Logica has announced that security-specialist QinetiQ is to join the Logica/SAP partnership bidding to become the data services provider to the Data and Communications Company (DCC), part of the UK’s smart meter rollout.
QinetiQ provides technology-based services and solutions to the defence, security and aerospace markets. Joining the partnership will give the UK government added reassurance about the ability of the bid to address the concerns about security and privacy in handling the data generated by the 50 million devices delivered as part of the smart meter rollout. The system has to be ready to support the official start of the five year rollout programme in 2014.
The smart metering infrastructure is aimed at delivering new services that will put consumers in control of their energy spend (although there remains some doubt as to whether it will be worth the cost). But a key aspect is gaining consumer trust in the programme by ensuring that their data will be secure. Logica is hoping that bringing QinetiQ on board will provide that assurance (particularly since Logica is also working with QinetiQ on a £157m outsourcing deal with the Serious Organised Crime Agency).
Bringing QinetiQ on board looks like a shrewd move. Not only does QinetiQ help with the security concerns, but its also a UK company, which is likely to be a help with any bid in the current economic climate (given recent criticisms of government projects going to non-UK companies).
The contract that Logica is bidding for is expected to be worth around £150m (the contract limits are £60-£240m). But it partly depends on the nature of the bid – suppliers can specify a duration of between five years (with options to extend) to 12 years.
The PQQ is closed and the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) is now carrying out the organisational assessment. It’s expected that up to seven companies will be selected to go forward in the procurement process for the data services part of the DCC, which is what this Logica-led group are going for. The procurement is expected to be complete in Q4 2012 or Q1 2013.
Given its history in the energy market, the security reassurance of this announcement and the high UK company element of the bid, Logica must be in with a good chance.