Feeds

Serco ate our IT supplier: Now what? – London boroughs

Council peeps get second set of corporate badges

3 Big data security analytics techniques

IT services relationships at the London tri-borough group of Westminster, Hammersmith and Fulham and Kensington and Chelsea are likely to become more complex following the acquisition of Westminster's IT supplier Vertex by Serco.

Serco said the acquisition last week, for £55m, brings it additional skills and capabilities to support expansion into new areas of middle and back office support and adds further scale to its recently created global services division.

In 2002, Westminster city council awarded Vertex a £442m 10-year contract to manage its customer services and council tax bills, which was then extended in 2011 to 2014. The contract was one of the biggest to be won by Vertex and saw about 300 council staff transfer over to the company.

A spokesman for the council told Guardian Government Computing that it considers Serco's acquisition of Vertex to be "business as usual" and that it will "look at the contract" closer to 2014.

In the tri-borough's proposals report, published in 2011, the three councils admitted that relationships with their IT services suppliers was complex and that the procurement implications of any future strategy will need to be well thought through to avoid legal challenge, especially under EU procurement rules.

Besides Westminster's Vertex relationship, Hammersmith and Fulham's IT is provided by a joint venture with Agilisys and HFBP, which involves a profit share element, while Kensington and Chelsea has an in-house infrastructure management team coupled with a line of business support teams using procured solutions.

The three boroughs are currently jointly tendering for a 10-year, £300m to £455m, total facilities management contract due to start in May 2013. The contract is largely non-IT based, but may cover property management IT services, such as maintaining the asset register. It may offer a template for a future tri-borough IT services contract.

Serco said the Vertex acquisition improves its position for large scale outsourcing opportunities and that it expected it to enable the company to provide additional services into existing local government customers.

It added that the Vertex operations brought significant experience and scale to leverage in future opportunities within the central government market, as well as the potential transfer of capabilities to private sector customers.

Vertex's other major business process outsourcing customers include Thurrock council, the Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission (CMEC) and Job Centre Plus.

A progress report published by the London tri-borough group of Hammersmith and Fulham, Kensington and Chelsea, and Westminster city council has revealed that the councils are on track to save £40m a year by 2015-16 by combining services and management costs.

At the end of June, the three authorities are to host a seminar for council officers detailing what the tri-borough project has delivered and how it can be replicated across local government.

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.

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

More from The Register

next story
Lavabit loses contempt of court appeal over protecting Snowden, customers
Judges rule complaints about government power are too little, too late
Don't let no-hire pact suit witnesses call Steve Jobs a bullyboy, plead Apple and Google
'Irrelevant' character evidence should be excluded – lawyers
Record labels sue Pandora over vintage song royalties
Companies want payout on recordings made before 1972
EFF: Feds plan to put 52 MILLION FACES into recognition database
System would identify faces as part of biometrics collection
Edward Snowden on his Putin TV appearance: 'Why all the criticism?'
Denies Q&A cameo was meant to slam US, big-up Russia
Ex-Tony Blair adviser is new top boss at UK spy-hive GCHQ
Robert Hannigan to replace Sir Iain Lobban in the autumn
Judge halts spread of zombie Nortel patents to Texas in Google trial
Epic Rockstar patent war to be waged in California
US Supreme Court supremo rakes Aereo lawman in oral arguments
Antenna-array content streamers: 'Ruling against us could dissipate the cloud'
German space centre endures cyber attack
Chinese code retrieved but NSA hack not ruled out
prev story

Whitepapers

Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.