Vendors must put in the hard yards to win IT contracts with Australia's Federal Government agencies, according to an independent survey of government buyers.
Shadow Minister for Information Technology Senator Kate Lundy said that government departments need to be "bold and innovative" when negotiating IT outsourcing contracts.
She said agencies should not be rushing in and repeating mistakes they have made in the past.
"In current depressed conditions, the Federal Government should be more supportive of local IT businesses." Following the move away from whole of government outsourcing to selective outsourcing, vendors are having to provide "relationship development" and display "true account management behaviour" if they have any chance of securing contracts.
According to East and Partners March 2002 Canberra Report, its third such quarterly report, the likes of Com Tech, Aspect, Ipex, Candle Corporation and Telstra have failed to pick up on this trend, registering significant performance drops.
Systems integrator Dimension Data, formerly Com Tech, dropped from first place to eighth in the overall ranking.
For this quarter, Computer Associates, NEC, AAPT, PeopleSoft, EDS and Advantra were rated the best performing vendors in Federal Government, according to the 502 survey respondents.
The big improvers among the major players included Computer Associates, Unisys, EDS, NEC and PeopleSoft.
While customers ranked price, responsiveness, performance to contract and commitment to relationship as the most highly valued relationship factors, among the top five worst performing areas in users' relationships with core vendors, were price, added value in the relationship, value for money, being proactive in dealings and innovation.
Once again respondents indicated the aggravation these areas were causing by signalling pre-sale investment by vendors a key relationship factor for this quarter, up from 17 last quarter to fifth place.
The report said there is an emphasis on people strengths in the supplier acting as a "true partner" in delivering general advice, account and relationship management and being proactive in dealings with customers.
Overall, the report said there was "marginal" improvement in experienced vendor performance over the previous quarter across the board but it was happening more slowly than buyers' expectations were climbing, and in some highly important key areas for customers, supplier performance had dropped.