The South Australian Department of Further Education, Employment, Science and Technology (DFEEST), is looking to secure the supply of iPads and other Apple products to the State’s TAFE campuses for a period of up to five years.
DFEST has invited tenders for the contract, which will cover the provision of iMacs, Macbooks, iPads, Apple accessories and support services in accordance with the DFEEST’s requirements. The contract will not cover the provision of iPhones, which are already covered by a whole-of-government supply arrangement.
The Apple devices will be delivered and used across the 49 TAFE campuses located within South Australia.
In 2011, DFEEST says it purchased 58 iPads, 42 iMacs and nine Macbooks. However, the Department also states that this record is not necessarily indicative of what it intends to procure under the new contract.
Apple products have largely remained absent from government ICT procurement in the past, with agencies attributing this to the additional costs involved in managing plural desktop environments, and with most preferring to lock down on a Microsoft Windows/PC compatible environment.
However, a demand for iPads and other tablet-devices has grown in recent years, with the procurement of the products becoming more common particularly amongst the education sector.
There is also an increasing willingness by CIOs to consider Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) schemes as a cost-cutting mechanism, which would no doubt increase variety within agency ICT operating environments.
iPads have become a key issue in the Queensland State Election campaign. Premier Anna Bligh recently pledged to deliver 5,000 iPad tablets for Year 7 QLD students, whilst the LNP have pledged to provide every State Special School with 20 tablets and also provide 10 tablets to all other schools with a special education program.
iPads also dominate the small amount of identified Apple procurement at a Federal level.
All Apple hardware can be bought by Federal agencies through the whole-of-government Desktop Hardware panel. To date, most of this business has gone to UXC Connect, such as a $60,000 contract for iPads let by the Department of Human Services in December 2011. Ethan Group has also won a small handful of Apple contracts through the panel.
Also at the Federal level, the Department of Finance and Deregulation has recently procured a number of iPads for testing purposes.
All responses to the RFT are due by Tuesday 10 April 2012, 2 pm Adelaide time.