Highland Council has awarded a £75 million contract to Fujitsu for an overhaul of its IT.

Work on the contract will include infrastructure services, such as server and web hosting, business systems development and upgrades, managed desktop services and service management.

The contract value has increased from £66 million, which was the expected value when the council announced Fujitsu as the preferred bidder, over Atos Origin, in October 2009. The project is expected to last for five years, with an optional two-year extension.

As well as transforming and modernising the council’s infrastructure, systems and services, Fujitsu will also be implementing a new customer relationship management system and a Cisco-based unified communications setup.

The new setup is expected to be more reliable and scalable, as well as providing better application management. It will be based on thick and thin clients running the new Microsoft Windows 7 operating system.

The council expects the service to deliver £6.8 million savings over the period, principally through "major energy cost savings". It will also cut the council’s carbon footprint.

Service management will be based on Fujitsu’s Triole and its Sense & Respond service development and improvement methodology. Easier, more flexible and remote working will also result from the changes, it said.

Carolyn Wilson, chair of the Highland Council Resources Committee, said in October: "This new contract will offer the council and all the staff a number of interesting opportunities for new, improved and flexible ways of working in the future, and allow significant investment in new ICT systems and infrastructure for both corporate and school curriculum ICT."