Forward IT drafted in for COVID-19 SurfacePro delivery

Needed for additional workloads due to the coronavirus pandemic

Services Australia has ordered another truckload of Microsoft SurfacePro devices to manage its higher work volume due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The former Department of Human Services has tasked Canberra-based IT provider Forward IT to deliver the necessary 3,529 devices as part of a $5.5 million contract. 

Although the contract will span from 31 March this year until March 2023, Services Australia said the SurfacePros were needed to “respond to additional workloads” stemming from the crisis, alongside “business continuity”.

The contract was won following a request for quotation (RFQ) via the Digital Transformation Agency’s (DTA) Hardware Marketplace Panel procurement arrangement. 

The contract takes Services Australia’s tally of Microsoft Surface Pro devices up to more than 6,500 devices ordered in the last month, at a cost of more than $10 million. 

Earlier it had ordered 3,000 devices for “business continuity purposes”, using IT provider Ethan Group as the reseller partner for deployment. 

The procurement also came from the DTA’s Hardware Marketplace Panel, which now claims no fewer than 120 suppliers, including the likes of Dell Australia, HPE, IBM, Lenovo and JB Hi-Fi, among others. 

Acquired by ASI Solutions last October, Forward IT counts Cisco, Microsoft, Dell EMC, HP, Lenovo and VMware among its vendor partners, and specialises in ICT design, implementation and support services for government, small and medium business, education and the not-for-profit sectors.