 million rollout completed by Optima in the Hunter/Central Coast region last month, he said.

King said the T4L contract was divided into 10 regions, ranging from several Sydney areas through to rural and regional locations.

Local suppliers, Optima and ASI Solutions, were awarded one region apiece, he said.

Multinational vendor, IBM, was given the remaining areas. All schools also have the option of purchasing equipment from Apple.

While happy to have secured a significant region, King said he was disappointed local providers had not been allocated more schools.

"We are pleased with the way the contract has gone," he said.

"We noticed our share has increased because the department brought forward phase two of the rollout to compensate for the panel change in October. With the order brought forward, our numbers look healthy.

"But at the end of the day, we only got one region out of 10. Based on the original figures from DET, we would have expected that ASI and Optima had two regions each."

The T4L contract, worth $544 million, will provide 100,000 PCs to public schools over the next four years.

Fellow local player, Optima, also criticised the DET for awarding the lion's share of the deal to an international vendor. But the company's chairman, Cornel Ung, told ARN he was happy with the region it received under the first phase of the contract.

While it still didn't compare to the share of schools Optima had worked with prior to the contract, it was hopeful of increasing its business with DET as further rollouts were staged, he said.

Further changes to the allocation of stock for DET could also come once the NSW Government completes its ITS2000 review of IT suppliers in October.

In the meantime, Lenovo A/NZ offerings manager, David Nicol, said it had finished its first rollout of computers to the Riverina region. The initial phase had included about 1800 PCs, notebooks and servers.

The vendor was now plotting out the inaugural provision of PCs to its seven other regions across NSW, he said. These were to be completed by the end of the second school term in July.

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