The First Minister for Scotland, Jack McConnell, has announced an out-sourced e-procurement service for the Scottish Executive, the devolved government for Scotland, potentially worth £15bn in public sector transactions. The service is based on technology from ASP Elcom, and was put together with the help of consultants Cap Gemini Ernst & Young. The first order was placed from Portree Primary School, Skye. "Scotland is blazing an e-government trail that is likely to be replicated across the globe," said Mike Greig, a Cap Gemini vice president, commenting on the service. Though many companies see the benefits of e-procurement, IT departments often hesitate because of the daunting prospect of technical upheaval, according to Elcom, an e-procurement ASP (application service provider). By outsourcing this service, companies' staff can order from approved suppliers, at the best prices, from their desks. Using a hosted service lets users get e-procurement up and running very quickly, claims Elcom's managing director Michael Templeman. "A system can be operational in days. Employees only need a browser on their PC," he explained. This service forms an integral part of the plans to modernise Scottish government. Other organisations to sign up include East Scotland Water and NHS Highland.