Halifax stresses response time in outsourcing contract

The Halifax Regional Municipality did the neighbourly thing when it came time to find an outsourcer for its desktops.

The capital city signed a three-year outsourcing agreement worth $1.5 million per year with IMP Solutions. The Halifax-based company will take over responsibility for the municipality’s PCs and laptops. The deal comes on the heels of a five-year agreement with GE.

Halifax’s director of IT Chuck Keith says IMP was selected after the standard request for proposal process. He says IMP won the contract based solely on the merits of the proposal, however, not its location. When asked what separated the candidates, quicker response time was at the top of the list.

“”One of the issues that we’ve always had is getting adequate product, and one of the things IMP brought to the table was a faster, more reliable delivery system,”” Keith says.

For its part, IMP is now responsible for the installation, maintenance and refreshing of more than 1,800-odd systems. IMP director of sales Joe Spampinato says the refresh will be done over the course of the contract. “”We have a forecast of when each system is due to be replaced. So for example, desktops would have a three-year term, notebooks would have a two-year term.””

Replacing all the devices won’t be as simple as sending X number of PCs to a building or two. Keith says the municipality has more than 60 offices spread out over 5,600 square kilometres.

“”A lot of it has to do with effective coordination. The municipality is spread out, but we have a central point of contact. We also have a sub-contract relationship,”” Spampinato says, “”so we’re able to have a backup when we need it.””

According to the service-level agreement, IMP has four days from an order being placed to deliver. Keith says it will be monitoring times closely and will exercise penalties if necessary, but Spampinato says he is confident it can deliver. It has portal, he says, where customers can order and get a closer look at what is available and more

“”They can see what inventory is available and configurations are available,”” Spampinato says. “”They have an online ordering and an online service call system so that when they want to have an installation or de-installation they place ticket at the portal.””

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