MoD tasks HP with £8.5m project to improve intelligence system

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) has handed HP an 8.5 million contract to improve its ability to react to humanitarian crises and conflict abroad.

HP will be responsible for transforming the way geospatial intelligence is used and shared across the government department, helping military personnel and civil servants access this data more easily inside the MoD's secure network.

Delivering the first phase of the MoD's Defence Geospatial Services (DGS) programme, HP will work with geospatial software specialist Envitia to build a system that lets users search, discover and retrieve information from any terminal within the Defence Information Infrastructure.

This data is intelligence on human activities that can be tagged to specific locations, helping the MoD identify and monitor crises as they unfold.

The system will act as a foundation for the MoD's Spatial Data Infrastructure, with plans to build upon it in the future.

HP will serve up its own infrastructure to store MoD data in, including maps, while HP will also use Envitia's software to help the MoD manage its large datasets.

Simon Fovargue, VP of enterprise defence & security at HP, said: "HP has a proud history and proven experience in delivering IT infrastructure to the MoD.

"Built upon open standards and an open architecture, this new enterprise-wide solution from HP and Envitia will ensure that all users are fighting off the same map."

Mark Richardson, business development manager at Envitia, added: "The contract award recognises our status as a world-leading provider of geospatial solutions and software to the defence sector."

IT Pro has approached HP to discover the length of the deal.

The UK's defence department is a long-time contractor of the MoD, and was awarded a three-year, 13.5 million contract in April 2012 to supply support, solutions and maintenance for equipment, hardware and datacentres belonging to the MoD.

A two-year extension option exists in the contract, and IT Pro has asked whether this was actioned or the contract allowed to end.

Paul Beavin, ICT procurement chief at the MoD, said at the time: "For the first time, the British Armed Forces - the Royal Navy, the British Army and the Royal Air Force - can rely on a consistent and transparent level of support for IT assets in the UK and at overseas bases."