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Defra chooses Atos for prime role in UnITy


Department awards company contract for hosting and application support in deal that could run for six years


The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) has chosen Atos IT Services as provider of hosting and application support under its UnITy programme.

The company will take a prominent role in the programme, which is pulling together the department’s major IT contracts in replacing the expiring deals that Defra has had with IBM and the Environment Agency with Capgemini.

It extends to the other agencies working under the Defra umbrella including Natural England, the Marine Management Organisation and the Rural Payments Agency, and is valued at up to £135 million for its term of five years with an option to extend by one more.

The contract notification indicates that it does not extend to the full extent of the UnITy programme, referring to it being one of “a suite”.

Among the services it will cover are those around data centres, infrastructure, platforms and application support and operations, with a service management layer to support the new Defra ICT service management operating model. It will also support access to approximately 250 applications.

Defra’s digital team has previously highlighted the importance of UnITy to the department’s operations. In a blogpost published last year it said the programme will create a more flexible hosting environment and support the move to using more cloud based services.

“Procuring and managing our provision differently will create huge improvements,” it said. “We will drive efficiencies by standardising both our infrastructure, operating systems and services.”

Image by Lucas, public domain through Wikimedia

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