DXC wins £80m device contract in latest Defra disaggregation deal

Written by Sam Trendall on 24 July 2018 in News
News

US-headquartered technology outsourcing giant swipes contract for department’s end-user computing environment

Credit: Kin Cheung/AP/Press Association Images

US-based technology services monolith DXC has won an £80m contract to provide the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs with end-user devices and related services.

The award of the deal marks the latest step in Defra’s UnITy project to disaggregate long-term technology services engagements with IBM and Capgemini, and implement a multi-supplier environment.

A newly published contract-award notice reveals that a deal for the “implementation, provision, management and operation of a range of end user devices” was won by CSC Computer Sciences Limited. Although this registered entity still bears the name of IT services house CSC, the company merged with HPE Enterprise Services last year and rebranded as DXC Technology.


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The contract will see the firm providing devices and other services to a total of 21,500 users spanning 371 sites. This includes Defra offices and employees, as well as staff from Natural England, the Environment Agency, the Rural Payments Agency, the Marine Management Organisation, and the Animal and Plant Health Agency. 

In addition to end-user computing devices, DXC will also be tasked with providing “foundation services – including active directory, PKI, IDAM and single sign on – assistive technology, security, office productivity, end-user communication, and line-of-business application presentation”.

When the contract notice was published in July 2017, the deal had a maximum potential value of £180m. The award notice indicates that, at some point, this expectation was lowered to £125.9m.

The £81m contract signed last week was ultimately worth some way below even that revised figure. A small slice of the deal – worth £3.24m – will be subcontracted by DXC to a third party not specified in the award notice. This portion of the contract relates to remote-access services, and asset-recovery services. 

The deal length was not specified in the award notice, but previously published documents indicate that Defra intended to award the deal for an initial term of five years, plus two optional one-year extensions. 

DXC beat off competition from two other bidders to win the contract.

The end-user computing services deal is the latest to be awarded as part of the UnITy programme, in which Defra’s overarching IT services contract with IBM – which has spanned 14 years and counting – is being gradually broken up and retendered. UnITy also covers the disaggregation of a similar outsourcing engagement between Capgemini and the Environment Agency. 

Although part of the aim of the disaggregation drive is to work with a more diverse range of suppliers, the DXC contract win marks the second time in the space of a couple of weeks that Defra has awarded a hefty contract to a big IT outsourcing firm. Earlier this month, Atos won a £135m contract to provide the department with hosting services.

DXC recently published annual figures for its first year in operation since the merger of CSC and HPE Enterprise Services. Global turnover for the year to the end of March 2018 came in at $25.4bn. The most recently available accounts for the UK-registered entity CSC Computer Sciences Limited show that, in the 2017 fiscal year, it generated UK revenue of £843.6m.

About the author

Sam Trendall is editor of PublicTechnology

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