Thames Water is to outsource its IT management to Siemens Nixdorf in a deal worth #33 million. The outsourcing contract is believed to be one of the biggest ever handed out in the UK by a privatised utility. Under the initial three-year contract Siemens Nixdorf will provide management support and maintenance to Thames Water's Cisco wide area network, more than 100 Novell LANs and 6,500 PCs - most of them from IBM. No jobs will be lost in the deal, according to Rob Noble, head of information systems at Thames Water. Only 30 of the company's 240 in-house IT staff will stay with Thames Water; the remainder will move to Siemens Nixdorf and other IT partners. A spokesman for Thames Water said the new contract gives the company greater breadth of experience and more resources than the previous in-house arrangements. He added that Siemens Nixdorf's expertise in network design and middleware would help Thames Water manage the increasing traffic on its networks. Neil Allpress, Siemens Nixdorf IT Service general manager, said the move reflects a trend across the utilities and other business sectors. "Thames Water wants to concentrate on its core business, which is providing for water customers across London, and avoid other areas, like developing and managing IT," he explained. Allpress anticipates that Siemens Nixdorf will help Thames Water in its restructucturing. "We will be involved from the consultancy stage through to implementation, support and management," he said.
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