DWP awards Fujitsu £29m mainframe support one-year contract extension

Department invests in licences to keep legacy tech ticking for another 12 months

Credit: PA

The Department for Work and Pensions has awarded a £28.7m contract to Fujitsu to enable it to continue to use the technology vendor’s VME mainframe system.

VME – which stands for virtual machine environment – is an operating system used to run mainframe computing infrastructure. The technology, which was first developed about 45 years ago, remains prevalent across Whitehall, with UK government often cited as the software’s biggest user globally.

The DWP has been trying to make a gradual journey away from the technology since 2014, when it kicked off its VME Remediation programme.

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It is clearly yet to make a clean break, however, and according to newly published contract data has recently spent £28.7m on licensing costs “to enable the continued use of the Fujitsu VME platform” for a further 12 months. 

The contract was awarded direct to the vendor itself – as it has been for the last few years – rather than to a reseller or service-provider partner.

The deal relates to million instructions per second (MIP) software, which is used to manage to performance and capacity of mainframe systems.

The Fujitsu renewal deal came into effect on 24 February and expires on 23 February 2021.

Sam Trendall

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