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Oxford City Council has embarked on a five-year datacentre hosting deal, as the local authority prepares to take back responsibility for its IT infrastructure operations.
The organisation has previously relied on Oxfordshire County Council to meet its IT infrastructure needs, but this arrangement is due to expire at the end of March 2016.
Ahead of that, Oxford City Council issued a tender in January 2015, seeking suppliers to provide datacentre hosting, server and storage capacity, server technical support, database administration and network security infrastructure.
IT services provider SCC has clinched the contract, which carries an estimated value of between £5m and £13m, and is initially set to last five years, with the option to extend it a further five.
Oxford City Council has credited SCC’s multi-tenanted Sentinel cloud platform as being a key factor in its decision to appoint the firm, as this is what will be used to fulfil its datacentre hosting requirements.
The platform is pan-government accredited for use with public sector data, and will enable the council to adopt a pay-as-you-go approach to provisioning server capacity. This is forecasted to save the council around £150,000 in IT costs a year.
Sentinel is already being used by several other public sector organisations, including the Civil Aviation Authority, the Department for Work and Pensions, HM Revenue & Customs and Highways England.
Helen Bishop, head of business improvement at Oxford City Council, said SCC’s responsiveness during the procurement process marked it out as a front runner.
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“Throughout the process, SCC consistently showed itself to be professional and responsive by taking note of the information provided and the specification requirements, and offering relevant and comprehensive technical solutions,” said Bishop.
“In the past two years, Sentinel by SCC has delivered 100% availability. The references, site visit and stakeholder interviews confirmed that SCC’s culture of customer service was a good fit for this contract and matches the culture and aspiration of Oxford City Council.”
Kelvin Ayre, practice manager for Sentinel by SCC, added: “As government changes, so does the shape of city councils – resulting in the need for a solution that is flexible, scalable and cost-effective.
“That’s exactly why we’re seeing so much success with Sentinel, and we look forward to a successful, long-term partnership with Oxford City Council,” Ayre concluded.