gen-i wins Ansett contract

New Zealand-based integrator gen-i will ramp up substantially in Australia after winning a contract with Air New Zealand Ansett to install and manage around 11,500 desktops as the airline prepares to totally overhaul its IT services.

The deal will mean an expansion of the gen-i's Australian operations, currently headquartered in Melbourne, Victoria. gen-I expects to expand its support staff to around 100 over the next year, according to gen-i strategy manager Peter Dickinson.

"We have had project related activity in Australia for quite some time," he said, adding the expansion across the Tasman will involve the collaboration between the company's existing partner network and a number of sub-contract suppliers.gen-i has been selected as the preferred supplier for the three-year contract, which will see the reseller supply PCs, terminals and services as well as management services, configuration, optimisation and support services.

The company will manage all the desktops and services for the airline in areas such as bag tagging, kiosks and some check-in facilities. It will also provide network storage and backup to help integrate systems and processes between the newly merged Ansett and Air New Zealand businesses, which until now has dealt with a combination of suppliers across the two countries.gen-i has had a long-standing relationship with Air New Zealand, working with the airline to deliver its enterprise-wide desktop service and in the role of technical consultant.

"We have a number of Australians and New Zealanders working in both offices," Dickinson said. He said apart from some obvious differences, companies tend to view the countries as one market - both in a business sense and culturally.

"I think we need to be more collaborative between the two markets," he said.

While gen-i will reap the benefits of the deal, the multi-million dollar contract has had vendors scrambling. IBM will manage the airline's mainframe and midrange systems.