HP Services guns for government

Not content with the announcement of a $50million IT services and infrastructure deal with Woodside Energy, fledgling IT services outsourcer Hewlett-Packard (HP) has revealed it will gun hard for the public sector in the wake of the break up of large cluster agreements.

Vice president for HP technology solutions South Pacific, Pathy Pathmanaban told Computerworld HP intends to at least double its services presence in government over the next 12 months and will make no apologies for the company's cherry-picking approach to services deals.

"[HP's strategy is to] pick and choose the verticals and industries we want to be in. We want to come up as best of breed rather than [like] an IBM that tries to be all things to all people," Pathmanaban said, adding that HP also aims to grow its managed services across the board by around 50 percent year-on-year.

The ambitious figure dwarfs the already chipper growth estimates of 4 to 5 percent in IT services tipped by most analyst firms. However, Pathmanaban maintained such a figure remains tangible as most public sector agencies split costly mega deals into more manageable chunks.

"Government bodies are disaggregating. That's going to give us leverage. They are going for best of breed [services] rather than the big-bang approach," Pathmanaban said, adding that achieving such ambitious targets will come from continued local investment in distinct geographic and jurisdictional areas, including government.

"Rather than looking at Australia as one country, we look at it as seven states. It can be parochial. As much as countries are parochial, states are even more parochial. Our approach is to support the local environment [but] we balance and manage that," Pathmanaban said - pointing to the company's heavy investments in its revamped Perth data centre and its 80-person Non-Stop (nee Tandem) research and development facility in Adelaide.

HP's homegrown rival lures staff

Perth-based outsourcing company the ASG Group has scoffed at HP's ambitious claims to win public sector contracts pointing out that the company has lost its principal staffers in recent months. HP's former sales director Jega Rajan recently left to become ASG's chief sales and marketing officer with almost half of HP's remaining business development team following him. ASG customers include utility company Alinta, the WA Department of Health, and retail giant David Jones.

ASG is currently utilising HP as a subcontractor to win a services tender with the Department of Finance and Administration (DoFA). ASG chief solutions officer Steve Tull said federal government agencies are moving along the selective outsourcing path and are "tired of multinationals". He said home grown service providers such as ASG are more nimble and suited to the current environment. HP recently pulled out of a Department of Defence tender leaving KAZ Computing the only contender for the multimillion dollar contract.