Sunday, October 22, 2006

Testing and new procurement methods

From Australian IT

Corporations in Australia are radically reshaping the way they buy technology products and services, as they abandon the large-scale open tenders that have dominated purchasing. Australia's biggest computer users are instead opting to put technology suppliers through their paces in small, handpicked groups in an effort to shorten the procurement cycle and slash costs.

Government departments are getting in on the act too, with more using supplier panels.The changes could save public and private organisations hundreds of thousands, if not millions of dollars on every project they launch.

"The whole tendering process is expensive. It's quite time consuming both for companies looking to do business with a customer and for the customer itself," CSC Australia managing director Mike Shove says. "Rather than going to a large open tender, organisations are now doing their own due diligence and selecting two to five different players to engage with." The trend is evident throughout the private sector and is affecting everything from software procurement to multimillion-dollar outsourcing contracts, Shove says.

It is being used to pick winners for both single supplier and multi-sourcing deals and has been aided by a wave of consolidation that has swept through the computer and communications sector over the past decade.

While there isn't a confirmed link between the demand for independent advisers and more limited tendering, Ernst&Young technology and security risk services partner Chris Grant says the two practices can go hand in hand.

Companies may select a preferred supplier and then, with the assistant of an assurance adviser, test the proposed product or service before signing on the dotted line. "If you're looking for an accounting or finance-type solution then you can pretty much go to a shortlist of who the suppliers are, do a quick evaluation and then proceed to planning and a contract," Grant says.

Independent testing advice and services London UK

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