Defra hands £135m hosting deal to Atos

Written by Sam Trendall on 13 July 2018 in News
News

Department’s UnITy project to disaggregate overarching deals with IBM and Capgemini continues with award of major contract to French services leviathan

Credit: Nick Ansell/PA Wire

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs has handed a six-year £135m hosting contract to IT services titan Atos.

The deal is part of the ongoing UnITy programme of work to disaggregate Defra’s long-standing monolithic IT deal with IBM, and a similar engagement between the Environment Agency and Capgemini.

The contract covers the hosting of about 250 applications, to be provided to 21,000 employees. Services will be hosted from five datacentres and about 150 smaller server rooms. 

“The applications support a diverse range of existing business services and are of varying age and complexity,” the contract award notice said. “The supplier will be required to interface and collaborate with other UnITy suppliers to ensure delivery of an integrated ICT service to end users.”


 

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In addition to the core hosting responsibilities, Defra may call on Atos to perform certain other optional services, which may include supporting a project to cut back the number of server rooms. The French-headquartered company may also be asked to provide services to other “non-core” organisations that come under the Defra umbrella, as well as potentially supporting new applications.

The contract will run for an initial term of five years, with an optional one-year extension. It is expected to be worth up to £135m. 

Defra has worked with IBM since 2004 and recently lengthened the engagement by a further 17 months, taking the end date to 2021. The extension, which cost the department £30m and took the deal’s lifetime worth to almost £1.5bn, came as a result of Brexit pressures obstructing the department’s work on the UnITy programme. Last year the Environment Agency also extended its relationship with Capgemini by 18 months, taking the end date to August 2018.

Both Defra and the Environment Agency are seeking to move away from single-supplier models and work with a broader range of technology partners. As part of which a range of contracts in different areas are up for grabs – one of the largest of which is application-hosting deal won by Atos.

With about 100,000 employees and annual revenues of €12bn, the French outfit is one of the world’s biggest IT services companies.

The firm beat six other bidders to win the hosting deal.

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Sam Trendall is editor of PublicTechnology

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