DETROIT -- The $15 billion information technology sweepstakes at General Motors is about to end, and the world's largest tech companies are biting their nails.
The list of 18 finalists for GM's business is a Who's Who of the global technology industry, including IBM Corp., Cisco Systems Inc., EDS Corp., Hewlett-Packard Co. and Capgemini.
Over the next two weeks, GM Chief Information Officer Ralph Szygenda will decide which companies will get what chunks of the business over five years. The stakes are enormous. There are 40 contracts worth a combined $3 billion annually over five years.
"This is definitely a tense moment in the IT industry," Szygenda said in an interview last week with Automotive News. GM's contracts with information technology provider EDS expire in June.
These multivendor contracts mark a fundamental shift in how GM awards information technology contracts. EDS, of Plano, Texas, has been GM's primary vendor of information technology hardware, software and services since the automaker purchased the company in 1984. Now, EDS could lose much of that business.
Szygenda is poring over a chart that divides GM's information technology business into 40 chunks. Last year, GM invited vendors to bid on those chunks. Three phases of negotiations followed.
"I now have the best and final bids for each of these areas," Szygenda said. "Now I'm looking how they group together. By the end of this year, I must make up my mind where we're going, and in January we'll announce it. The next two weeks are very important."
Scores of secondary information technology providers also hold major stakes in the process.