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Shared services: Lewisham and Bromley team up for cheaper IT services

The London boroughs of Lewisham and Bromley have combined forces to use the same provider for datacentre and desktop services operated through a contract...

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Outsourcing

The London boroughs of Lewisham and Bromley have combined forces to use the same provider for datacentre and desktop services operated through a contract with Logicalis.

The two councils have their own individual contracts with Logicalis, but now share a common specification and performance regime, resulting in a standard set of requirements for primary services and network support. Logicalis said this offers economies of scale resulting in significant savings for both authorities.

The decision was made to leverage the opportunity and take advantage of their similar technical infrastructures and contract requirements by applying for a joint tender for primary services such as desktop support, voice and data support, and separately issuing a tender for hosted datacentre services as Lewisham's were hosted by its existing outsourcing partner.

"Our managed contract - including provision of a datacentre resource - was due for renewal," said Lewisham's corporate technology manager, Roger Fowles. "By chance, our neighbour, Bromley Council, was looking to retender its ICT managed contract around the same time. The only difference between our requirements was that Bromley housed its servers in its own datacentre, whereas ours were hosted by our existing outsource partner."

Over 200 of Lewisham's services have been relocated to Logicalis' high-density datacentre (HDDC). Lewisham expects the agreement to provide annual savings of £1.5m, representing a 40% reduction in its IT and telephony budget.

As Computer Weekly has previously reported, while councils are trying to reap the savings of sharing services with neighbouring local authorities, in practice these contracts are difficult to pull off.

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