DE&T confirms panel suppliers for CASES tender

DE&T confirms panel suppliers for CASES tender

Victoria's Department of Education and Training (DE&T) has confirmed all the contract winners and panel suppliers for its $25-30 million IT hardware tender.

Last week, ARN revealed that local assembler, Paragon Systems, and Taiwanese vendor, Acer Australia had won the guaranteed PC and file server components respectively for DE&T's Computerised Administrative Systems Environment in Schools (CASES) infrastructure.

The CASES tender also called for suppliers of laser printers and LAN switches with Kyocera-Mita winning the contract to supply 1700 printers between February and June next year and ASI Solutions getting the nod for the supply of 1660 LAN switches.

As well as the guaranteed contracts, the DE&T tender also stipulated that there would be additional panels of suppliers for non-guaranteed business that will be required by the varied business units, schools and TAFE Institutes, under DE&T control. It estimated that this non-guaranteed component of the DE&T hardware expenditure could be as much as twice the size of the guaranteed contract.

Joining Paragon Systems on the panel of desktop PC suppliers are another Australian OEM assembler, Sydney-based Optima Technology Solutions, and Acer. Meanwhile, for the follow-on server business, Acer will face competition from mult-inational IBM and Australian authorised Intel server suppliers Hallmark International and Optima.

HP Australia and Paragon (with a Samsung solution) will bid against Kyocera-Mita for the additional printer sales that will come under this tender. Anixter Australia, Commander Integrated Networks and Logical Networks were approved as panel suppliers of the additional LAN switches required.

Managing director for Kyocera-Mita, David Finn, was "thrilled" to win the contract after "twice being the bridesmaid" in previous DE&T tenders. "We have won a lot of government tenders in NSW, WA and Queensland but this is by far the most significant we have secured in Victoria," Finn said. "We have been on the supply panels for the last two DE&T tenders but have not been able to convert that into any significant business."

Finn said that while the tender stipulated that the guaranteed sales be supplied direct to the department, the flow-on business to schools would be fulfilled through channel partners.

"There is a significant amount of additional business up for grabs but our channel partners will have to work for it," he said. "We will be embarking on a marketing push to the schools which will direct business to our channel partners and we will also be working closely with the local distribution channel on strategies to best capitalise on this opportunity."

A DE&T spokesperson said the department was "in the process of preparing contracts" which would be offered to all of these companies.

The spokesperson said that a "robust, systematic and unbiased tender process" was conducted "in accordance with government procurement policies and guidelines". These include the Victorian Industry Participation Policy.

"Value for money is the essential test against which any procurement is justified and the key basis on which the above selections were made," the spokesperson said. "It is anticipated that the delivery of replacement CASES equipment will commence in February 2004.

"Customers under the contracts (including DE&T business units, schools, TAFE institutes) will be able to purchase products [from the panel suppliers] as soon as contracts have been executed and product and pricing details published."

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