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back to article HP loses massive DWP contract

HP has lost one of its largest outsourced IT contracts from the British government to rival Fujitsu Services. The Department of Work and Pensions today confirmed to The Register it had appointed Fujitsu Services as the preferred bidder to take over its huge desktop contract from 31 August. A DWP spokeswoman declined to reveal …

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WTF?

Thanks for that Daily Mail response

I've worked on quite a few large projects inside and outside of government and I'd say it was fairly rare to find a large one that comes in on time and budget.

There are a number of perennial problems that crop up time and time again.

- If the project runs long enough there may be a technology shift that makes the original solution obsolete, so you need to decide to either put the obsolete solution in or re-engineer. Obsolete solutions often need specially written and expensive support contracts, re-engineering can mean starting the project almost from scratch. For example, if you'd spent six years working on a solution based around using a Palm Pilot in the field would you go live with it in say three months time?

- Inside government owned projects there is often a lot of politics leading to whole departments not talking to each other. I remember a chap who didn't get on with the head of Data Processing (what would now be the IT dept) and so developed an entire service without once asking about supportability or existing standards. The entire project was scrapped within 8 months of going live.

- Customers often don't know what they really want until the project is well underway. Some changes can be swept under the carpet, but many cost money to implement; if you picked the wrong colour for a new car you could probably get it changed at no cost as long as you catch them early enough, but if you order a Mondeo and then ask for a Bentley just before you take delivery then you might find a change in both budget and timescales.

There are no simple solutions, there's too much politics in government circles and too much profiteering in private ones.

In addition to all of that, we have no concrete figures for non-government IT projects. I can't see someone like Starbucks releasing a report that says "We put in a new system, but it was 6 months late, cost twice as much as planned and still doesn't work", so there is nothing to measure against.

Looking at NAO press releases, they say that the NIRS2 contract provides good value for money and that the original contract failed to provide sufficient flexibility to allow for 1998 legislation changes and so had to be re-negotiated at additional cost.

For the CSA their conclusion was that the system was poorly specified, designed and implemented, but that the legislation was also unduly complex. So, I don't think all of the blame can be placed at EDS' door.

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Anonymous Coward

What happens when your Outsource 'partner' sells hardware / softeware...

Is they sometimes (always!) focus on making sure that whatever 'solution' is proposed has as much of their hardware / software offerings as possible. Eventually, the customer realises this (this can take years however) and at contract renewal time decide to select a 'partner' where this is less likely to happen. Sometimes.

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Tough times ahead...

I can't see this making much difference. The major problem with Government IT is micro-management from the client. I've worked with 3 arms of the UK Government: the old Inland Revenue, DWP and MoD. Until 2001, we were left largely alone then, probably because Blair rightly thought he was unbeatable, his administration started interfering and telling us how to do our jobs.

I am so glad I'm out of both the UK Government and, for that matter, the UK - I now live in Germany.

I hope all goes well for the staff being transitioned. By law, they can't be made redundant straight away under TUPE. I think there's a limit of a year.

Time to polish up that CV in any event.

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Anonymous Coward

RE: TUPE

"I bet most of the HP/EDS staff get TUPE'd over to Fujitsu Services. If so it will be little more than a case of rearranging the deck chairs!"

Actually it is much better than that, HP will only TUPE over the staff they want to TUPE over (within the framework rules of course). So Fujitsu will actually be getting all the people HP no longer want.

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Grenade

Good news

As an ex EDS now HP staffer working in the Blackpool area on the DWP contract (although not in hosting) maybe this will give management (who are the reason for all the cock-ups) the bih kick in the pants that they need - and maybe get rid of a few levels of dead weight that we have been carrying around.

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TUPE anyone?

As I beleive that is what will apply. However if Fujitsu are laying off staff how that will work is an other matter.

Basically same staff, same middle managers, different upper management.

Result?

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FAIL

Let's Face It...

...the sooner these monkeys get out of the IT business and wasting our tax money the better. Working for one of these body shops and calling yourself an IT professional is like working at McDonald's and calling yourself a chef.

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WTF?

Proof

another post that proves the main use of the internet is for retards to publish their inconsequential opinion and all this from a self confessed cowboy.

The truth is you have quality staff doing a quality job being throttled by worthless management

If anyone on here believes its down to anything but cashflow then you need to wake up

Roll on the apocalypse

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WTF?

Fujitsu!? - not with a sh!tty stick

Not a good move. Worst desktop & people management I have ever encountered.

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FAIL

ICL

I was working for ICL, before they became Fujitsu, when they were bidding against EDS for the original big DWP contract. We lost because our solution was too innovative and EDS was the "safe option".

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All the eggs in one basket

The DWP gave the contract to Fujitsu because it doesn't want to give all the contracts to HP. If EDS were still its own company, they would have got it. Now they're branded with the printer maker's name, they've lost out.

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Anonymous Coward

Serves you right Hurd

Working for a company which isn't run by a corporate criminal like Hurd is nothin but good news to me.

What are the chances he'll bail now he's milked the company for a ridiculously large bonus?

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Anonymous Coward

@jeremy 3

Hmmm Fujitsu staff too willing to strike, it's taken over 10 years of below inflation pay rises, killing the final salaries pension scheme and 1200 redundancies to provoke a strike.

Why don't you go back to reading the Daily Telegraph (or is it the Daily Mail) and check your facts while you are at it.

If the Fujitsu staff took a leaf out of the French book it would be burning barricades rather than standing peacefully with placards in the snow.

Every large company has it's share of wasters, inept and generally crap staff, sometimes they are all corralled in one particular site, sometimes on one contract.

You wouldn't want to tar everybody with the one brush would you?

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Public Sector Contracts

I've been involved on a number of public sector projects over the last 15 years for 3 different organisations. Some have gone very well, including my current project, and some didn't. However, there is certain things that connects them all (OK not all of them but more often than not) and that's getting the client to:

a) actually agree what the requirements are

b) not change their minds a long way into the project and still expect the same go-live date depsite the change requiring a fundamental change to the design(usually because a minister has announced it in parliament)

Now I've also worked on private sector when this sort of this happens but in the public sector, no-one is willing to take responsibility for anything. Again I'll contradict myself, I did work on a veru large project where the requirements were very well documented and "set in stone". That meant that even when the requirement didn't actually make sense no-ne was willing to accept that fact. What's more I've even had requirements that described the expected solution rather than the business requirement. Again, despite the client agreeing that was the case, they still wouldn't agree to a change. Jobsworth? Oh yes.

So sometimes it's not surprising that very large projects go tits-up as the client often hasn't the faintest idea what they really want and change their minds all the time. Not excusing the contractors, senior management just see the billing as "a good thing" rather than actually trying to manage the client.

I'm way down the food chain (so far in fact that I actually do the work) and am always happy to argue my case, both internally and with the client. I'm here to do a good job for the client and provide what they need, rather than what they ask for. But it isn't always easy ...

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Anonymous Coward

Have to agree

Having just finished a public sector project I couldn't agree with you more (have to be anon for this)

You get a design hammered out and agreed to. Great wheres the problem

Then for the next 2 years everyone and their dog in the public sector becomes an expert and insist on many many (usually unnecessary) changes. Thy say "WE OWN YOU BITCH!"

This continues until the original project bares no resemblance to the original project.

.

At some point a new public body is included in the project despite their requirements having absolutely relationship to the project.

The business managers sing "the customer knows best" after all if the project moves to another company after completion they will be transferring to the new company.

Eventually the project mutates into something fuzzy that cant carry out the original task with the customer insists is what they really want.

3 months before go live the customer is dragged kicking and screaming to the final testing stage (they don't like actually having to do anything, the staff want the old (or no) system and the customer don't want to pay their own staff for "playing" with then new system).

Oops the system doesn't fulfill the original spec and the whole damn thing is late.

The public sector is not fit to have a calculator never mind a shared laptop they really are the worst type of customer

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Good

It was inevitable. The greed and arrogance at 'HP Enterprise Services' is sickening. The DWP must have seen the risk and probably Fujitsu were cheaper. Also it probably helps civil servants justifying their jobs as the landscape just got more complicated.

There will be more redundancies at HP and the tuped Fujitsu staff because of this, but most want redundancy as they are fed up with the false promises.

Mark Hurd this is YOUR fault.

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Grenade

It's Fujitsu these days not "Fujitsu Services"

The contracts swap around the main suppliers every few years.

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FAIL

No it isn't

Type your comment here — plain text only, no HTML

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Terminator

Let's hope the shit goes and the good stay.

Having worked with the desktop guys in Lytham I personally know most of the support/engineers and they are second to none in doing the job they do. Especially given the circumstances they have to deal with working for a company that values nothing but the share price.

All the planks posting about how bad HP/EDS are should actually get down from the fluffy white clouds they live on and try working with a government client.

Oh and for the plank posting about deskside techies in jobcentres newsflash they are Dwp staff not HP staff.

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Was it worth it?

So, months of blindly getting rid of staff, saying publically that "HP doesn't care about the service, all we care about are the numbers" and basically treating EDS staff like sh!t has backfired and you've lost a MAJOR contract.

I wonder, was it worth losing $4bn+ of revenue? Was it worth the bad publicity?

I doubt it.

Why are they allowing these HP idiots to destroy a reasonable company (EDS)?

These are the people who failed to break into the Services industry because their "Sales-Centric" philosophies simply don't work in the service industry.

Time to hit CWJobs.

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Anonymous Coward

Poor Ex EDS'rs

The DWP announcement is a farce and purely a political decision. The former staff at EDS have had 3 yrs of hell.

When Rittenmeyer and his cronies decided they'd sell up, they decided a cull. All contractors with fast experience were soon gone. Soon after a massive redundancies followed and Desktop Tower took a hit early to keep ahead of the game. Once Rittenmeyer decided to sell out he'd made EDS a attractive option. Big contracts with low staff levels. His propaganda of how the 'MERGER' would benefit everyone was a joke. He soon vanished into the thin air leaving all the EDS staff in a position of no pay rises, no training, no moral, no staff. Therefore effectively taking a pay cut due to inflation and working extra hrs for no added benefit. Then Mark Hurd arrived..... more redundancies, even less training, pay reductions and pay freezes.

So every person at HP who are ex EDS have effectively worked for 5 yrs in a down hill mode.

Back to current developments. Desktop Tower have probably been to good for their good. They are one of the best performing tower in terms of making money for HP. And also the service they provide to DWP, there are very few issues to report and compared to many areas the processes are smooth and efficient.

Unfortunately for the HP Desktop staff DWP possibly correctly have made a example of HP and their bullying tactics.

Many people may feel they have worked hard for very little reward therefore a change of employer may not be the worst news in the word

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Megaphone

RIP EDS

After more than 25 years in IT and communications and 10 with EDS its disappointing to see all the hard work and effort the poorly paid EDS’ers have put in go down the drain due to the HP acquisition. I agree with many of the comments about some poor deliveries but EDS has also achieved some great accolades and is no different to IBM Fujitsui and all the others in poor contract delivery in some cases. Im not surprised EDS lost this contract as the HP bean counters steered by Mark Hurd had no structure in there execution of headcount reduction letting good people go without even proper handovers. It was also obvious HP had no idea about service contacts and Mr Hurds bias to his tin shifters was very obvious from the outset. Shame on you Mark Hurd maybe you should loose your job too.

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