National Air Traffic Services (NATS) has handed over the running of its PC business systems to Sema Group in a contract believed to be worth around #20 million.
The contract includes the management of NATS' 3,000 PCs, the installation of a new server environment and the assessment of business applications, mainly Microsoft software. Sema will also provide a helpdesk facility for NATS' 4,500 end-users.
The contract is initially for four years, but could be extended for up to a further six years. It covers 18 UK airports and administrative centres.
Previously, management of NATS' (a wholly owned subsidiary of the Civil Aviation Authority) business systems was mainly carried out in-house.
The first phase of the application assessment programme will involve standardising NATS' hardware server environment on Windows NT. NATS is migrating to Microsoft's Wolfpack NT clustering technology and plans to complete installation of 37 clusters, each comprising three servers, by the end of the year.
NATS uses a range of Apricot and Compaq servers in a number of local area networks (LANs). Sema said the intention was to standardise on Compaq.
Commenting on the deal, Derek McLauchlan, chief executive of NATS, said: "Our objectives include reducing the cost of IT, improving the service delivery and achieving a better alignment of IT and business objectives. Sema won our business because it has demonstrated an excellent customer oriented approach to IT service management combined with cost-effective solutions."
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