The B.C. government has signed a Can $300 million with IBM Canada to deliver and improve corporate IT services, Management Services.

The 10-year contract will standardize computer technology and enhance technical support received by the province, according to Management Services Minister Joyce Murray.

“This project is about better service for British Columbians,” Murray said. “It will keep government’s computer operations up-to-date and running in a smooth, businesslike manner.”

She said the deal would standardize IT support by harnessing the technological expertise for which IBM is recognized worldwide.

The agreement is one of several projects in B.C. that rely on the private sector to improve government’s service delivery.

According to Ministry of Management Services release, the Province will realize financial benefits in the range of $80 million over the life of the contract.

Over the past several years, government has outsourced mainframe support services to IBM. In some cases, contractors have also supplied workstation support. Under the new contract, IBM Canada, supported by its subsidiary ISM Canada, will deliver IT support services.

These include hardware supply, installation, maintenance and replacement, helpdesk and on-site support, desktop software and hardware management.

Two subcontractors, B.C.-based contractors, Tecnet and Microserve, will provide field support and asset management as part of the agreement. All service providers will adhere to B.C. statutes and regulations related to the protection of privacy and personal information.

Current employees have been offered jobs with ISM Canada and will have a wider range of career development opportunities with the new company. The BCGEU will represent the bargaining unit employees of ISM Canada. These employees will receive comparable compensation and benefits to those currently offered by the government.

By providing faster, standardized helpdesk and IT services support, the IBM solution for B.C will “generate savings from cost-effective, managed desktop operations,” according to Greg Gulyas, vice president, IBM Global Services, Canada.