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  1. Government Computing
July 12, 2018

Atos lands six-year, £135m Defra UnITy hosting and application support deal

It appears that Atos has won a major UnITy programme contract for hosting and application support services at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra).

The contract, worth £135m over a six-year term – assuming that Defra invokes a one-year extension option – is to provide a complete range of Hosting and Application Support Services.

These will include the implementation, provision, management and operation of data centre site services, as well as facilities management, infrastructure, and platform services, as well as an appropriate service management layer to support the new Defra Group ICT Service Management Operating Model.

Atos will also supply hosting and application support services in 150 distributed server rooms (DSR) and continued access for approximately 21 000 end users to approximately 250 unique applications. These services are hosted from five data centres and the DSRs. The applications support a diverse range of existing business services and are of varying age and complexity.

Other organisations within the wider Defra group are also potential service recipients and may be added to the contract at a later date via change control, the award note says.

The hosting and applications support contract is one of a suite of contracts collectively referred to under the “Unity” programme badge that will replace Defra’s existing ICT Services which are currently delivered under separate contracts by respectively Capgemini and IBM to the Environment Agency and Defra.

The Defra UnITy Programme is made up of five different work-streams each looking at delivering distinct IT services: Service Management (including Service Integration), Connectivity, Hosting and Applications Management, End User Environment (EUE) and Systems Integration and Platforms.

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IBM will still be involved with Defra for some considerable time, however. Back in April, Defra said it had agreed a 17 month contract extension with IBM to enable it to cope with the application development pressures of Brexit.

According to a contract note, Defra required “additional services within the scope of services provided under the existing contract for up to 17 months following the expiry of the contract.” The total value of the extension is around £30m.

The note gave technical reasons as the rationale for the contract extension, saying, “Simultaneous transfer of service lines to replacement contractors. Substantial application development and maintenance services required as a result of the United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union. Economic reasons: Increased costs of project management and technical resources needed to manage safely the transition and development of new applications. Inconvenience: Increased risk of delay or system failure during transition. Duplication of cost: Increased and unnecessary costs of additional project management and technical resource.”

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