Institutes sign €20m IT outsourcing deal with HP

25 May 2006

An Cheim has signed a seven-year shared service technology deal with HP worth €20m. The organisation, which provides IT systems to 13 Institutes of Education and the Tipperary Institute, awarded the public sector contract under public procurement guidelines.

HP will host the hardware and associated software for each institute from a single central location. It is envisaged that each institute will benefit from significant savings due to the fact that no individual campus will need to invest in the technology or the staff to manage it.

An Cheim (Colloborative Higher Education Information Management) encompasses the management of student, library, finance and human resources (HR) information. It was established to implement these systems in the Institutes of Higher Education and to provide the necessary programme management, software configuration, hardware, documentation and training.

The Institutes of Higher Education covered by the contract are: Sligo, Dundalk, Athlone, Galway-Mayo, Limerick, Tralee, Cork, Carlow, Waterford, Blanchardstown, Tallaght, Letterkenny, Tipperary Institute and Dun Laoghaire Institute of Art, Design and Technology.

The systems implemented within the scope of the programme include a financial management system; a student record system for information management; a suite of fully integrated HR applications; and a library system which provides a self-service facility to renew or reserve items and enables users to access a range of specialist websites.

According to Paul Malone, national project manager with An Cheim Computer Services, the deal will provide the institutes with a total cost of ownership saving of €20m over five years due to a combination of “significant” infrastructural and organisational cost savings.

Brian Hurley, director of services at HP Ireland, added: “Under the terms of the agreement with An Cheim, HP will deliver the services the Institutes of Higher Education require as effectively and as efficiently as possible. The deal will not only allow each institute to benefit from the new centralised approach but it will also enable synergies between the various educational bodies.”

Derek Feeney, manager of An Cheim Computer Services, said: “We are already realising some of the benefits of outsourcing in the efficiencies of being able to implement projects on behalf of the institutes more quickly and cost effectively. HP has the capacity to ramp up its staff to meet the project needs which allows An Cheim and the institutes flexibility in the project approach.”

The projects being undertaken are a combination of technical application upgrades and strategic business initiatives, he added.

By Gordon Smith