Services players record state government wins

Services players record state government wins

Two IT services providers have kicked off the new year by securing significant state-based government wins.

Two IT services providers have kicked off the new year by securing significant state-based government wins.

ASX-listed ASG Group won a three-year contract with the Department of Education in WA this month worth more than $23 million. Under the arrangement, which comes with two one-year extension options, ASG will provide Oracle applications management, server operations and database administration for the department. It will also deliver additional services around mission-critical systems.

ASG chief officer of sales and strategic operations, Murray Rosa, said the tender was announced in October and the two companies discussed contracts by November.

“We were already incumbent in the account for the application support part of the tender,” he said. “This contract brought to the table a renewal of all those services as well as the infrastructure and managed services component.”

The win comes after a solid 2009 for the service provider, with ASG reporting a 25 per cent increase in full-year profits to $11.3 million. The company's strong growth was propped up by the collapse of one-time rival, Commander.

“We’re very comfortable about achieving at least a $10 million [pre-tax profi t] result for the first half,” Rosa said. “We will probably be announcing a few more contracts over the next six weeks and we’ve got about $500 million of opportunities sitting in our pipeline, a good chunk of which is going to happen between now and June.”

Unisys also improved its position this month after renewing a multimillion dollar contract with one of its longest-standing Government clients, the Queensland Department of Education and Training. It will provide IT outsourcing services to all Technical and Further Education (TAFE) institutes across the state and support around 330 servers and 19,000 desktops, while providing around 75,000 support calls per year.

The contract value over the three-year term is $41 million, with two single-year extension options. Unisys has worked with the department for 12 years.

“It was a competitive tender, but the Department did get to negotiating with us pretty quickly, which is a sign that they have been happy with the service we have been providing,” Unisys vicepresident, global outsourcing and infrastructure services, Asia-Pacific, Tony Henshaw, said.

Meanwhile, the NSW Government’s plans to consolidate its datacentre infrastructure has garnered significant interest from local providers. Seventeen companies have lined up with expressions of interest to manage the whole-of-government datacentre requirements.

The Expressions of Interest process, which was announced in October 2009 and closed on December 1, will see its datacentre facilities reduce from 130 to just two Tier 2 and Tier 3 locations. The list of prospective tenderers includes outsourcing and integration agencies, CSC, Fujitsu and Datacom, along with specialised datacentre providers, Equinix, Canberra Data Centres, Enterprise Data Corporation and Global Switch Property. Several telecom operators, property groups and IT vendors feature in the mix including Oracle, Sun, Macquarie Telecom, Tier 5 and Leighton Contractors. Financial agencies, Macquarie Capital and Gresham Rabo Management, have also applied.

A shortlist of providers is expected to be compiled this quarter, followed by a formal request for tender. The datacentre facilities are due to be operational by 2011.

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