Siemens tendering European data centres, IT networks

Germany’s Siemens AG is seeking a partner to run a consolidated network of European data centres and IT networks outside Germany in a move to lower operating costs.

The German electronics and engineering giant aims to implement a strategy it has already executed in Germany and the U.S.; namely, to reduce the number of data centres and networks it operates and to take advantage of competition among IT service providers to lower operating costs and improve business processes, said Siemens spokesman Peter Gottal.

Siemens plans to award the outsourcing contract early next year, Gottal said, but declined to provide financial details, saying only that the contract will be “in the millions, not billions.”

The company presently spends between 3 billion euros (CDN$4.6 billion) and 4 billion euros per year on IT infrastructure services worldwide, according to Gottal.

The goal, he said, is “to consolidate our entire IT operations across Europe and to have someone manage these operations in the most cost-efficient way.”

Currently, the company’s wholly owned IT services subsidiary, Siemens Business Services GmbH & Co. OHG (SBS) in Munich, is responsible for managing the group’s data centres and networks in Europe.

In Europe, SBS competes against IBM Corp., Electronic Data Systems Corp. and T-Systems International GmbH, among others. And these rivals, facing one of the sectors worst downturns, are hungrier than ever for new business.

Established in 1996, SBS began with one customer, Siemens, and one service, operating the group’s data centres worldwide. Today, Siemens accounts for 27 per cent of the IT service provider’s