Telecom plans huge IT upgrade

Telecom is expected to spend tens of millions of dollars over the next few years upgrading or outsourcing its desktop and LAN infrastructure, or a mixture of both. The company is currently talking to suppliers with a view to developing a request for proposal. Under one scenario, Telecom would look to replace 2000 of its 10,000 PCs each year for the next few years. At current prices, that could involve expenditure of around $6 million a year on hardware. Telecom is also looking at upgrading its network printer base.

Telecom is expected to spend tens of millions of dollars over the next few years upgrading or outsourcing its desktop and LAN infrastructure, or a mixture of both.

The company is currently talking to suppliers with a view to developing a request for proposal. Based on what it learns from the suppliers, Telecom will be able to measure what they can offer across a standard base. From the suppliers’ point of view, it’s a good deal because they won’t have to go through the expense of responding to a request for information. Computerworld understands that, under one scenario, Telecom would look to replace 2000 of its 10,000 PCs each year for the next few years. At current prices, that could involve expenditure of around $6 million a year on hardware. Telecom is also looking at upgrading its network printer base.

EDS -— which refuses to comment — has formed a partnership with Andersens to try to get a total Telecom-wide sign-off. However, there’s a view within Telecom that the telco shouldn’t move to global purchasing when it has the opportunity to outsource the desktop.

IBM is understood to be ready to do a similar deal, and to provide financing under a leaseback arrangement, which the EDS-Andersen consortium would also offer.

Computerland, Wang and CSC already occupy various PC supply niches within Telecom. To be competitive, they may have to get into consortia.

One source suggests Telecom could spend up to $120 million by the turn of the century on the project, including fixing some year 2000 problems.

Newly appointed corporate information services general manager Karyn Devonshire is working on corporate strategy. This, says Telecom, involves consulting with a number of specialist businesses and looking at the market in general to see what options other companies are using and what trends are leading the development of the market.

Both in-house and outsourcing options are being examined as part of the review, which is taking place over the next three months.

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