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ITNET secures £14.1 million contract extension and £1.7 million project deal from Equitas through demonstrating cost savings

Equitas, the reinsurance company established to reinsure and run off the 1992 and prior years' non-life liabilities of Lloyd's of London syndicates, has extended its IT outsourcing contract with ITNET, a leading IT, business consulting and business process outsourcing company. The three-year deal will be worth a total of £14.1 million. A further £1.7 million has also been secured for ITNET to conduct a number of projects designed to help Equitas continue to achieve ambitious annual cost reduction targets.

Equitas decided to extend ITNET's tenure since it had already demonstrated its ability to deliver first class solutions and to support the company in meeting its annual cost reduction targets.

The new deal will extend the provision of current services supplied by ITNET until 2007. These include: desktop management, helpdesk support, server hosting, network management and application management.

Three additional projects, worth £1.7 million, are already underway that will reshape the way ITNET delivers its services and enable Equitas to continue to reduce its IT costs.

The first project will reduce annual support costs by relocating ITNET's on- site desktop management service to a remote service based at its Birmingham office - using its desktop management offering. This has been made possible by the project delivered by ITNET and French Thornton (ITNET's specialist consultancy arm using its Business Change Management expertise) to replace Equitas' existing NT and Novell environments with a single Windows 2003 platform and by using the latest Microsoft support tools to manage the service.

The second project is replacing Equitas' existing voice and data networks with a Cisco VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) solution. While this involves an initial £½ million infrastructure cost it is expected to save the company at least this figure each year in reduced rental and call charges.

Project three involves upgrading Equitas' existing AS400 environment with the latest IBM 825i series servers.

Jane Barker, finance director at Equitas, commented:
"Having worked with ITNET for the past four years we are confident that they will continue to offer us the levels of service we need to run our business effectively. Furthermore, they have proved that they understand our business need to continue to reduce our costs in line with our run off strategy. They have already embarked on a number of projects that will allow us to reduce our IT costs and are adapting their services to reflect the shrinking nature of our business."

Jan Woolf, managing director, commercial division at ITNET, commented:
"We are delighted to be able to continue working with Equitas. It is a great testament to the excellent work that ITNET employees have undertaken over the past four years. And it's yet more evidence of our ability to understand very specific customer problems, and to deliver real, workable solutions."

Retaining valuable IT skills in-house is a huge problem for any run-off business that is designed from the outset to gradually and efficiently close down. Equitas solved this particular problem in October 2000 by outsourcing its entire IT services, including the transfer of over 120 members of staff, to ITNET.