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BBC splits £2bn contract, and offers £560m tech deal

The BBC is changing its sourcing arrangements around by splitting its £2bn contract with Atos into smaller chunks.

The Atos arrangement will come to an end in 2017 after what the Register describes as a “hasty extension”.

It is now perceived as better practice to have multiple smaller contracts rather than a large overarching deal. Nonetheless, the fact that it’s offering between £400m and £560m for its end user compute, hosting, apps, and helpdesk will still be perceived as substantial by many. The new arrangements are part of a project called Aurora.

The Beeb is basically moving towards what outsourcing specialists call the “Tower” model, in which a hierarchy of suppliers is built up and managed by specialists internally. This replaces the “Siam” structure, which stands for “Service Integration And Management”.

There is still little clear evidence that one model works better than the other, in spite of extensive research into sourcing policies undertaken by the London School of Economics, Loughborough University and other academic bodies internationally.