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Post Office tenders for front office tower model

Caroline Baldwin

The Post Office is tendering a tower-model IT contract to provide front-office application services for branches, the web, mobile and call centres.

The contract is valued between £140m and £400m for the seven-year term with the possibility to increase to £530m with a three-year extension.

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The Post Office has undergone a massive change in recent months, including separation from Royal Mail and transforming Post Office branches through its IT & Change Transformation Programme.

It has chosen to procure a tower-model approach to its application services, managed by a service integrator and service desk (SISD) provider.

The Post Office offers 170 different products and services through its network of more than 11,500 Post Office branches across the UK, complemented by online and telephone customer access.

The “tower” model approach, which is becoming more popular across public sector bodies, allows the Post Office to break down its IT contract into as many component parts as possible. A number of procurements have already occurred in 2012 to identify the SSID and prime suppliers to support the IT delivery through the Service Towers. In October 2013, ATOS was appointed to act as the SISD.

This new procurement aims to find a prime supplier to provide a range of front-office IT application services, including transforming the front-office estate and systems to improve customer service, change in management activities to deliver training accompanying proposed solution, and service management to interact and collaborate with the other towers in the model and SSID.

The front-office tower also hopes to acquire services around hosting and infrastructure support and management services.

The current front-office applications the Post Office uses includes banking, branch Accounting, branch Administration, branch communications, branch support, bureau de change, cash & stock management, electronic top up (ETU), in & tut payments, postal services, retail & stock sales, management reporting, DVLA transactions and Environment Agency Rod Fishing licences.

“A scalable and flexible solution is required to allow Post Office to grow with customer needs and to support increased product diversity, reduced running costs and faster integration with its partners and suppliers,” the Post Office said in its tender.

The current IT system is provided by Fujitsu through its Horizon contract.

Last month, the Post Office tendered for an IT service firm to provide back-office IT applications and networking technologies in contracts worth hundreds of millions of pounds.

The Post Office wants a network service provider to provide services for 10 years (in a contract worth up to £200m) and a supplier to provide back-office IT applications for up to nine years (worth up to £230m).


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