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By | Paul Kunert 2nd May 2014 16:04

British Gas 'in talks' to outsource tech services desk, whispers insider

Techies 'concerned' as energy giant chat to HCL and Cognizant

British Gas has dropped a bombshell among its techies after informing them of plans to outsource some or all of its service desk.

The erstwhile methane monopoly gathered the IT squad in Staines yesterday to deliver the good news that they could be looking for a job elsewhere.

"In a hastily announced IT staff meeting," said one insider, "the services department were informed British Gas/Centrica are talking to HCL and Cognizant about outsourcing IT support functions".

Staff were presented with three potential eventualities: services are entirely outsourced; there is a shared responsibility; or the status quo is maintained. The latter one seems unlikely, the source added.

Talks are set to take place between now and September when a decision is expected.

The services departments supports all production, pre-production and dev systems, which are predominantly Unix-based Oracle and SAP. There are around 120 heads but only 40 are permanent.

Various functions have already been outsourcing with hardware and OS support handled by HP.

Tech workers were expecting an announcement of this type following the appointment of David Cooper as CIO.

"Staff are still digesting the information but many are concerned," said a source. "The rationale is assumed to be costs".

A British Gas spokesperson told The Reg:

“We are currently undertaking a review of our Information Services operations to ensure we continue to serve our customers in the most efficient and cost effective way.

"We informed our employees at the earliest possible opportunity and are working closely with them to reach a proposed outcome later this year.” ®

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