British Columbia has signed a 10-year, Can$300 million outsourcing agreement with IBM that the government says will enhance the province’s IT operations and services.

Announcing the deal, a B.C. Ministry of Management Services release calls it “one of several key projects…(that) uses the private sector to transform and improve government’s service delivery when it makes business sense to do so.”

It says the province will realize financial benefits in the range of $80 million over the life of the contract.

According to the ministry release, IBM Canada — as the government’s new provider of corporate IT services — will:

* Provide the up-to-date, standardized technology and tools that enable staff to get work done efficiently;

* Ensure consistent, timely renewal of desktop hardware and software. All employees will receive new workstations within the first two years and approximately every three years thereafter;

* Provide a single point of contact for helpdesk support, which will manage all workstation incidents on a 24/7 basis;

* Improve service reporting with clearer, more consistent agreements for ministries.