Computacenter has extended its flagship IT services deal with BT Group to supply and manage its desktop infrastructure.
The deal replaces an existing five-year contract due to expire at the end of this month, which was worth around 30m pounds ($59m) annually to Computacenter.
The scope and coverage of the relationship has expanded from being UK only, to covering 112,000 PCs and laptops across 54 countries, and the latest iteration also includes asset ownership. Computacenter will support BT’s international operation from a centralized helpdesk, but will use partner companies to handle onsite support in countries where it doesn’t have a presence.
Computacenter did not disclose the size of the new deal but said that it is the largest services contract it has ever won, which would value it more than the 150m pounds ($294m) total of its previous BT deal.
Investors had been concerned that the company might not secure an extension in the face of tough competition – believed to include BT’s alliance partner HP Services – and Computacenter chief executive Mike Norris told Computer Business Review that there had been a shortlist of four suppliers in the final shake-up.
One of the key features of the new contract is that Computacenter will buy back most of BT’s desktop and laptop estate, and lease it back to them at a fixed monthly rate. Norris said: We do use this model with other clients, but it tends to more around servers, storage and data center equipment, rather than desktops.
Computacenter will offer BT a menu of desktop models and services, reflecting the broader industry trend towards standardized desktop management services. Norris said: BT’s desktops are no longer their asset, they are Computacenter’s asset, and this drives them to be used and purchased more like a telephone. BT is now buying a service, not a handset.
There has been a lot of debate over whether desktops can be commoditized to the extent of the telephone under large managed services deals, as the computing needs of the various departments and divisions within major organizations differ so much. Norris agrees that trying to impose a one-size-fits-all desktop within a big multinational company would be problematic.
He said: We have worked with the BT desktop estate for more than 13 years, so we know what we are dealing with. It is not like we are going from a situation where BT could buy whatever assets and services it wanted, to a completely standardized environment. BT’s estate has matured a lot over the last five years. I think it would be very difficult to get a company to change from a decentralized desktop infrastructure to a standard one in a single step.