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BBC to publish details of £560m enterprise ICT and hosting tender

Broadcaster seeks single supplier for IT provisioning, cloud management and hosting services, as Atos outsourcing deal nears end

The BBC will publish an enterprise ICT and hosting services tender worth up to £560m later this month, as it prepares for the end of its longstanding IT outsourcing deal with Atos in 2017.

The broadcaster briefly outlined details of its plans in a prior information notice (PIN) published on 31 March, which states that a single supplier is being sought to provide a range of services for between five and eight years.

The services the BBC is seeking span cloud and applications management, hosting, fixed-line telephony, unified communications, and hardware and software provisioning.

As part of the tender process, the BBC is inviting prospective suppliers to an event on 18 April, ahead of the tender’s formal publication later this month. Interested parties have until 11 April to register for it.

The tender is a continuation of the BBC’s push for a multi-sourced approach to technology procurement, instead of relying on integrator Atos to provide its in-house IT services.

The 10-year Atos deal was signed in 2014, when Computer Weekly reported on the organisation’s plans to supersede the arrangement through the roll-out of its Aurora Programme.

This would see the corporation scrap its single-supplier deal with Atos in favour of a “tower model” with similar IT functions grouped together into smaller, individual deals.

As part of this model, the BBC awarded BT a seven-year, £100m deal to supply a broadcast network in January 2016, which is set to go live in April 2017.

Read more about the BBC and IT

To manage the move from Atos, the BBC has factored in a two-year migration window – from 2015 to 2017 – at an estimated cost of £285m.

“The BBC, through its Aurora Programme, is planning to undertake a procurement process for the provision of a range of enterprise ICT and hosting services,” the PIN document said.

“The BBC is implementing a ‘tower model’ co-ordinated by an internal service operation management (SOM) organisation.

“The successful supplier shall be expected to co-operate with the BBC, its commercial and service management functions and the BBC’s other suppliers in this tower model and across the organisation.”

Read more on IT outsourcing

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