blog Those of you who keep an eye on the extremely large IT purchasing habits of the Department of Defence will recall that the Department has had a long-running tendering initiative going for what it calls “Centralised Processing” services. Probably the major portion of the work is the consolidation of more than 200 Defence datacentres to less than ten domestic and three international facilities. The contract has been out to market for a year, with IBM, HP and Lockheed Martin the players in contention. However, this week Defence knocked HP out of the running, news which appears to have been first reported by the Financial Review today. Defence’s site for the contract states:
“On 28 September 2012, Defence released a Request for Tender (RFT) for the provision of Centralised Processing Services and have shortlisted to three respondents: IBM, Hewlett-Packard, and Lockheed Martin. The CP Services RFT closed in January 2013 and evaluation of Tenders was completed. Defence has proceeded into parallel negotiations with all three Tenderers in August 2013.
On 24 September 2013, Defence undertook a further downselect of tenderers (IBM and Lockheed Martin) to proceed to the next phase of CP Services RFT parallel negotiations with Defence.”
Defence’s current timeframe for the deal is that it expects to announce the successful tenderer in the first quarter of next year (2014), with the actual contract being signed in the third quarter of the year. So it’ll be most of another year before the actual deal gets completely finalised — not precisely a short process, but then, given the deal is likely to be worth at least half a billion dollars, this sort of time scale isn’t unexpected.
Lockheed Martin’s participation in the deal is interesting as it marks another step in the company’s quiet expansion into Federal Government IT purchasing. The company is more known for its strengths in the construction of fighter jets and missiles than in enterprise IT services, but has recently won some major deals in Canberra, including a desktop support deal with the Australian Taxation Office worth about $60 million a year.