Battle for Sydney Water reaches boiling point

Summary:update The campaign to win a large chunk of Sydney Water's IT spend over the next three years is hotting up, with a large number of local suppliers showing interest. In early July, the company called for a single IT supplier to provide products and services to support its extensive leased IT fleet, which according to tender documents includes at least 4,000 PCs and notebooks, 512 printers and 284 servers.

update The campaign to win a large chunk of Sydney Water's IT spend over the next three years is hotting up, with a large number of local suppliers showing interest.

In early July, the company called for a single IT supplier to provide products and services to support its extensive leased IT fleet, which according to tender documents includes at least 4,000 PCs and notebooks, 512 printers and 284 servers.

Some 40-50 individuals representing local IT suppliers subsequently attended a 7 July briefing at the utility's Bathurst St, Sydney head office, desktop services manager Graham Latta told ZDNet Australia today via telephone.

Sydney Water is seeking to consolidate two large contracts currently held by Dell (for IT products and services) and Macquarie Bank (financial services) into a single deal to take effect from 1 January 2007.

Sydney Water's leased fleet consists of Dell PCs, notebooks and servers, a small amount of Panasonic "semi-rugged" notebooks, Lexmark printers and multi-function devices and a few high-end Xerox multi-function devices.

Those devices are currently owned by Macquarie Bank and provided under lease arrangements designed to minimise risk, with Dell's managed services division providing services for the assets.

A much smaller contract sees Macquarie Bank subsidiary Reboot PC Logistics managing end of lease products. "They do the removals," said Latta.

The new deal will see a single supplier take control of the leased IT environment and financial arrangements for three years, with two two-year optional extensions.

The IT environment will continue to operate as a fully maintained, leased asset.

"This will provide an arrangement under which Sydney Water carries no residual risk," the business said in tender documents.

While the lease arrangements keep IT risk at arm's length, Sydney Water does own some of its own IT assets.

"Our really high end infrastructure, our mainframe, and our Unix equipment and our storage devices are purchased," said Latta. "They've been acquired at different times under varying contracts."

Sydney Water is to stop taking formal responses on 27 July and plans to make a decision on a supplier soon after.

A separate Sydney Water contract for business intelligence services was likewise hotly contested.

According to Sydney Water's Web site, no less than 20 different groups applied for the work, including Australia's largest IT services firms IBM, Fujitsu and Kaz.

Topics: Dell, Hardware, IBM, Outsourcing

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