Joint venture stitches up $20M QLD Health deal

Joint venture stitches up $20M QLD Health deal

Queensland Desktop Services, a joint venture between fierce rivals Powerlan and Data#3, is still healthy after receiving a two-year booster in the form of a renewed contract with Queensland Health. QDS joins Australian PC builder Ipex, which has also been re-appointed to the panel of suppliers for the Health department.

The two ASX-listed channel companies, Data#3 and Powerlan, stand to gain a 50-50 split on an estimated $20 million deal over two years for the provision of Intel-based PCs, notebooks, printers and installation services and support. QDS had previously held the contract for two years, with Queensland Health renewing the agreement on October 18.

Queensland Health is reportedly the largest state government department with 450 sites and around 17,000 seats. The department is also looking to initiate several large-scale projects including a new Clinical Information System, Patient Administration System, Community Health Management Environment and Pharmacy System.

QDS hopes the projects will ramp up the number of desktops Queensland Health procures over the next two years. The payback for the department is a reduced cost of maintaining standard operating environments for numerous PC brands, with QDS representing predominantly Compaq, Hewlett-Packard and Toshiba, says Mark Esler, general manager of procurement at Data#3.

QDS was formed in 1996 with the view to target government and corporate tenders, in which both companies believe they have a better chance at winning from a joint bid.

"Fifty per cent of something is better than 50 per cent of nothing," says James Shekleton, Powerlan's state manager.

The company, which grossed around $12 million last year, has 13 full-time staff and joins another Powerlan and Data#3 joint venture ,Queensland Software Services.

Meanwhile Ipex has also signed a similar contract with Queensland Health, which sees it remain on the panel of preferred suppliers for desktop services for another two years.

Ipex state manager Rex Moore says it is up to each individual hospital to determine whether it buys from Ipex or QDS, but Ipex is pushing the "Australian made" angle to garner its fair share of the $10 million per annum contract.

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