Energy giant Centrica, the parent company of British Gas, has awarded IT services provider Fujitsu a contract to manage 25,000 desktop PCs.
Under the five-year deal, Fujistu will transform the company’s desktop infrastructure, improving performance and introducing "the latest e-mail and instant messaging solutions", it said in a statement. It will also allow for "increased usage of virtual clients and mobile devices".
Fujitsu said that components of the deal will be based on its ‘infrastructure as a service’ offering, allowing Centrica to scale its usage up and down according to demand. This echoes another outsourcing deal signed by Centrica earlier this year – a £250 million data centre hosting contract with Hewlett-Packard, which is based in part on HP’s utility services platform.
With governments cracking down on carbon emissions, Smart Grid technology poised to revolutionise energy infrastructure and upheaval in the Middle East threatening to impact oil prices, the energy industry is facing unprecedented uncertainty.
That is reflected in Centrica’s appetite for IT services engagements that allow it scale usage both up and down, although David Bickerton, Centrica’s group CIO, said in a statement that the Fujistu deal would support the company as "it grows both organically and through acquisition".
A number of other energy companies have also announced large outsourcing deals in recent months, including E.ON, BP, Shell and National Grid plc, which is currently revamping its IT operating model to allow for greater flexibility.
Today’s news follows the Department of Work and Pension’s recent decision to drop Fujistu from a much larger desktop management outsourcing deal. Fujitsu was supposed to deliver 140,000 virtualised desktops under a six year, £300 million contract, but the project was ditched last month. No official explanation was given, though reports claimed that Fujitsu had already missed project deadlines.