Four survive as NSW wields notebook axe

Four survive as NSW wields notebook axe

Acer, HP, Lenovo and local builder, ASI Solutions, have been retained as notebook suppliers to NSW government agencies.

Less fortunate were Dell, Toshiba and several local builders that had been on the previous panel. It is the second time Dell has been ditched by NSW in four months after the direct vendor lost out in a PC panel review announced back in May.

ASI Solutions director, Maree Lowe, was thrilled to bits that ASI was the only local firm to make the cut. It also made the state's PC panel.

"It's fantastic for a local company to get across the line," she said. "Our push is through services, so getting into government and offering multiple product streams is where our future lies."

The notebook win was even more exciting because local manufacturers were pitted directly against multinationals. In the desktop group, 20 per cent of sales were earmarked for local companies.

Lowe said a lot of hard work on mobility strategy with Intel during the past year had been a major factor in winning a spot on the NSW notebook panel.

Also, ASI had set up its own around-the-clock helpdesk - a move which Lowe claimed had helped it stand out from the crowd. The company also offers the service in NZ and has ambitious plans for North America. "All those NSW government people who want to work back late all the time can be assured that we will be open too," Lowe joked.

A spokesperson for Lenovo said the win was testament to the longstanding reputation for value and quality in the ThinkPad notebook line.

"In government buying, the longevity of product is important. You don't want to have to replace your machines every year," she said.

And, although Lenovo was a multinational, it had invested plenty of resources into serving the Australian market and had a major focus on government.

"We have a strong Australian presence. We work with Australian business partners, we've got a strong employee base here and a contact call centre in Brisbane," she said.

This latest notebook announcement is the notebook portion of the NSW whole-of-government desktop, notebook and server panel. According to the NSW Department of Commerce, the arrangement saves the state millions of dollars over the lifetime of the IT hardware involved because agencies no longer have to negotiate separately with individual suppliers.

The notebook supplier contract, which started in 2001, will no longer let agencies choose from a former list of 11 companies. Prior to this latest announcement agencies could also source notebooks from multinationals Dell and Toshiba as well as a number of local builders including Optima and Pioneer.

A spokesperson for Dell claimed the NSW decision to drop Dell didn't match what was happening elsewhere in Australian business and government. "Dell has been growing its share [overall]. Only last week Dell was reappointed to the Queensland government's whole-of-government panel," he said. "We are a also major supplier to the Victorian, Western Australian, South Australian, Tasmanian, Northern Territory and Federal governments."

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