RealTime IT News

Accenture, CSC Tally Multi-Billion U.K. Deals

When it comes to outsourcing IT services, you'll find no greater advocate than the United Kingdom.

In recent weeks, government agencies have awarded a slew of multi-year, multi-billion-dollar contracts to design, manage and integrate computer systems.

The latest is the U.K. National Health Service, which today signed two deals totaling $3.35 billion to groups led by Computer Sciences Corp. and Accenture . The deals run until 2013.

Both firms will develop and manage patient care record systems to improve data sharing among NHS' doctors, nurses and administrators. Other features will include electronic appointment booking and prescription transmission.

The work will be divided geographically -- CSC in the west and northwest, Accenture in the eastern region of England.

For Accenture, the deal is worth about $1.65 billion and mirrors a $1.9 billion NHS contract it recently won for the northeast England.

"We will be adding jobs in England as a result of this, but the exact number hasn't been determined," Accenture spokeswoman Stacey Jones told internetnews.com. The consulting and IT management company currently has about 8,000 workers in the United Kingdom.

Because of contractual agreements, Accenture won't disclose its subcontracts for the project, Jones said.

A CSC spokesman was not immediately available for comment.

In a statement, CSC CEO Van B. Honeycutt said, the firm will rely on its "experience in health care and providing IT services to public sector organizations to deliver the results the NHS is seeking."

The El Segundo, Calif., company's portion of the deal comes to about $1.7 billion. Its subcontractors include: Hedra, a public sector consultant; iSOFT, a software developer; and SCC, a provider of infrastructure and desktop management services.

In February, the NHS announced the project and nearly 100 companies responded. Since then, the list was been pared down based on the companies strengths and suitability.

In addition to CSC and Accenture, British Telecom will handle the NHS system in greater London. One more regional NHS contract remains. The deal, for the southern region of England, is expected to be announced next month, according to NHS.

Another large public sector deal is also about to be awarded. The government is evaluating vendors for a 10-year, $7 billion contract to integrate and maintain computer systems for the Ministry of Defense (MoD).

Although the winner of the MoD deal won't be announced until late next year or early 2005, an IBM spokesman confirmed that the Armonk, N.Y., IT giant has been eliminated.