Historic Scotland has signed a contract with Atos to support the delivery of its main IT programmes, including a new visitor attraction system. Atos will provide service desk, desktop and data centre services to more than 70 locations across Scotland including Edinburgh Castle, Stirling Castle and Urquhart Castle on the banks of Loch Ness, as well as Orkney’s Skara Brae Prehistoric Village and Linlithgow Palace. Jimmy Budge, Historic Scotland’s Head of IT, said: “This contract is an important step towards delivering a more modern, robust and efficient IT system for Historic Scotland. This will enable us to provide IT systems across the business and a number of key visitor sites that will deliver a better service to customers and more effective ways of working across the agency.” In March, Atos was announced as an official supporter of the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games. The company is already the worldwide IT technology partner of the Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are amongst the successful companies to be selected as suppliers on the Westminster Government’s Public Services Network (PSN) framework, Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude has announced. The 12 suppliers on the framework include Virgin Media Business, Logicalis, BT, Cable & Wireless Worldwide, Level 3, Capita, Updata Infrastructure, Fujitsu, MDNX Enterprise Services, eircom, KCOM Group and Thales. The PSN, which will create a ‘network of networks’ for the public sector, is expected to help government bodies create joined-up and shared public services, reducing the cost of the billions spent on government ICT and creating a more open and competitive ICT marketplace.
The Post Office has awarded Fujitsu a five-year contract, said to be worth £500m, to deliver a broadband network and customer care and billing solutions. Fujitsu will be replacing incumbent suppliers including BT and Logica, as it takes over responsibility for around half a million subscribers to the Post Office’s own-brand telephone and broadband service. In 2007, the Post Office signed a four-year deal with BT worth up to £750m for the provision of wholesale communications services to the Post Office for resale to its customers. As part of the new contract, internet service provider TalkTalk will deliver the broadband and telephony services, while Capital will provide the customer contact centre and telecoms billing systems specialists MDS will supply the consumer billing and settlement solutions.
Around £500m will be invested to deliver next-generation broadband to communities and businesses across Scotland by 2015, potentially supporting thousands of jobs and boosting Scotland’s economy, Alex Neil said. The Cabinet Secretary for Infrastructure and Capital Investment made the pledge last month as the Scottish Government published a procurement plan detailing how contracts will be awarded to reduce the digital divide and to deliver a significant improvement in speed and coverage of broadband for every community in Scotland by 2015. The Step Change 2015 programme has identified funding of some £250m from the public sector. An action plan to deliver world-class digital infrastructure for Scotland by 2020 was unveiled in January detailing steps to push Scotland to the forefront of the digital revolution.
The UK Government has opened the second round of procurement for the G-Cloud with a framework which aims to attract new suppliers and services, many of which are likely to be small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Around 257 suppliers offering approximately 1,700 services were signed to the first G-Cloud framework, which was made available from February through the Government’s online portal, dubbed Cloudstore. Over 50 per cent of these suppliers were SMEs. The G-Cloud team plans to continuously reissue the framework in the hope that it keeps pace with changes in technology and as a result will provide the most current as-a-service products to the public sector. “We want to ensure that we have as big a range of services available as possible and that the content of the Cloudstore is kept fresh and up-to-date to ensure that government’s use of technology can keep pace with the constantly evolving boundaries and new innovations that are happening all the time,” said a spokesperson.
The Welsh Government and Transport Scotland are offering a contract to develop, implement, support and improve an ICT solution for an integrated roads information system (IRIS). The contract will also deliver annual road condition surveys in Scotland and Wales. The fully integrated system will be hosted with unlimited databases, accessible via the internet, with GIS functionality and will include an accident management system, a cycling provision database, lighting and pavement management systems and accredited road protection score data gathering.
Fife Council is seeking a private partner for the provision of a single supplier framework to supply “Business Change – ICT Project and Business Solutions Delivery”. The successful contractor will review the viability of proposed operational, project and programme opportunities on a case by case basis; utilise resources from both organisations for the delivery of projects and programmes; provide delivery of key functions and services as requested by the council; and assist in the development and delivery of supply chain improvements.
Scottish ministers are seeking to acquire a successor service to the existing Glow educational resource service. Glow, also known as the Scottish Schools Digital Network, was the world’s first national education platform. The tender says its aim is to ‘light up learning’, and it provides a powerful set of integrated online tools, services and resources, within a secure, trusted environment. “These tools, services and resources are driving motivation and engagement in Scottish education and leading the teachers, pupils and parents into a rich and innovative learning process. Glow provides users with access to a range of online tools and services, free at the point of use. Initial research has identified that there are a number of online suites of applications available free of charge. Scottish ministers are seeking to establish an agreement for the provision of an integrated application suite for next-generation Glow free of charge.”