BT has confirmed that it is to partner with Computer Sciences (CSC) and SchlumbergerSema to bid for the massive £4bn Inland Revenue outsourcing contract.
In June last year, BT's Syntegra services arm was chosen as one of three bidders invited to submit a tender for the running of the Revenue's IT systems.
The group will be known as the Fusion Alliance. BT will provide the telecoms expertise, while CSC and SchlumbergerSema will contribute their experience of huge projects and government deals.
EDS and Accenture, which currently has the contract, and Cap Gemini Ernst & Young also made the Inland Revenue shortlist. Speculation suggests that it will be hard to dislodge the EDS and Accenture partnership from the contract.
Analsysts Ovum Holway have said instances of an incumbent being unseated from such outsourcing contracts were "as rare as hens teeth".
The deal will cover 73,000 desktops, 200 systems, 20 ICL mainframes and 177 IBM and Hewlett Packard Unix boxes. Another contract currently held by Accenture is also part of the deal.
The successful bidders are expected to start running the operation from April 2004, and the contract could run for 18 years.
The deadline for submitting bids is 14 March 2003, with the final decision expected by December.
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