Under the contract awarded by the EC, IBM and Bechtle already have provided more than $2.6 million in systems and services to date, and expect over the lifetime of the contract to deliver more than 6,100 servers and supporting services to European Union institutions and agencies in the 27 member states. The EC is the executive body of the EU, responsible for proposing legislation, implementing decisions, upholding the Union's treaties and the day-to-day running of the EU.
The contract bidding process was managed by DIGIT, the IT Directorate General of the EC, and is designed to establish a framework contract for the acquisition of x86 server systems with associated equipment, maintenance, upgrades and professional services. Other competitors for the contract included Hewlett Packard, Dell, Fujitsu, and Bull.
"That the EU would award us a contract of this size and scope illustrates the value of our server and services offerings in helping them meet their technology, economic and international relations goals", stated Harry Van Dorenmalen, Chairman IBM Europe. "Our System x and Flex Systems servers provide the best combination of efficiency, performance, flexibility and economy in the industry."
The contract is "inter-institutional", meaning that most of the other EU bodies will use the framework for buying their x86 servers in upcoming years. This includes the European Parliament, the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg, and Europol. This contract will run for two years with the possibility of extending it up to four years. Within the contract, over 45,000 man-days could be made available for additional "professional services", which will be provided in close co-operation with specialized service providers.
Bechtle AG, an IBM Premier Business Partner, configures and prepares the servers at its headquarters in Neckarsulm, Germany, replacing the previous contractor, which supplied HP servers.
The contract covers a range of IBM Flex System compute nodes and IBM System x rack server configurations, as well as related maintenance, installation and professional services. This enables IBM to provide highly reliable and flexible platforms that can scale quickly, easily and inexpensively, and are adaptable to the needs of each individual institution or agency.