United Networks outsources bulk of IT

United Networks has outsourced its PC LAN support, desktop support, helpdesk, training and operations functions to a partnership of Hitachi, Axon and Theta Systems.

United Networks has outsourced its PC LAN support, desktop support, helpdesk, training and operations functions to a partnership of Hitachi, Axon and Theta Systems.

It’s a move information boss John Hert says will keep costs at present levels but provide more service.

“We’re in a growth phase and we want the business to be flexible and fast.”

The ability to provide 24-hour, seven-day-a-week support without taking on extra staff was one reason for the move, Hert says.

The outsourcing deal also involves leasing all the electricity line company hardware — including several mainframes and 300 desktops — with the outsourcing partnership deciding what gets used.

“In a sense, it’s giving up our our need to debate the merits of different hardware; they can provide all that.”

Hert says he would “rather not say” how many staff lost jobs, but “we’re hoping all the affected staff will find work, some with [the outsourcing partnership] and others outside.”

The outsourcing arrangement became effective on January 1.

Several major New Zealand companies signed outsourcing deals last year, including the former Clear Communications, Vodafone and ACC (all with Unisys).

Analyst firm IDC predicts that worldwide, outsourcing will total $US100 billion by 2005, with 20% annual growth in the Asia-Pacific region during that time.

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