Stone Group pips Viglen to University of Nottingham deal

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Stone Group pips Viglen to University of Nottingham deal

Microscope contributor

UK system builder Stone Group is gunning for Viglen in the higher education arena after unseating its rival from the University of Nottingham (UoN) to pen a four year deal to supply hardware and services worth £13m.

Buoyed by its recent inclusion in Buying Solutions' £6bn Commodity IT Hardware and Software procurement framework (CITHS), Stone is moving into new premises and recruiting staff in anticipation of a ramp in business.

The contract with UoN which kicks off on 1 April includes the provision of 20,000 desktops and laptops, along with onsite maintenance, recycling of old kit and data erasure

"Stone is taking Viglen head on in the university market place," said James Bird, chief executive at Stone Group,

He added it also beat Viglen and Dell to ink a deal with Leeds Uni last year, and other rivals through the National Desktop and Notebook Agreement.

Carving a greater niche in higher education was a "strategic investment priority for Stone in 2010 and beyond," he added.

The Staffordshire-based builder was involved in talks to acquire Viglen that began in late 2008 but came to an acrimonious end last year when neither party was able to strike a deal.

Bordan Tkachuk, chief executive at Viglen, said it counted 85 UK universities among its customer base and pointed to its recent efforts to secure two Lots under the CITHS agreement.

"At the end of the day there is no love lost between us and Stone, you win some you lose some, that is the nature of the beast. Anyone can discount their prices so low that they are giving away product to win business," he told MicroScope.

"We are not interested in turnover, we are interested in making a business that is sustainable," he added.

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