back to article The two towers: Met Police to consolidate £500m worth of tech outsourcing deals

London's Metropolitan Police is to meet suppliers next week to discuss an overhaul of £500m worth of tech services contracts that will expire in the next two to three years. Under the auspices of the Pegasus Programme, the Met is to roll six Tower agreements into just two. The existing deals, signed between 2015 and 2017, …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Plods

    I would prefer to see 167 constables on the street, that would put the knife into external consultants.

    1. localzuk

      Re: Plods

      And what will those constables do when they get back to the station with a criminal and can't log them in because there's no IT system in place/up and running?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Plods

      The MPS outsourced their tech to the outsource wolves and took on far, far too many consultants in posh suits who are already looking for the next feast long before the current job is done. The MPS will continue to spav cash up the wall no matter what they do. They are institutionally incompetent when it comes to saving money on technology.

  2. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

    A wild guess

    The six towers will be collapsed into two:

    Let me guess, "service desk, network, hosting devices, cross-tower service management and tower service management" will go to Atos, and "productivity, user states, software, core apps, in-house apps, code apps, CPTS, and SaaS." to Crapita?

    and for £7m, will those consultants manage to write decent penalty clauses into the contracts, for non-performance? Somehow I doubt it.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: A wild guess

      "and for £7m, will those consultants manage to write decent penalty clauses into the contracts, for non-performance? Somehow I doubt it."

      It's outsourcing. Even if there are decent penalty clauses, the outsourcer will work out how to fudge the stats and deliver metric X within the accepted SLA while doing nothing more than opening and closing tickets. Possibly by automated scripts or staff with even less intelligence than automated scripts. And before anyone tries to defend the call centre staff, I'm referring to the Service Delivery people.

      And SLA's only work if the CUSTOMER is monitoring them independently and not relying on the outsourcer to mark their own homework.

      At which point you realise outsourcing doesn't save you as much as you first thought and management gets to decide between good and evil^H^H^H "good enough".

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: A wild guess

        At which point you realise the outsourcer is a crook and so roll all the services into a single contract.

        Realise that their is only one outfit big enough to contract for this and you are back with the same outsourcer for 10x the price

  3. steelpillow Silver badge
    Coat

    Lord of the Crims

    "But sire, a contract like that would take an army of thousands..."

    "Tens of thousands"

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The whole towers model is nuts IMO! It just paves the way for finger-pointing and shunting support tickets around to avoid anybody actually owning the problem.

    I seriously doubt that much will really change: Whichever of the usual suspects wins the new contracts will likely just back-off chunks of the work to the original providers - either that or they'll do nothing for a couple of years until it all goes titsup and they lose the contract.

    The shameful waste of pubic money on vastly overpriced purveyors of poor quality is saddening but apparently outsourcing saves lots of money.

    AC just because.

    1. $till$kint

      ESB is a tower

      And pretty much everything that happens in there is nuts.....

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Why do public services always make the same mistake and outsource to companies that have a crap track record of not delivering, going over budget and completely lied how much things will actually be during the tendering process?

    In the long run it's cheaper to have it in-house.

  6. hoola Silver badge

    The inevitable fiasco approaches

    As with everything that is Public Sector there are so many constraints around what you can and cannot do in the tendering process as well as the rules around the actual suppliers the entire process is a farce. It will end up costing more for a worse service BUT the pen pushes will be able to sleep easily at night knowing that every box has a tick in it.

    This is not the fault of the Police (or substitute any other public body) but rather the obsession with frameworks and endless regulation that is supposed to make procurement simpler and cheaper. At the end of the day the only winners are the handful of big resellers, out sourcing companies and consultants. The problem is that it is the in the interests of the suppliers to have these frameworks as they effectively make the buyer blind to pricing.

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The inevitable fiasco approaches

      "This is not the fault of the Police...", That's not entirely true of the Met. They made the decision to fire experienced specialist civil staff and replace them with police officers whose previous experience of technology extended to passing the taser course and owning a 4G phone. Every one is happy because the Met can say it has not lost so many officers even though now they are not really officers any more and the outsourcer is happy because it can more easily run circles all the way to the bank!

  7. localzuk

    I still don't understand

    What is the value of outsourcing on this scale? Sure, if you're a 5 man outfit, its not gonna be cost effective having a dedicated IT team, but the Met has more than 43,000 employees. How does giving the money to a number of private companies - who will just blame each other for every problem, help?

    Surely £100m a year is more than enough to run the IT in house?

    1. Jimmy2Cows Silver badge

      Re: I still don't understand

      Yeah but that makes it their own problem when they over-promise, screw up and under-deliver. No one wants to carry that can, so they outsource it to where that can can be kicked around indefinitely. Met managers get bonus for appearing to do it on the cheap, outsourcers get vast wads of cash to do fuck all with. Everybody wins*.

      *Actual odds of the public winning: 1 in 480 million.

    2. EscapedTheInsanity

      Re: I still don't understand

      They actually get a very poor return on their investment in reality. They get left on legacy desktop OS's (I'm betting they are still on Win 7 across their estate - no doubt because someone saw how much CrapGemini were charging for licences and the DoI Director kicked the can down the road for the next person to deal), use legacy servers, have legacy systems (no-one in their right mind is going to re-write PNC) and essentially the support of this legacy estate becomes more and more expensive over time as the resources become tied in and the expertise harder to come by.

      It's just dumb - if they actually decided to innovate their IT systems and throw a massive effort at trying to move to future platforms and start using off the shelf platforms to perform tasks they need they'd actually need less money to run it long term.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Good for them to re'evaluate their contracts and to simplify/ trim down their partners to two preferred suppliers and maybe in sourcing some IT back to their own organisation and hire adhoc basis expert contracts / freelancers to assist.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Another contract about to be lost by DXC - priceless!!!

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