09/07/2008 - 22:00

IT contracts shape industry

09/07/2008 - 22:00

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The ability of local IT players to win work against larger multinational competitors will become clearer over the coming weeks, as two major contracts from government departments are set to be awarded.

The ability of local IT players to win work against larger multinational competitors will become clearer over the coming weeks, as two major contracts from government departments are set to be awarded.

Perth-based Kinetic IT was a recipient of good news last month when it was awarded a long-term contract from government body Landgate that could be worth up to $100 million over nine years. It is now waiting upon the result of contracts from the police and education departments of WA.

Kinetic chief executive Terry North believes while the larger, multi-million dollar contracts have been dominated by bigger European and American based companies in the past, the industry is starting to see more work won by the few local businesses.

ASG Group chief technology officer Steve Tull agreed, saying that local companies can deliver a more personalised service to their customers, with increased accessibility to key decision makers.

"If you look at the stats we are slowly chipping away at their [multinationals] industry dominance," Mr Tull said.

"A lot of it is because they can get to our decision makers, whereas if you have a problem with a large multinational you've got to go to Sydney or Singapore or San Francisco to find out who can actually make a decision for you. Local companies can actually be quite decisive or responsive to a clients needs."

Kinetic primarily provides IT infrastructure to its clients.

"In WA there are three contracts we are waiting award of; Landgate which we've now signed, the police department...and the education department," Mr North said.

"It's between us and CSC at the police department and we're waiting on the outcome of that.

"They [CSC] deliver the majority of IT services [to the police department] under the existing contract that has been in place for the last five years.

"I think the outcome of this next contract is going to see us or CSC losing all the work we have in police, so its either going to be us that wins it or CSC that wins it."

Establishing the company just more than a decade ago, Kinetic has grown to about 400 employees nationally.

Mr North said its objective was to target larger IT contracts after being awarded its first major contract from the education department.

"I think even from the outset we jumped past the small companies... our anchor client right from the start was the education department and [we] have been managing their environment ever since," Mr North said.

"We competed against two or three multinational companies for that slice of work and we won it. We've been able to retain it and win the contract every time it's come out to market again."

Mr North believes that Kinetic's ability to provide quality service and adapt to different clients needs is imperative to its success.

Also separating Kinetic from its competitors was the implementation of a UK training program called IT Infrastructure Library, which demonstrates how to identify clients' goals and set an IT solution to achieve them.

"We found a differentiator for us against some of the other multinationals that were playing in the space," Mr North said.

"We were able to step up to a level that at one point in time was probably punching pretty high and we were trying to achieve something that most people wouldn't even attempt to do."

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