11/19/2002 - A new partnership between Fujitsu Services, one of Europe's leading providers of managed services for IT infrastructure, and Ufi, the government-backed organisation behind the learndirect e-learning network, will ensure UK industry continues to lead Europe in encouraging online learning and training initiatives.
Fujitsu has been awarded a contract worth £10 million over three years to provide a managed data centre to support Ufi's Corporate Learning Environment (CLE) application as well as providing a full disaster recovery centre for its learndirect business. The new data centre will provide hosting for the recently launched learndirect corporate initiative, which has been created to address the specific training needs of small to medium sized enterprises.
A central Government initiative, the Ufi is tasked with realising the Government's vision of delivering vocational learning to individuals and industry, in order to boost business competitiveness by arming employees with the skills they need today and for the future through online learning. Offering over 800 courses covering ICT, the skills for life - literacy and numeracy - and business management skills, learndirect corporate enables individuals to learn at a pace that suits them and wherever they have access to the Internet - at home, at work or in one of over 1,800 learndirect centres.
David Higgins, technical architect at Ufi said; "As a people-focussed service provider, Ufi understands the importance of culture and team-work in implementing successful projects. To this end, the Fujitsu team were highly complementary to our own skills, providing a co-operative consultancy and going to great lengths to respond to our project requirements.
"We were also impressed with the way Fujitsu provided seamless integration with our application suppliers as well as their approach to sourcing a data centre in the Sheffield area - a major requirement of the contract."
Jayne Eagle account director, Fujitsu Services, said; "Our work with Ufi demonstrates Fujitsu's commitment to ensuring our customers realise their business plans. The data centre has been designed to enable expansion on an as-required basis as it utilises proactive remote management of the system to ensure that the service required by Ufi is met and maintained."
The Fujitsu managed service solution provides a data centre supporting Ufi's Corporate Learning Environment with disaster recovery provision for learndirect. The service, which includes Fujitsu Services Helpdesk, Enterprise Services and Network Services, is based on a 24/7 service with strict SLA requirements for availability, performance and stability of the environment.
At the core of the technical solution is a SUN FIRE 15K with associated hardware (38 Dell servers and 12 Sun Servers), software, network and services necessary to meet Ufi's requirements.
About Ufi and learndirect
learndirect is the network of learning services being developed by Ufi Ltd, the government flagship for lifelong learning. All Ufi learning centres, its free 0800 100 900 learning information helpline, the learndirect website and all Ufi learning materials carry the learndirect brand. There are now over 1,800 learndirect centres across England, Wales and Northern Ireland, providing people with the opportunity to learn in places that offer an alternative to traditional academic settings. learndirect centres can be found in sports and shopping centres, football and rugby clubs, community centres, churches, railway stations, libraries and even pubs and a funfair. The learndirect website (www.learndirect.co.uk) supports learndirect's on-line courses, learning services and administration systems. It also gives on-line access to a searchable database of over half a million courses available from providers nation-wide and delivers the web-based multi-media careers package, learndirect futures. Ufi refers to Ufi Limited, a company limited by shares.
The Chairman, Sir Anthony Greener, Vice Chairman, Ian Johnston, and board directors, have been appointed by the Secretary of State for Education and Employment. The Chief Executive, Ann Limb and executive directors are responsible for the operations of Ufi, developing its plans and implementing them. The DfES is committed to support Ufi during its development phases and has allocated to it funds of £76.25 million for the continued development of its infrastructure and services during 2002/03, of which £11.25 million has been allocated to support the learndirect national learning advice line.
Ufi's parent company is Ufi Charitable Trust, a charity and a company limited by guarantee. Ufi's public enquiry line is 0114 291 5000. The learndirect freephone number is 0800 100 900.
Services Fujitsu Services is one of the leading IT services companies in Europe, Middle East and Africa. It has an annual turnover of £2.4 billion (€3.9 billion), employs 15,500 people and operates in over 30 countries. It designs, builds and operates IT systems and services for customers in the financial services, telecoms, retail, utilities and government markets. Its core strength is the delivery of IT infrastructure management and outsourcing across desktop, networking and data centre environments, together with a full range of related services, from infrastructure consulting through integration and deployment.
Headquartered in London, Fujitsu Services is the European-centred IT services arm of the Fujitsu Group. The Fujitsu Group is a $38 billion (about €43 billion) leader in customer-focused IT systems and services for the global marketplace. Prior to April 2002 Fujitsu Services operated as ICL.
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