Cable & Wireless has been awarded a Public Sector Network (PSN) contract by the government to supply tools including email, web hosting, applications and intranet services across central and local departments.
The contract will provide a shared platform for 400 local authorities and 180 central government bodies, while 43 police forces and various health groups will be able to access the Applications Resource Centre (ARC) for cloud-hosted services.
C&W did not reveal any financial details of the contract, but the company expects the system to eventually carry over 100 million emails a month and be used by six million public sector workers.
It will also allow small and medium IT enterprises to sell applications for shared services across government on through the ARC, according to C&W, as Whitehall continues to look for ways to increase the use of SMEs for IT services.
The framework will last for two years with the option of a two-year extension, and is designed to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of IT systems used by the government for day-to-day interactions with citizens and businesses.
Kenny Robertson, the government's PSN delivery director, claimed that the deal has numerous benefits and will improve the work of government departments at all levels.
"This is about creating a secure, inclusive, efficient and cost-effective framework that maintains business continuity for Government Secure Intranet customers and converges communications across government to the PSN," he said.
"We are looking forward to working with C&W to enhance the services we offer, and drive value for money as more government departments and local authorities come onboard."
Cabinet Office executive director Chris Chant added that he is confident the new framework will reduce the government's spending on IT services.
"I am optimistic about the future and how the PSN will enable us to deliver better IT services for a massive reduction in end cost to government, and I think we can make a huge contribution in doing that through cloud services," he said.
The news follows the announcement on Tuesday that the government has begun tendering for various telecoms services worth up to £3bn under another PSN framework that already contains over 100 potential suppliers.
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