Ireland’s Revenue Commissioners has awarded a contract to Fujitsu to supply, support and maintain servers and peripherals in a deal worth close to €250,000.
Fujitsu won an open tender for the deal in competition with three other vendors. The company has a long-standing relationship with the tax agency dating back more than a decade.
The award criteria, in order of importance, were costs (40pc weighting); service and support (25pc); functionality (20pc); execution (10pc) and company vision (5pc).
The 12-month contract has an option to be extended for a further year thereafter. It covers the supply of dual-socket Intel-based x86 Fujitsu TX and RX300 tower and rack-mounted servers, associated peripherals for internal backup, as well as support and maintenance.
Most of the hardware will be installed at the Revenue Commissioners’ data centres in Dublin. The final number of servers has not been fixed but is likely to be between 60 and 80 systems. According to John Fitzsimons, principal solution architect with Fujitsu Ireland, this is because a virtualisation project under way at the agency is likely to have an impact on the amount of physical machines that will be needed, especially in some of Revenue’s remote sites outside the capital.
The Revenue Commissioners has been consolidating part of its extensive IT environment, having already undertaken similar work with its Sun Sparc-based hardware.
The taxman is also understood to be looking at a desktop virtualisation project and is believed to be one of the first Government agencies to adopt this technology.
Fujitsu Ireland at work
Fujitsu Ireland is well established as a major player in public sector IT in Ireland. Last year, it won a €760,000 managed services contract with Dublin City Council covering its enterprise storage and backup environments, as well as the council’s Oracle Solaris and Linux environments.
Other recent deals include supply of x86 servers to the Department of Agriculture and a SAN migration project for Aer Lingus. It has also been shortlisted for a HSE framework agreement for servers and storage systems.
Flexible framework agreements with pre-qualified lists of vendors are increasingly replacing old-style single-supplier tenders for many IT contracts in the public sector as it looks to get better value from IT deals and reduce their reliance on just one provider.
The Revenue Commissioners was among the first agencies to take this approach, having set up a multi-vendor IT services arrangement that includes Accenture, IBM, Deloitte and the indigenous consultancy Version 1, in addition to Fujitsu.
“Framework agreements, in general, are very competitive; they guarantee the best market price available to the customer. We see a general trend for these in Europe, it’s not just Ireland moving this way,” said Mark Byrne, solution architect and Fujitsu products specialist.