HP, IBM: UIDAI tender process unfair NEW DELHI: The world's two largest technology companies - US-based HP and IBM - raised concerns in a meeting at Unique ID Authority of India (UIDAI) last week over their technical disqualification, in a Rs 200-crore storage solutions contract, that is won by Wipro Technologies. As a result, bids for the Rs 2,000-crore managed-service provider contract , which were due to be submitted on April 8th, are now postponed by a month, due to disagreement amongst bidders. In a meeting of world's largest technology companies held last week to discuss on the formalities of the upcoming Rs 2,000 crore UIDAI tender for managed service provider, heads from HP and IBM raised the issue of technical disqualification in the previous tenders, citing UIDAI's tender process as being unfair to them. HP also raised the issue of the UIDAI picking up a technology which it says will become obsolete in three years. A senior head from a US-based tech major in the meeting went ahead to term the piece of hardware procured by the UIDAI for storage as 'junk'. UIDAI chairman Nandan Nilekani remained absent from the meeting, which was attended by heads from Accenture, Ernst & Young, Wipro Technologies, Tata Consultancy Services , HCL Infosystems and HCL Technologies , besides heads from HP and IBM. A top UIDAI official cited large scale deviation in specifications to be quoted in the tenders of both HP and IBM as major reasons for technical disqualification. "We had meetings with both companies especially with HP, at least twice, to understand what went wrong. We don't undermine the repute of these large tech majors, but we award tenders on what is presented to us on the table," the official said. He added that the selection is done by an inter-ministerial group, and is not the prerogative of the authority alone. The UIDAI apparently went with SATA storage devices to be supplied by Cisco and EMC which are partners to Wipro Technologies in the tender. HP and IBM have complained that since SAS is the way forward for storage devices, India would be locked in a technology which might become obsolete in next three years. "We selected SATA and FC storage, as we don't need SAS which is still costly and no used in prevalence. Numbers once generated would not be needed too frequently and SATA storage is apt for such storage," reasoned UIDAI top official. In a letter addressed to Nilekani, contents of which were reviewed by ET, HP complained that it is perceived that the UIDAI mandates and propagates only one OEM solution (EMC and Cisco) and all shortlisted bidders have to necessarily quote that only. "While it is an extremely risky and unfair preposition for a government project to be solely dependent on one OEM technology only, it also deprives the government from getting competitive rates," said HP in the letter.