Authority says backup and recovery solutions were key to final choice IBM Hong Kong has won a US$4.5 million contract from the Hong Kong Hospital Authority to supply 10,000 desktop personal computers in the next two years. The deal is the single largest tender for commercial desktops for IBM Hong Kong. IBM has supplied PCs to the Hospital Authority since 2001. Alfred Cheng, general manager of the personal computing division for IBM China and Hong Kong, said IBM technologies that came with the desktop PCs had helped to clinch the deal. IBM ThinkVantage technologies, notably Rapid Restore Ultra, were key elements behind the success of the deal, Mr Cheng said. The authority had asked that vendors bidding for the contract should include backup and recovery solutions in the specifications of their desktop systems. IBM Rapid Restore Ultra, which comes as standard on all ThinkCentre desktops and ThinkPad notebooks, proved the best solution against competing offers. Rapid Restore Ultra is a managed data-recovery software designed to protect both the software image running on the client system, as well as user data files. Michael Fung Tat-shing, senior systems manager at Hong Kong Hospital Authority's IT division, said the organisation has about 20,000 PCs, making it one of thelargest PC users in Hong Kong. 'The effort required to support so many systems is considerable. Autonomic technologies and self-service processes that increase uptime and reduce the total cost of PC ownership can free up our IT staff to allow them to focus on enhancing the quality of the Hospital Authority's services,' Mr Fung said. The bulk tender contract that IBM won through a public tender covers the supply of IBM ThinkCentre A50P and M50 models. Each will be configured with a 2.4 megahertz Intel Pentium 4 processor, 256 megabytes of memory and 40 gigabytes of hard disk space. Mr Cheng said the real significance of the win is that the customer now demands for more value, beyond just the initial price of a computer. 'What's significant about this win is that it underlines the success of IBM's Think strategy ... and address the total cost of ownership of personal computing, not just the initial price of a computer,' Mr Cheng said. According to research firm International Data Corp, IBM led in PC sales in the territory for the first two quarters of the year, and in the second quarter it had a 26 per cent market share. Second-placed Hewlett-Packard had a 20 per cent market share. Overall, the PC market in Hong Kong grew 5 per cent in the second quarter, compared to the same period last year. 'IBM's win is encouraging news for such a slow market,' said Kitty Fok, analyst at International Data Corp. Ms Fok said bulk PC purchases by the education sector had been growing over the past couple of years, but IBM's 10,000 desktops win was the largest deal in a long time from a single organisation.