Telstra Enterprise Services (TES) has bagged a much-coveted multimillion-dollar Qantas contract, involving the supply and management of the airline's desktop and LAN environment worldwide for five years.
The deal will salve TES's wounds from a wasted bid for Ansett's IT infrastructure, after plans to salvage the number-two national carrier were cruelled yet again on Tuesday.
TES, formerly known as Advantra and now a fully owned subsidiary of Telstra, was the odds-on favourite in the Qantas tender process, which had been running since the middle of last year. Qantas chief information officer Fiona Balfour said EDS was the other main contender in a series of bids.
The agreement involves the service of over 40,000 IT devices, ranging from desktops to ticket printers and card machines.
According to TES's chief information officer, Jim Harris, the Qantas deal accounts for one-third of the some 120,000 devices the integrator currently manages for corporate clients.
TES has also agreed to become the point of reference for Qantas's dozen or so IT service suppliers. Companies such as Trend Micro, Senteq and Netscape, which last year held infrastructure maintenance contracts directly with the airline, will now operate on a "novate" basis through TES.
Agreeing to these terms is viewed as a smart move on TES's part. "They could have gone in there and demanded to do it all their own way, but in doing it this way they've been able to retain a lot of the intellectual property that the various suppliers have," said one TES partner. "It brings continuity of service to protect their SLAs [service-level agreements]."
Starting on March 1, TES will take over IT areas that are currently serviced by Qantas's own IT staff. The transition will place 57 new employees into TES from Qantas and is expected to take place over 12 months.
The services firm will manage all Qantas-owned equipment, but any new stock will be purchased and owned by TES.
It is anticipated that NCR will be sub-contracted for the overseas service elements.