HP to gain from SOE, thanks to EDS?

Summary:With its EDS acquisition this week, HP will increase its relative share in Singapore's ICT initiative while existing EDS partners are part "losers", says analyst.

Now that its EDS acquisition is confirmed a go-ahead, Hewlett-Packard may be getting the last laugh with regard to Singapore's SOE (Standard ICT Operating Environment) initiative.

Although it lost out in the S$1.3 billion (US$950 million) tender to standardize network, desktop and messaging components across Singapore's government agencies, HP could still gain from the project following the company's plans to acquire EDS--the lead in the appointed consortium for SOEasy.

"EDS' existing partners are part losers in this deal, [and] as a result they will fight hard for inclusion," Phil Hassey, vice president of services research at Springboard Research, said in an e-mail interview. "Over time, I expect HP to increase [its] relative share [in the SOEasy project]."

Hassey, also Springboard's country manager for Australia and New Zealand, told ZDNet Asia that HP's involvement in SOEasy will--from a legal and technical standpoint--not kick in until the acquisition is completed. However, the integration could begin informally as soon as it is practical to do so, he said.

In particular, Hassey noted, HP would stand to benefit from any delays in hardware decisions--and the longer the delay, the more advantageous it would be for the IT giant. A recent Gartner report pointed out that providers for desktop and storage equipment required for the SOEasy project were still under evaluation.

EDS declined to comment for this story.

Pauline Tan, senior director of government chief information office and SOE lead at Singapore's Infocomm Development Authority (IDA), told ZDNet Asia Wednesday that it was too early to tell how much of an impact the acquisition will have on the SOEasy project. Tan was speaking on the sidelines of an industry briefing, which detailed the Singapore government's ICT procurement plans over the next 12 months.

Tan, however, confirmed the IDA is currently in "detailed discussion" with the oneMeridian consortium on the new development. She added that the SOEasy project will be carried out as planned.

According to Springboard's Hassey, the new HP-EDS entity will be a stronger contender for the second phase of the SOE project.

Hassey said: "This is a great example where, combining the firms provides a very powerful company with strong value propositions to take to market."

HP is a member of Team AdVance that, along with three others, submitted proposals for the pre-qualifying tender managed by Singapore's Ministry of Education.

Topics: CXO, Hardware, IT Employment, Legal, Storage

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