Xerox moves to the datacenter

Xerox is picked to replace IBM to handle the biggest IT consolidation project in the history of Texas
Written by David Chernicoff, Contributor

Thought by many to be long relegated to the world of copy machines and bulk printing, despite its storied past in developing many of the technologies that define the computer universe as it is used today, Xerox is making a high-profile return to the front page as it replaces IBM as the service business handling the consolidation and updating of the computing infrastructure for the state of Texas.  Following on the heels of IBM's high-profile failure to meet the terms of the contract that they were awarded in 2006, this contract highlights the return of Xerox to high end computing technology, not as a hardware vendor but as a contract service provider.

The Texas Department of Information Services , which has already paid IBM over $750 million over the last seven years, awarded Xerox an $858 million, eight year contract to handle the modernization, upgrading and consolidation of the states 28 datacenters down to two major datacenter facilities. Capgemini, an IT services and consulting business, has also been awarded a 6 year, $127 million contract to oversee the Xerox consolidation operations and to assure that the projects meets its timeline and makes its deliverables.  Xerox was also awarded a $54 million six year contract to deliver the state's bulk printing and mail services,  a service it was already providing as a partner to IBM under a previous agreement.

Xerox has stated that they will have almost 700 people working on the project, an increase over the number of staff IBM had employed. State estimates are that the project will result in more than 500 long-term jobs with the state even after the project is completed.

Between 2006 and 2009, when the state started looking to replace IBM, estimates are that only 12% of the project had been completed, but that did include the completion of the mainframe aspects of the project and a datacenter facility in North Austin, Texas.

Despite the fact that Xerox is a $20 billion company with almost 140,000 employees, their profile as an IT services company is not a high one, especially when compared to the company they are replacing on this contract; they are best known for their document, imaging, graphics, and printing technologies, on the technology side, and for business management services.

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