Acer and Canberra-based partner, Dataflex, have won what they claim is the largest PC rollout awarded in Australia this year, securing a $30 million deal with Centrelink.
The partnership will be the only suppliers of desktop PCs and LCD monitors to Centrelink's offices nationally over the next three years. As well as delivering 24,000 desktop PCs, they will also undertake installation and disposal services, including sanitising hard disks of returned machines.
HP has secured the notebook element of the contract but will fulfill direct.
Acer general manager for government and education, Mike Cefai, said Dataflex had been its partner at Centrelink for several years. The pair have won seven of the nine desktop PC rollouts previously tendered. Competitors for the latest tender included HP, Lenovo, Optima and Ipex.
There was no question of Acer fulfilling the deal directly, he said.
"It was a team effort," Cefai said. "We've been together for at least 12 years at Centrelink, and Dataflex has developed a deep relationship. Why change?"
According to a recent government supplier list compiled by analysts, Intermedium, Dataflex was the seventh largest provider of IT hardware to government in the year to July 30, 2005. The figures were based on contracts listed on the AusTender website.
General manager, Andrew Gersbach, attributed the win to its longstanding relationship with Centrelink.
"It's a very significant contract: one of those deals that we want to win and would hate to lose," he said.
The new deal will also extend the duo's reach into additional government departments. While Acer is the incumbent Centrelink supplier, the latest contract is the first it has been awarded under the Department of Human Services Cluster. The cluster was established in October 2004. Other agencies under its umbrella are Australian Hearing, Child Support Agency, CRS Australia, Heath Services Australia and Medicare.
For more on this story, check out this week's edition of ARN.