Computacenter has signed an outsourcing agreement with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), beating incumbent provider HP to the deal.

The initial contract period will be a five-year agreement, estimated to be worth up to £350 million, where Computacenter will support the government department’s global desktop infrastructure.

The contract covers the management, support and refresh of workplace, datacentre and networking environments, where it is hoped that the FCO will be able to reduce its ICT costs by up to 40%.

Computacenter will provide second and third line support to the FCO’s UK and global posts and will also manage the department’s servers in primary and disaster recovery data centres in the UK.

The framework forms part of the FCO’s new multi-source ‘tower’ model for ICT delivery, which is being headed up by service management and integration supplier, BAE Systems Detica.

Under the deal, FCO will be migrating to Windows 8 on new end user devices and will also hope to optimise datacentre assets through a consolidation and virtualisation project.

The framework is also available to other government departments, particularly those that work closely with the FCO, and services are due to go live in March 2014.

Georgina O’Toole, director at analyst house TechMarketView, expects that Computacenter will want to take advantage of the opportunity to use the framework to reach out to other departments in Whitehall.

“Computacenter will be keen to expand this deal, particularly as it transpires the company recently made the decision not to bid for the Ministry of Justice’s revised end-user computing tower,” said O’Toole.

“We expect to see more of Computacenter in central government going forwards, as it takes advantage of the opportunities forthcoming due to the desire to move away from the large infrastructure services players.”

She added: “But as the Ministry of Justice decision shows, the company continues to carefully qualify every potential deal.”