Major vendors unite for US$918M govt tender

update IT vendors including HP, IBM and SCS have formed separate consortia to bid for a Singapore project to streamline the government's desktop and network components.

update SINGAPORE--Several big names in the local and global IT industry are banding together to bid for a Singapore government IT contract worth S$1.5 billion (US$918.3 million).

To date, three separate consortia comprising vendors such as Microsoft, Cisco Systems, Hewlett-Packard (HP) and Singapore's NCS, have announced that they will be submitting tenders for the Singapore government's Standard ICT Operating Environment (SOE) project.

First announced in April last year by the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA), the SOE will involve the standardization of desktop and network components across the country's public sector agencies. IDA oversees technology purchases and deployments for the country's major government bodies, and is Singapore's IT regulator.

One group, dubbed oneMeridian, is led by IT services vendor Electronic Data Systems (EDS) and includes Avanade, Cisco, Microsoft and Singapore Computer Systems (SCS).

"oneMeridian represents a 'global' approach bringing leading edge solutions and experience to the SOE project," said Stephen Yeo, EDS' president for Southeast Asia, in a statement released by SCS. "The combination of global and local capabilities will ensure sustainability and continued innovation for the next 10 years."

Noting that the government's ability to be agile will depend on the SOE infrastructure, Yeo said EDS' past experiences in other countries will be relevant in the Singapore project. "EDS has done similar transformation projects with governments in the United States and Europe, and we can bring such experience to the Singapore government's SOE," he added.

SCS said the consortium will also be supported by the EDS Agility Alliance, which was extended to Singapore last September. It includes vendors such as Dell, EMC, Fuji Xerox, Oracle, SAP and Sun Microsystems.

HP separately announced Monday it will team up with Singapore Technologies (ST) Electronics, Cisco Systems and Microsoft to bid for the government project.

In a statement, HP's managing director for Southeast Asia Tan Lee Chew said the company has collaborated with ST Electronics "on numerous large-scale, mission-critical government project implementations in Singapore", and both Cisco and Microsoft are "strategic [HP] partners on a global and local basis".

HP added that its own PC standardization experience would be of use for the consortium in bidding for the government project. The company hopes to draw on its past experience where it rolled out its PC Common Operating Environment, an internal software management and delivery system, 12 years ago.

NCS, another big local IT services player, told ZDNet Asia in an e-mail Tuesday it will lead a consortium comprising IBM "as the primary services partner", and Alcatel, Cisco, Dell, Lenovo, Microsoft, SingTel, and Sun Microsystems, to bid for the project.

NCS has a long history of involvement in the island-state's public service IT infrastructure. Its chief executive officer, Chong Yoke Sin, noted that the company has built and implemented over 2,000 systems to support Singapore's e-government initiatives since 1981.

Although no announcements have been made on the other groups involved in the bidding race, a spokesperson for Singapore-based IT services company CrimsonLogic confirmed Tuesday with ZDNet Asia its intention to bid for the project. Atos Origin, a partner for the Olympic Games in Torino, also declared its interest in the tender last December.