Press Release Summary = Bristol based company, ITS Feda Ltd, has won a prestigious contract to help the Welsh Assembly get best value for the public purse when buying computer hardware.
Press Release Body = Bristol based company, ITS Feda Ltd, has won a prestigious contract to help the Welsh Assembly get best value for the public purse when buying computer hardware.
In what is well known as a rapidly changing market, what was best value 2 years ago could be a bad deal now. Benchmarking is designed to help people break out of the habit of buying from one familiar supplier just because they always have. The benchmarking process, comparing a myriad of different PCs and laptops from different suppliers, can be a long one and can involve technical knowledge that few public purchasing managers are likely to possess. The process, repeated by each of the many public sector organisations, could potentially cost more than might be saved.
The Welsh Assembly has initiated a computer hardware benchmarking project to address this issue. Value Wales, the arm of the Welsh Assembly responsible for providing procurement support to the Welsh public sector, has recognised the benefits in undertaking this work with a single neutral third party and has called in ITS Feda Ltd, a Bristol based not-for-profit organisation that has made its mark in supporting the IT Services of the education sector.
Mark Gwilym, project manager for Value Wales said, "We chose ITS Feda not only for its high level of IT skills, but more importantly for their ability to offer a truly impartial service. Whilst we always select partners very carefully, we are still delighted by the ability and care ITS Feda has dedicated to ensuring the fairness of the process. We expect this to be part of a longer term relationship"
As chosen independent IT assessors, ITS Feda Ltd, certainly hold IT credentials. Owned by Thames Valley University this ISO 9001 company has accreditations for their various IT services from a wide range of vendors including Microsoft, Novell, The Linux Professional Institute, Symantec, Apple and Adobe. Crucially they also hold no affiliations to any hardware manufacturers.
The benchmarking contract, which ITS Feda Ltd completed this week, involved the testing and evaluation of almost 40 different PC's and laptops using SYSmark 2004 assessment software and a range of basic visual quality measurement tools defined by Value Wales.
Explaining the project in more detail Mark Gwilym said, "Specifications for PC's vary significantly, especially when trying to evaluate for best value; however, we needed to ensure that tendered equipment had drives and processors fast enough for the tasks in hand. They also need to be durable and well designed, allowing for future repair or upgrade demands. To assess this needs unbiased, technical skills."
The project involved ITS Feda Ltd replicating real world demands on an IT system, where multiple programs would be run simultaneously to achieve a benchmark for system performance. The machines were also graded for user friendly characteristics, durability and suitability for use in a tough, high workload office, whilst the packaging was reviewed for its ability to recycle.
It is anticipated that the ITS Feda Ltd report will gain the Welsh public sector all the advantages of independently verified product comparison information without having to lose any of their own time or money. Value for Wales indeed.