Volante, Ipex win big pre-merger deals

Ipex and the Volante Group have both won substantial outsourcing deals in the lead-up to a crucial shareholder vote in February that could see the two companies merge.

In late December, the Federal department of Transport and Regional Services contracted Ipex to provide the majority of its IT needs (desktops, help desk, printing, data centre) over the next four years.

The outsourcing contract, formerly held by Telstra’s Advantra business, is officially a $16 million contract over the four years. But as with other outsourcing deals, it is likely to increase in value as new projects come on board during the term of the agreement. Ipex will begin a period of transition with the department in March before taking full control in June.

Volante too, has been winning tenders of late. The company has confirmed with ARN that its Volante Systems business had just won a three-year outsourcing contract with a private company that could potentially be worth over $4 million.

Volante Systems general manager, Hugh Bickerstaff, said he couldn't name the customer – who has outsourced its help desk and desktop support, as well as some other project-orientated work.

The new deal comes hot on the heels of the $9.4 million, three-year contract Volante won with the Department of Finance and Administration last year to supply and manage IT equipment in federal electoral offices.

Ipex managing director, Joel Schwalb, described Ipex’s latest outsourcing success as a vote of confidence in the company. He said the high satisfaction levels Ipex was achieving in its current Group 8 outsourcing contract, due for renewal this year, played an important part in winning the new deal.

“We are regarded in Canberra as a good outsourcing company,” Schwalb said.

The company was very focused on renewing the lucrative $200m Group 8 contract, he said.

Ipex has conducted both its own surveys and commissioned independent surveys of its Government clients, the results of which had reassured him that Ipex’s outsourcing customers were satisfied with the levels of service they received.

“If judged on these satisfaction levels, we have a good chance of extending [Group 8] for another four years,” he said. “Our assumption is that [the cluster of Government departments] would prefer to continue without having to go to tender.”

For more on this story, see this week's issue of ARN.