Government is looking for up to 20 suppliers to form a comprehensive £300m procurement framework for ICT services to public-sector education establishments.
The broad four-year framework replaces the 2010 British Educational Communications and Technology Agency (Becta) ICT services framework, which the Department for Education took ownership of when the Becta quango was abolished as part of the government's plans to save billions of pounds across the public sector.
Becta aimed to provide cheap technology packages for schools by striking deals with suppliers. Schools were then required to use those suppliers. Chancellor George Osborne expected to save £80m by closing Becta.
The new framework will include all ICT used in public-sector education apart from fixed broadband, where prospective customers will buy separately. “This new framework agreement will provide customers with the capability to obtain ICT goods and services tailored for the specific needs of a diverse range of educational establishments.”
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“The scope of requirements is expected to cover the full range of ICT goods, services and solutions operated by educational institutions,” said the tender notice. This will include design, supply, integration, implementation and testing, training, support and maintenance.
The tender asks for suppliers that have a range of delivery models, including supply and fit, support and maintenance and partial or fully managed ICT service.
Suppliers might have to integrate and re-use legacy IT systems or start from scratch. “Providers will be expected to supply and integrate solutions into both green field (new build) situations as well as legacy ICT environments requiring integration and repurposing of existing ICT.”
The procurement framework includes hardware in the form of servers and user computing devices, as well as software such as operating systems, office productivity, networking and security.
Networking requirements include routers, switching, cabling and local area network infrastructures.