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Senior Editor

BBC seeks one good outsourcing firm for $3.6 billion deal

Apr 20, 20043 mins
Enterprise ApplicationsIBM

The British Broadcasting Corp., Tuesday said it is offering up a 10-year, $3.6 billion contract to outsource its BBC Technology division.

BBC Technology, founded in March 2001, is made up of 1,400 employees worldwide and provides content and a variety of services for the BBC and other global media outlets.

According to John Varney, CTO of the BBC, the company began the process of outsourcing the division in December and has narrowed the list of bidders from 18 to eight — Accenture, Capita, CSC, EDS, HP, IBM, Logica and Siemens. The company intends to pare that list to three by the end of May and announce a winner by the end of the summer.

“We believe by outsourcing BBC Technology we can save $40 to $50 million per year,” Varney said. “We want to focus on building technology, content and other services.”

Specifically the company is looking for help in consolidating networks and servers – the company has some 800 servers for example in the U.K. alone. It is looking to eliminate custom and proprietary implementations as well.

 “The idea is to get a company that will allow us greater access to technology and financial resources, as well as helping us extend our global reach, “ Varney said.

These days extending global reach for many vendors includes offshoring jobs, but Varney said the eight bidders have been told that offshoring will not be a component of the bids.

“There is a clear savings for us to outsource,” said Varney. “We won’t contemplate any offshoring — save for a small amount of application development we currently do.”

In other BBC Technology news, the company:

  • Signed a contract with Discovery Networks International to provide high-bandwidth streamed content to Discovery Channel Web site users via BBC Technology’s dedicated broadband service in international markets outside the U.S. Under the terms of the agreement, BBC Technology’s Internet Solutions team will encode programs onto a digital platform and provide content hosting and streaming.

  • Integrated Apple’s Final Cut Pro HD editing software into its production workflow package, Colledia.  Colledia integrates tools and components that previously worked as standalone devices. The package ensures media and related production activities are more efficiently and cost-effectively managed.

  • Launched a news alert service that will be available to both BBC U.K. News and BBC World Service Web site users. Alerts are sent to PC audiences via a BBC News branded dialogue box containing a headline, summary text and link to the BBC’s Web site.