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Council to chuck £28m wad at schools' ICT supplier

Seeks 3-year deal for storage, servers, netbooks and, er, iPads

Reducing security risks from open source software

Staffordshire county council has published a tender for suppliers to join a wide-ranging ICT framework agreement for use within schools and other education establishments for both administration and curriculum purposes.

It includes the provision of servers, storage, workstations, portable devices, software, wireless technology, network infrastructure, peripherals, and network management services. According to a notice in the Official Journal of the European Union, the deal will be worth between £1.5m and £28m.

The the three-year contract will be divided into 16 lots: servers; storage; ICT spares; workstations; portable devices; Apple iOS devices; Microsoft software; network infrastructure components; managed wireless; cabling components; data cabinets; peripherals; support partnership; curriculum software; network management; and bundled items.

The most expensive lot will be for workstations, which will cost between £6.4m and £12.8m, according to the notice. Staffordshire envisages that the technology provided will range from entry level workstations for general day-to-day office based work, such as email, internet, word processing and school management information systems work.

More processor intensive tasks such as computer aided design, digital imaging and video editing will also form part of the lot.

"Workstations procured under this lot will be used in all areas of the establishment. It is anticipated that this lot will also include requirements for thin/zero client workstations," adds the notice.

The lot for portable devices, which will be worth between £1.6m and £3.4m, will include (but not exclusively) netbooks, laptops and tablets.

Chosen suppliers will also be expected to provide Apple products under the iOS lot including iMacs, Mac Books, iPods, iPads, Mac Minis and Lion Server. The lot will be worth between £800,000 and £1.6m.

The deal has a one-year extension option.

This article was originally published at Guardian Government Computing.

Guardian Government Computing is a business division of Guardian Professional, and covers the latest news and analysis of public sector technology. For updates on public sector IT, join the Government Computing Network here.

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