Skills Funding Agency awards £35 million deal to BAE Systems AI

The Skills Funding Agency (SFA) has awarded a five-year £35 million contract for service integration and management (SIAM) to BAE Systems Applied Intelligence (AI).

The company will be responsible for supporting the delivery of the agency’s end-to-end ICT services across its entire national infrastructure.

It will also support SFA as it replaces its single outsourced IT contract with Capgemini by splitting it into a number of contracts with different suppliers for a range of services, including end user computing, networks, hosting and application management.

The services BAE Systems AI provides will act as a top layer bringing these various services and suppliers.

In a statement the firm explained that its role will be “to oversee the delivery of all the outsourced IT service providers, ensuring that services are delivered in a high quality, timely and cost effective manner and that they are properly integrated to ensure that the Agency and its end users benefit from seamless networks and platforms.”

The contract was signed via a framework open to all government departments which was set up by the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) when it awarded a £40 million deal to BAE Systems AI to act as its SIAM provider last year.

BAE Systems AI also won a £7.5 million contract to provide SIAM services to the Highways Agency last month.

The company beat Lockheed Martin and encumbent supplier Capgemini to win the contract with SFA, although Capgemini is understood to be bidding to provide the agency’s applications services.

The SFA’s chief operating officer Paul McGuire said: “The Agency is currently re-configuring the service and supply arrangements of its ICT services into a number of separate contracts.

“BAE Systems AI will, in its role as SMI provider, act as the coordinating partner for all of these ICT Services, which will enable the Agency to work in an agile way and react to rapid changes within the FE and skills sector.”

Georgina O’Toole, research director at TechMarketView, said that recent IT issues at the business and energy departments demonstrate the importance of the SIAM role within departments.

Writing in the firm’s news digest, she said: “This highlights how important it is to get define the SIAM role appropriately, particularly in the balancing risk and responsibility between the internal IT department and the SIAM supplier. At BIS and DECC, the SIAM appears to be very ‘thin’ with the departments themselves bolstering their own IT management capability alongside.

“Over the longer-term, we understand that UK Government intends to increase its own internal SIAM capabilities and forego the need for the role to be externalised. Only time will tell.”

Copyright © 2014 IDG Communications, Inc.

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