Government seeks "Crown Hosting" datacentre partner in deal worth up to £700m
A notice seeking suppliers interested in signing a four-year framework agreement to run datacentres for UK government, worth up to £700m, has been posted in the Official Journal of the European Union. The notice (2014/S 136-244533), posted by the Cabinet Office and Government Digital Service on behalf of the whole of government, seeks provision of datacentre space from at least two separate locations, for security reasons. The "Crown Hosting" service will be run by a new private company "DatacentreCo", majority-owned by the private sector supplier, with the government retaining a shareholding envisaged at about 25%. The private partner will be expected to bring initial funding for the new company. It will initially be approved to handle information with UK Government security classification 'OFFICIAL' but there may be a future requirement for services handling information with 'SECRET' and 'TOP SECRET' security classification, subject to accreditation. The project is intended as a bridge between legacy government systems hosting and a move towards hosting as many systems as possible in the public cloud. DatacentreCo will provide non -public cloud hosting for applications not suitable or not ready for cloud hosting, the contract document says. Call Off Contracts with an estimated value of between £50m-£700m over the contract period will then be entered into between DatacentreCo and the founder customers who are expected to be the Department of Work and Pensions, the Home Office and the Highways Agency. Desired outcomes stated include increased efficiency and better value for money; greater transparency over service utilisation, costs and supplier margins; increased agility by moving to scalable, service-based models; and UK growth by enabling a broader range of suppliers, including SMEs, to compete and offer services. Potential suppliers must express an interest by 15 August.
Pictured: Rack of computers in a datacenter, by Wil Weterings/Wikimedia Commons
Crown Hosting Contract Notice: http://ted.europa.eu/udl?uri=TED:NOTICE:244533-2014:TEXT:EN:HTML&src=0
Skills Funding Agency picks BAE Systems Applied Intelligence to manage IT estate
The Skills Funding Agency has signed a framework contract for BAE Systems Applied Intelligence to deliver Service Management and Integration (SMI) services across the whole of the agency's national infrastructure in England. BAE Systems Applied Intelligence will be responsible for supporting delivery of the agency's end-to-end services in line with its ICT strategy. It will also support the Agency through the transition phase of its supply change transformation programme, as it moves from a single outsourced IT provider to a multi-source tower model. The role of the SMI provider is to oversee the delivery of all the outsourced IT service providers, ensuring that services are delivered in a high quality, timely and cost effective manner and that they are properly integrated to ensure that the agency and its end users benefit from seamless networks and platforms. By helping to improve efficiency and maintain continuity across these critical IT systems, BAE Systems Applied Intelligence will help the agency to continue to deliver its core role of funding vocational training and apprenticeship opportunities across the country. The contract win builds upon BAE Systems Applied Intelligence's appointment as provider of SMI services for the Foreign & Commonwealth Office, the company says. The operational service is due to go live in Autumn 2014.
BAE Systems Applied Intelligence: www.baesystems.com/ai
East Cambridgeshire chooses allpay for payment collection
East Cambridgeshire District Council has signed a four-year contract with payment specialist allpay to provide payment collection services to the local authority for the next four years. The contract, previously held by the Co-operative Bank, was awarded to allpay following the bank's decision to withdraw from banking services to local authorities. The contract, valued at £45k annually, begins on 1 August 2014, and will enable residents to pay their council tax at Post Office branches and PayPoint outlets using plastic swipecards, manufactured in-house by allpay. The contract cements allpay's position as the leading bill payments supplier in the public sector and sits alongside a number of significant contract renewals and new business wins achieved by the group this year. One of those is London-based housing provider Bemerton TMO, which has selected allpay to provide payment collection services for the next three years. The contract enables its residents to pay their rent at both Post Office branches and PayPoint outlets, and through the internet or via allpay's automated phone line. As part of the service, residents are issued with plastic swipecards, manufactured by allpay, that contain their individual payment reference number, allowing them to make payments using a variety of channels.