Vendors vying for Federal Government outsourcing contracts are operating in an "acute" competitive space, forcing them to deliver "minimum" customer expectations.
According to East and Partner's fourth quarterly report on Australian Federal Government agencies' satisfaction with outsourcing suppliers, the move away from super-cluster IT&T procurement practices has meant suppliers are having to respond with "relationship development" and "true account management behaviour".
Since the company's first Canberra Report in October 2001, some vendors have improved their overall performance in leaps and bounds, according to agencies' responses.
The top five improvers from October 2001 to June 2002 were NEC (up 15.2 per cent), Advantra (up 11.4 per cent), Sun Microsystems (up 8 per cent), AAPT (up 7.8 per cent) and Solution 6 (up 6.1 per cent).
Three of these companies, NEC, AAPT and Sun Microsystems, along with Computer Associates and PeopleSoft were rated the top five performers for the June 2002 quarter.
Those that have registered a decline in performance since their October 2001 score include Candle Corporation (down 4.4 per cent), Aspect (down 3.9 per cent), Telstra (down 1.7 per cent) and Dell (down .89 per cent).
However, Telstra improved its performance by 1.3 per cent form March 2002 to June 2002. Dell's performance remained steady, while Candle and Aspect's performance slid further -- .88 per cent and .43 per cent respectively.
The overall upshot of the June 2002 report, which received 488 responses, continued the trend from last quarter that people skills and partnering are the most important considerations within a Federal Government outsourcing agreement.
"An emphasis on people strengths with the supplier acting as a true partner in delivering general advice, account and relationship management and being proactive in their dealings with customers are assuming crucial importance," the report said.
"Federal users have recognised that this is where the key to successful utilisation of technology lies rather than solely in the technology itself."