French utility to get 60,000 PCs from Compaq

Suzanna Kerridge, Paris correspondent

Suzanna Kerridge, Paris correspondent

Compaq France has won a £30m contract to overhaul the French state-owned utility, Electricitié de France et Gaz de France's (EDF/GDF) desktop strategy by the end of June 2001. The company is expected to roll out up to 60,000 PCs throughout the utility's French-based operations in an effort to modernise its customer services. According to an EDF/GDF spokesman the PCs will be implemented in three stages. The first stage will see the roll out of 25,000 PCs as part of the company's project to unify its current disparate client services system. A spokesman for EDF/GDF said: "Some of the machines will go towards project Optimia which is currently working to gather all the clients' gas and electricity information into one account." The second installation will be distributed within EDF to offer employees access to its intranet while the remaining 10,000 will be distributed between EDF and GDF. The spokesman said: "We recently opened 10 call centres around France so we have a lot of new staff and they need PCs. It is that simple. Also when people leave they are given the opportunity to buy their computer so we need to replace the ones we have lost through that." IBM Global Services and General Electric have been chosen by the French utility to oversee the project management and implementation of the two year roll out. IBM Global Services said it was not able to comment as the deal had yet to be finalised. Compaq refused to comment.