HP wins $27m London council deal

HP has won a 10-year hardware, software and management contract from the London borough of Newham

HP will migrate Newham to Microsoft Windows and Exchange 2003 groupware. The contract also covers a blade server farm, storage area network technology and a rolling three-year refresh of all desktop and laptop hardware. Tablet PCs used for remote working are a part of the deal, which in total will touch 4,000 council workers.

Servers and storage started to be rolled out in October. The desktop refresh begins at the start of next year.

Newham head of ICT Richard Steel highlighted "a flexible per seat payment plan which ensures a fixed monthly charge… whilst reducing risks and maintaining flexibility and scalability" in a statement as a key reason for opting to work with HP.

The local authority disclosed that tenders from Dell and IBM had made up the short-list of services offerings.

Steel told ZDNet UK sister site silicon.com that while the public sector has to be open about how it awards contracts, it is also incumbent "not to reinvent the wheel -- if [our approach] can benefit the public sector more widely, then we have to let them know about it".

Newham, like all other parts of local and national government in the UK, is working towards an end of 2005 deadline to make electronic delivery of all services to its citizens an option. Recent research has shown this is generally going well across the UK but Newham is still associated with a well-publicised decision to use Microsoft technology rather than open source software, where Steel said "the risks are too great".

The three companies in the running for today's deal -- HP, IBM and Dell -- are all well-versed in working with Microsoft software and Linux.

However, HP -- mainly through what used to be the Compaq brand -- had the strongest relationship with Newham going back several years.

While HP will see increased hardware sales as a result of the win, the authority deals with a number of providers -- RM, for example is used for kit in local schools.

Newham is also working with IBM to deliver community-minded digital TV services. That scheme goes by the name RegenTV.

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