Suppliers vie for $30m school PC tender

Suppliers vie for $30m school PC tender

A panel of eight PC suppliers has been selected by the Queensland Government to supply $30 million in IT equipment to Queensland Education over the next 12 months.

Acer, Apple, ASI, Coretech, Dell, HP, Optima and Toshiba have all met the necessary criteria to be involved in the supply of about 15,000 personal computers, notebooks and servers to public schools in the sunshine state.

“The Government has driven a hard bargain with a group of computer companies,” Queensland Premier, Peter Beattie, said. Laptops worth $2572 (retail) were likely to be sold under negotiated terms for as little as $1731, he said.

The tender was managed by the State Government’s purchasing arm (Queensland Purchasing). The government initiated a thorough process of both evaluation of and negotiation with the suppliers on behalf of Queensland Education.

This body will now publish a private Web site where individual schools are presented with these negotiated terms in order to choose the equipment and services that best fits their needs.

To ensure the tenders were met the needs of all Queensland schools, suppliers were asked to submit different deals according to three geographic zones. As such, schools in regional areas are likely to have different pricing and fulfillment options to those in the city and suburbs.

Director of panelist Coretech, David Wain, said schools would base their decisions on both price and value-adds such as warranties and installation services.

Being one of the only resellers on the panel, he was aware of the price pressure competing vendors would apply in order to attract purchases.

"If we were only competing on price, I'd be concerned about our prospects," he said.

Director of ASI Solutions, Maree Lowe, said ASI would compete with the larger vendors by providing a very flexible range of service options from which schools could choose.

For more on the Queensland Education tender, see this week's issue of ARN.

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