Councils tempted by ASP model

Lincolnshire Education Authority has employed a "subscription computing" model for IT provision at the first of a series of new...

Lincolnshire Education Authority has employed a "subscription computing" model for IT provision at the first of a series of new schools to be opened in the county.

The authority is using a new service from BT and Computacenter, which covers everything from setting up the local area network to management of the infrastructure.

Dr Cheryl Berry, director of education for Lincolnshire, said, "It will allow teachers to concentrate on teaching and keep schools at the leading edge technologically where they usually lag behind.

"The method of payment allows us to spread costs where we would usually have to wait a period of years for capital funds to become available. And having IT expertise readily available is invaluable for us," she added.

The BT-Computacenter offering is aimed mainly at business with between 50 and 2,000 employees. For around £160 per user per month, BT and Computacenter will provide all hardware and software - including printers, scanners and faxes on a voice-over-IP-ready network. The networks are remotely monitored with deskside support provided when needed.

The deal does not include core application requirements such as enterprise resource planning or database systems.

Contracts are for three years and involve the suppliers buying the customer's existing assets and replacing them with new equipment. At the end of the period the customer can either buy the assets or extend the agreement.

Alnwick District Council has signed up with Application Service Provider Consilium in a five-year deal for the delivery of finance. Pay roll, housing and revenues and benefits services are included in the package.

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