The government has selected Capgemini to upgrade the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems, awarding the multinational IT corporation with a contact worth £6.3m.
The two-year deal, which will run until it's re-tendered at the end of 2015, will see Capgemini support the upgrade of ERP systems that manage finance, procurement, projects, HR and payroll functions at the FCO.
It marks a continuation of longstanding cooperation between Capgemini and the FCO, with the IT solutions provider naturally pleased to have secured more business.
"We are pleased to be continuing our work with the FCO. This new agreement will give the FCO a seamless upgrade to the latest software versions and excellent value for money, with the support of a leaner and more flexible team," said Chris Gravestock, account director FCO for Capgemini
Tim Gardner, the FCO's corporate services centre director, also welcomed the deal.
"With the change in approach to service delivery, this new deal with Capgemini will allow us to make significant cost savings, while ensuring systems continue to support a large number of government departments that reside on the overseas platform provided by the FCO," he said.
With a value of £6.3m, the deal represents the biggest of its kind since the government introduced the third iteration of the G-Cloud framework. The idea behind G-Cloud, as set out by The Cabinet Office, is to deliver procurement of public-sector IT services in a flexible and agile manner in order to support the specific activities of government.
One of the key messages espoused about G-Cloud by the Cabinet Office is that the system opens up more government business opportunities to SMEs.
However, with the FCO ERP contract being handed to Capgemini - a multinational to which the government hands large numbers of high value contracts - questions will be asked whether G-Cloud really has had any effect on the "oligopoly" of IT solutions providers to the public sector.