The Department for Work and Pensions is mulling the future of its IT helpdesk, which currently supports its 90,000 staff across the UK.
Digital service desk providers have been asked to contact the department as it seeks to "gauge the level of interest from potential suppliers and understand the capabilities and innovations within the marketplace" ahead of the expiry of its current contract in August 2019.
According to the DWP, the current digital service desk supports staff in 800 locations, and handles some 335,000 calls and 195,000 portal contacts a year.
In its early engagement summary, the DWP emphasises that it is looking for "blended support of advanced telephony, portal and chat channels" to aid staff in their work, and places a heavy emphasis on user satisfaction.
The service desk must, the department says, provide "a user-centric service that provides the optimum end-user experience" - with the DWP stressing the need to drive "first point of contact resolution".
The department says the service desk will also need to offer "high levels of engagement and collaboration with other suppliers and resolver groups to optimise user experience". The DWP has its own in-house service integration function, and in 2015 signed a three-year deal with US cloud firm ServiceNow to supply the integrated IT service management toolset that sits on top of that.
Potential suppliers are being asked to complete a Request for Information by June 26 so the department can scope out the market before deciding whether to issue a tender.
The department stresses that the current scoping exercise is "not part of any pre-qualification, selection process or bid evaluation", with the DWP still to decide whether to ultimately put the service desk to tender. However, the DWP notice says that the process will "help inform the department's future sourcing strategy and thinking".