Capgemini wins £100 million BAA contract – including passenger tracking

Outsourcing firm Capgemini has laid claim to another £100 million contract with a deal that will see the firm takeover “core IT services” from airport company BAA.

Not long after the firm was handed a similarly sized contract from EDF Energy, Capgemini is quids in again after it was announced that it has been awarded a five year contract as the head of a consortium that will include SITA, Atkins, Computacenter and Amor Group.

The deal is expected to help BAA “drive improvements and savings” at Heathrow and its five other airports in the UK by handing over certain responsibilities for core IT services for 10,000 users.

Speaking to Steve Sutton, head of infrastructure services at Capgemini, TechEye was informed that this would include “infrastructure, applications, and networks with a number of transformation projects which will improve BAA services.”

Air transport communications specialist SITA will be tasked with delivering telecoms and radio services, Computacenter will deliver elements of desktop and server support, while Amor Group will “support niche applications” according to a statement today.

Meanwhile BAA will keep hold of responsibility for some areas such as IT strategy and ensuring the quality of delivery of outsourced work, with around 200 employees switching to Capgemini and the consortium.

Sutton states however the moving of staff and a drive for efficiencies will not mean that the overall number of jobs will be reduced.

“All employees are able to apply for jobs as part of the TUPE conditions and I expect that the majority of people will apply, whether this means continuing to work at the BAA or in other areas,” he said.

Sutton added that IT contractors would in many cases be able to continue to work with BAA as planned, though at this early stage of the deal it is “difficult to say to what extent changes will need to be made until more discussions have been had by both companies and staff.”

According to BAA the main reason behind the use of a company such as Capgemini is to allow it to focus more on keeping planes in the sky rather than maintaining servers.

“Because our focus is on running airports, it makes sense for specialist IT functions to be outsourced,” said Philip Langsdale, chief information officer at BAA, “which is also much more cost effective.”

Capgemini is aiming to provide improved real time information which will help BAA keep better informed about their flights, as well as aiming to allow for quicker turnaround of planes and better recovery from problems “as they arise”.

This will mean real time tracking of passengers as well as aircraft according to BAA, along with providing more detailed information about flights and indeed the passengers on them.

Other airports which will be affected are Stansted, Southampton, Aberdeen, Glasgow and Edinburgh.

The deal comes ahead of the Chancellor’s Budget in which it is thought that multi-sourcing, where work is sourced to a number of smaller firms, is expected to increase.

“The government’s recent focus on encouraging smaller businesses to bid for public sector contracts,” read a statement from the National Outsourcing Association today, “means that we are likely to see a rise in multi-sourcing in the public sector, with a number of smaller suppliers providing a range of different services, instead of just one large single source supplier. 

According to Sutton, Capgemini is not concerned with the move towards outsourcing to smaller firms.

“Multi-sourcing is already reasonably prevalent in both the public and private sector, so for us it is just business as usual.”