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OTE seen unfairly favoured in state IT projects; smaller players protest

OTE's aggressive tactics in the field of public technology projects, with partners such as Byte and Intrasoft International, is reflected in the fact that it seeks even small regional projects.

Complaints in the IT market have been growing recently concerning the increasingly demanding terms demanded in public tenders seen favoring OTE and joint ventures in which it participates in.

OTE's aggressive tactics in the field of public technology projects, with partners such as Byte and Intrasoft International, is reflected in the fact that it seeks even small regional projects, with a budget of a few thousand euros.

This is prompting protests from smaller players, who argue that the strongest group in the industry should be limited on these projects, as OTE takes advantage of its liquidity, close relations with all equipment suppliers and its ability to underprice services, such as telephone support.

They believe that the government should proceed with the major IT projects that will improve the state, but at the same time create an environment that will allow for the participation of smaller, innovative companies.

Right now, according to smaller companies, projects are being announced that are designed for the largest in the industry and especially for OTE. One such example is the tender for the "Digital Map" announced by the Technical Chamber of Greece (TEE). The first tender froze due to protests but a few days later it was published again with almost the same terms and a budget close to 60 million euros.

As reported by Business Daily, IT market officials claim that the demanding conditions set to participate in this tender, ranging from the letter of guarantee of 1.8 million euros through to the total 45 million euros of revenues required for the three year 2017 - 2019 period, severly limits candidates. Some officials even believe that just one bid is expected to be submitted January 20.

However, the same happens in smaller projects such as the expansion / upgrade of the Integrated Monitoring and Recording System of Fisheries Activities (OSPA), ie the system used by the Ministry of Agricultural Policy to manage the register of fishermen, their goods, etc. a. The issue of the tender, amounting to more than 8 million euros, is in public consultation and there is already opposition to the terms seen blatantly favoring OTE.

OTE had undertaken the installation of the original system, and therefore has an advantage anyway. For example, candidates are required to have "completed at least (1) a Business Intelligence project with at least two hundred (200) data entry points and at least 2000 data entry and viewing users"… The management of OTE has not hidden its ambitions in the field of public technology projects.

Opposition from New Democracy is still fairly recent when it was in opposition and SYRIZA had assigned to OTE joint ventures tenders that prompted market complaints on a series of public projects. In fact, some projects, which were also intended for OTE, were not awarded because of the elections. However, it seems that the strongest technology group in the country is claiming the same role with the current government. People in the IT market admit that OTE will play a leading role but argue that this does not mean that it should prevail in almost all critical projects.

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