WA's $100m PC panel: JB Hi-Fi wins, Acer misses out

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WA's $100m PC panel: JB Hi-Fi wins, Acer misses out

The Western Australian government has revealed the five suppliers for its new PC supply panel, estimated to be worth $100 million over the full five-year life of the arrangement.

CDM Australia, EDsys Computers, JB Hi-Fi, Toshiba and Winthrop Australia have been approved to the Common Use Arrangement (CUA) for computing and mobile devices, announced today. They'll be able to supply a host of business-grade and consumer-grade devices and thin/zero clients for the contract, which is structured as a two-year initial term with three one-year extensions.

The new CUA CMD2014 replaces the former notebook and personal computers arrangement, CUA 25708, which ran from 2010 to 2015.

The arrangement is mandatory for government agencies in the Perth metropolitan area, including the Department of Education. Government agencies can make purchases up to $500,000 via a web portal, but will need written quotes from more than one contractor for larger purchases.

The state government has significantly consolidated suppliers in the new panel, down from 11 on the previous agreement. This has seen Acer, Datacom, Dell, Datanet Motion, Fujitsu, HP, Lenovo and Panasonic all lose their status as direct computer suppliers to Western Australia.

WA buyers will still be able to purchase HP and Lenovo devices via CDM Australia, while JB Hi-Fi has been approved for Lenovo, Apple and Dell, and Winthrop can also resell Apple, Lenovo and Samsung.

The biggest absence is Acer – the OEM is not represented directly or via resellers.

Two other major brands that didn't survive the move to the new arrangement are Fujitsu and Panasonic.

However, a spokesperson told CRN that "the Department of Finance is currently in negotiations with additional suppliers"; the CUA does allow for further suppliers may be added to the panel. 

JB Hi-Fi is a big winner, as a key supplier for Apple, Lenovo, Samsung, Dell and LG zero clients. The retailer, which has been expanding its footprint within corporate IT, especially education, since acquiring Network Neighborhood in 2013, will also be able to sell Microsoft Surface into the state government.

Perth-headquartered reseller CDM Australia is also a significant winner: not only does it appear on the panel in its own right, but also via Winthrop Australia, which CDM owns. CDM can resell HP, Asus, Lenovo, Toshiba and Samsung kit.

A government spokesperson told CRN: The new computing and mobile devices Common Use Arrangement allows agencies to purchase a wide variety of computing and mobile devices, including desktops, notebooks, workstations, tablets, phablets, and hybrids. The new CUA also allows for converging technology within these types of ICT products.  

"Other changes under this CUA include resellers and discount retailers being eligible to participate as a supplier under the contract."

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