Heaven to be outsourced
Security firm G4S’ vision for Heavens new pearly gates
In an announcement that rocked global financial markets today the Kingdom of Heaven has revealed it is to outsource much of its operation to the private sector. Numerous invitations to tender have been sent across industry with perimeter security and IT modernisation high on the eternal realms wish list.
Security firm G4S are thought to be favourites for the perimeter security contract, modernising the famed pearly gates with security cameras and a substantial 24 hour security force.
“Take the front gate, the whole Saint Peter keeping the keys and checking everyone in was fine years ago as there weren’t that many people around then, but nowadays he just can’t cope with demand”, said a spokesperson for God. And given Heavens explosive growth over the last 2 millennium it is hardly surprising.
Only last year Heaven hit the headlines when Saint Peter mislaid the keys to the main gate for 4 hours and caused a huge backlog of frustrated souls many of whom gave up and settled for Hell instead, losing Heaven considerable market share. Saint Peter, one of the original 12 apostles who headed up Heaven’s Marketing department has held the post of “keeper of the keys” (more commonly referred to as “Main Gate Security”) for nearly 2,000 years.
The largest contract on offer is a potentially lucrative computerisation and IT outsourcing deal to replace Heaven’s volumes of ancient tomes that until now have been completed in quill and ink.
“Computerisation will not only make us more efficient but will free up a lot of space” said an angelic spokesperson earlier today “we keep an awful lot of records what with God being omnipresent, he does like to get everything written down”.
In the running to win the IT contract is a consortium lead by US IT services giant EDS (now an HP company) with the Church of England as their principal partner. A spokesperson for EDS commented “we were pursuing an outsourcing deal to run the back office operations for Boots the Chemists but this is in a whole other league”.
City analysts agree that there are very tangible gains to be had from an effectively outsourced IT department that will allow Heaven to concentrate on its core business of saving souls from eternal damnation.
Difficult Commercial Arrangements
As well as the sheer scale of the deals there are other significant challenges to overcome for the contracts potential new incumbents, “Heaven just has to get in touch with the 21st century, and it is this reluctance to modernise that will present a significant barrier to Heaven’s transformation” said an industry spokesperson.
Agreeing financial terms is already proving difficult from the outset, with Heaven only prepared to offer eternal salvation as a means of payment, as a city analyst remarked “eternal salvation for your souls just won’t cut it as revenue in today’s business world, I mean how are companies supposed to record that in their annual reports?”.
Agreeing Service levels is another sticking point, with Heaven so far only identifying one service level “Do my bidding or burn in hell for all eternity”. Lengthy commercial negotiations are expected.
Competing with Hell
Heaven can learn a lot from their only competitors in the duopoly market place – Hell. The underworld took the lead and outsourced its IT operations to EDS nearly 6 years ago. Just last year they extended the contract into supply chain management and this extension is already providing real benefits, as Antaeus, a giant demon from the 9th level of Hell remarked “our supply of fire and brimstone in particular has never been so smoothly managed, we now have the luxury of anticipating demand rather than just fire-fighting shortfalls all the time”.
A key question on every analysts lips is can EDS effectively manage both contracts without a conflict of interest? Most city analysts agree that they probably can “the clients core business is essentially the same, I think EDS is in a unique position to generate real synergy, however it will give them a bit of a monopoly on the supply of IT services to the eternal realms, I think this may count against them”.
Huge Redundancies expected
There is of course expected to be substantial workforce realignment with the introduction of the new contracts. The highest profile redundancy is expected to be Saint Peter who is expected to take a generous offer of early retirement, sources close to him commented “I think Pete is looking forward to it to be honest, he’s long had plans to open up a small garden centre in Surrey (England)”.
But finding work for most of those made redundant may not be so easy as most of Hell’s laid off workforce can testify. Geryon, the Giant centaur who was previously guardian of hell has been out of work since Hell outsourced his security role to Securicor 4 years ago “they’d better start tarting up their CV’s now” he advised.
Saint Peter is expected to take early retirement when the deal completes
–The Real Whippet