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Libraries Northern Ireland extends Fujitsu deal

17/01/20

Mark Say Managing Editor

Libraries Northern Ireland (LNI) has extended its contract with Fujitsu for a managed ICT infrastructure.

Armagh Library interior

The organisation has posted a notice of the extension, set to run for 29 months and valued at up to £12 million, saying the move derives from not being able to set up a replacement contract as originally intended.

The deal takes in the provision of computer network of cables and WiFi for 108 sites and 28 mobile libraries, but the market notice says that some services may be terminated during the extension as they are transferred to an Enterprise Shared Service (ESS), provided by Northern Ireland’s Department of Finance for the public sector.

Its extension reflects the need to keep services running as LNI works out how to handle the transition of these services, and reflects the complexity of an existing arrangement that includes all the software licensing and ICT infrastructure that was developed by Fujitsu, based on the original contract agreed in 2013 and so far worth £33.6 million.

The notice says it is not possible to procure an interim system and partially switch to ESS as the system and licences are not readily interchangeable or interoperable. Also, any attempt to transfer systems without an adequate transition period presents too much of a risk.

It adds that any new contractor would face significant costs in attempting to recreate the current service for two to three years.

Image by Tracey Adams, CC BY 2.0

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