Ansett Australia has outsourced desktop infrastructure management to IBM Global Services Australia (IBM GSA).
The nine year multi million dollar contract replaces inhouse management of the airline's desktop environment.
Signed last week and effective from Monday January 11, the deal sees IBM GSA undertaking the airline's PC repairs, installations and advice; LAN server support, provision of help desk facilities and network support.
Ansett currently has around 6000 IBM PCs and ThinkPads Australia-wide and expects that number to increase to almost 9000 within the next two years.
"Moving to a single supplier.....will provide Ansett with a 'world's best practice' service and reduce the complexity involved in desktop support. It also frees up Ansett managers and staff to focus on providing strategic IT services to the business" said Hal Pringle, general manager, IT, Ansett Australia.
The move to externalise desktop support follows a benchmarking study conducted by Nolan Norton & Co for Ansett in 1998.
"The study highlighted the fact that Ansett had in effect 'outgrown' the level of end user service provided at that time, and that a quantum leap in service was required to ensure a full return on our end user computing investment," said Pringle.
The study suggested that a move to a single external service provider could deliver cost savings, and could result in improved support for end users.
IBM GSA already provides disaster recovery services and data centre facilities management to Ansett.