Saskatchewan success rests with IT consolidation

Saskatchewan is taking strides to solidify a strong future inIT.

The provincial government’s Information Technology Office (ITO)recently signed a three year, $14.5 million contract with Toronto,Ont.-based Lenovo Canada, providing province-wide consolidationamong 16 government departments.

More than 12,000 desktops and notebooks will be deployed tovarious government sectors using services from ITO.

“The leasing agreement aims to provide interoperability betweengovernment sectors and to revamp IT systems within the province,”said Rory Norton, assistant deputy minister of operations, ITO. “Wewere looking for a company to provide consolidation services,reliable supply support, solid deployment tools and securitypieces, particularly for laptops.”

Leasing operations and the recycling of equipment were otherfactors Norton highlighted as part of the decision-makingprocess.

A component to the agreement is the refurbishment of existingequipment, by Regina, Sask.-based Morning Star Technologies, andlocal offices of NexInnovations will host product and servicedelivery for all leased equipment.

“NexInnovations is going to be providing all of the projectmanagement and technology deployment in addition to providingservice and hardware support,” said David Yee, national salesmanager, Lenovo.

Public impact will be an estimated savings of $1.8 to $3.6million for taxpayers, according to Lenovo.

Government and Morning Star representatives agree that thebusiness deal will provide some wallet relief. The volume ofdesktops and notebooks resulted in some discounts, according toYee.

Time and money will be saved because of the efficient flow ofinformation between the government and citizen, explainedNorton.

Another cost-cutting feature is that recycling computers will bedone in-province, said Dwayne Hnatiw, vice president, corporatedevelopment, Morning Star. Shipping costs incurred by moving oldequipment to the current recycling centre in Ontario would beeliminated.

Expanding the development of IT in government will also resultin increased job opportunities at Morning Star.

“Three to four rotating positions will open up during the startof the contract, and increase to 13 to 14 jobs annually,” saidHnatiw. “In the long term, we want to create careers for peoplewith entry level position opportunities. It would help build ourstaffing levels and increase homegrown technology.”

Norton is pleased with ITO’s decision, noting the organization’smajor competitors were Dell and HP. Although the contract was alarge venture, he said the budget used to jumpstart the deal waslow.

“As a provincial objective, the $3 million capital was seedmoney,” said Norton. “We needed to make deals like this one whichallow us to consolidate and bring everyone’s infrastructure andservice levels up.”

In addition to the 16 existing government departments ready toconsolidate, four more are scheduled on board by March 2007.

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