The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) has signed a £180m deal with Hewlett-Packard to upgrade its secure, global, desktop IT infrastructure, known as "Firecrest".
The FCO and HP will work together to design, plan, implement and operate a global IT infrastructure called "Future Firecrest". The joint service delivery model will include a roll-out of new hardware, software and services to FCO offices in the UK and more than 200 posts overseas over two years.
Sir Michael Jay, FCO permanent under secretary, said, "This has been a ground-breaking procurement, which represents a genuine partnership as opposed to a more traditional outsourcing arrangement.
"I am confident that HP represents the right choice for us in providing a solution which is flexible yet secure, resilient yet mobile. Having the right IT and high-quality services to support it will be critical in helping us realise the FCO strategy over the next decade."
Through the agreement, HP will create a single global IT system for all FCO locations in the UK and overseas. FCO will spend an additional £140m on internal IT costs.
The FCO said the seven-year deal was the largest contract it had ever signed, and would see HP take on overall responsibility for the IT infrastructure in partnership with in-house IT provider FCO Services, which originally developed Firecrest.