The State IT Agency (Sita) has won a major boost of confidence from an unexpected source by clinching a contract to provide the Algerian foreign affairs ministry with a highly secure global network for 45 embassies worldwide and its 18 consulates in France.

This is the first time Sita has won a contract from a foreign government, and it could prove a useful boost for its reputation at home, where the agency is still struggling to persuade some government departments to use its services.

"Sita's reputation in the global arena is unrivalled," said Menad Habbak, the director of technical services for the Algerian ministry. "We looked at existing solutions and compared them to what Sita presented, and the decision was an easy one. We wanted a highly secure, competitive and global solution, and that is exactly what they provided." The Algerian government expects to save US$3m over five years by switching from a legacy network to a network based on internet protocol.

Sita had a history of providing internet protocol networks to the air transport industry, and was confident its system would exceed the degree of service delivery, reliability and security it had promised the Algerian government.

Sita will install a network with high-level security, voice over internet protocol services to cut the phone bills, and round-the-clock support.

Sita is without a CEO after Mavuso Msimang was appointed director-general of the home affairs department, a job he was handed after stabilising the ailing agency. Sita's acting CEO, Peter Pedlar, was appointed in May until a permanent replacement is found.

(SOURCE: Business Day)