Marconi buys deeper into mining

Marconi buys deeper into mining

International communications services company Marconi has acquired privately held Harman IT in a bid to add managed desktop services to its network and infrastructure offerings.

The privately-held Harman is a specialist IT consultancy to the Australian mining sector and will extend Marconi's capabilities with application development, e-commerce services, server management, web development, desktop management and help desk support, according to a statement released by Marconi.

Adrian Siebel, executive vice president of Marconi Enterprise, Australasia, claims the acquisition will enable Marconi to act as a single supplier for a resource company's managed services. Marconi currently provides services to over 80 per cent of the major resource companies in Australia and according to Siebel, mining companies are more likely to outsource managed services than many other industry verticals.

In addition to the oil, gas and mining sector Siebel claims Marconi will be looking to take its newly acquired services to its existing corporate and government customers.

"Harman IT has strengthened our presence in the Australian mining sector and expanded our overall skill set," Siebel said. "Marconi can now offer complete turn-key solutions - from the business systems operating on servers in the corporate head office to the desktop at a remote mine. Marconi can now plan, build and operate all aspects of [the] IT infrastructure required."

The Perth-based Harman has grown significantly since its inception four years ago to a current head-count of 70 and is in the throws of rolling out Windows 2000 to over 4,500 desktops for several of its large mining customers.

But it is the capacity to offer application service provider (ASP) services that has Siebel optimistic about the acquisition. He claims Marconi is looking to offer niche applications to specific industries "that add value", rather than large generic applications to a wide range of customers.

Financial details of the acquisition were not released at the time of press.Photograph: Marconi's Adrian Seibel

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