March 15, 2012 By Steve Towns
The Texas Department of Information Resources (DIR) this week signed a series of multiyear contracts for data center services, replacing an outsourcing deal with IBM that was effectively terminated by the state in 2010.
The state awarded an eight-year contract to ACS State and Local Solutions for infrastructure services, including mainframe, servers, networks and data center operations. Under the deal, worth approximately $1.1 billion, ACS will consolidate state agency servers into two state data centers, and focus on improving services and stabilizing the IT environment, according to a statement released by the DIR.
Capgemini North America will act as a services integrator under another six-year, $127 million contract that includes service level management, service desk support, project management, IT security, business continuity and other tasks. A third contract, for six years and worth $56 million, was awarded to Xerox Corp. for bulk printing and mailing services.
The contracts will provide data center services to 28 state agencies, including the Texas Health and Human Services Commission, Department of Transportation, Department of Criminal Justice and the Texas Education Agency. All three contractors already have begun transition activities and operational services under the new contracts will start in July, according to the DIR.
Texas officials say the new data center services contracts offer better flexibility, allowing state agencies to adjust services to fit their needs and manage costs. “We have been working with our customer agency partners to develop a new service delivery model,” said Texas CIO Karen Robinson. “DIR is excited about the future of IT infrastructure services in Texas.”
Robinson announced in 2010 that the state would rebid its massive data center services contract with IBM, which had struggled for several years to move state agency servers into two new consolidated data center facilities. At that time, DIR officials said they likely would break up the comprehensive IBM deal into smaller pieces and award them to multiple vendors.
The new data center services contract with ACS gives the state stronger tools to enforce contract provisions and escalating financial penalties for non-performance, according to the DIR. Capgemini will function as an independent third party responsible for ensuring that services are delivered as promised, the agency added.
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