Govt-Microsoft panel aims at more consistency, less cost

Five service providers appointed to syndicated panel

The Department of Internal Affairs has set up a panel of five service providers for licence administration and management services in connection with government agencies’ purchase of Microsoft products and services.

This latest all-of-government ICT initiative aims at achieving a more consistent framework for dealing with Microsoft. The syndicated services panel will also “reduce the cost of purchasing licences, remove duplication and streamline the procurement process”, says Internal Affairs Minister Chris Tremain.

Government reached a purchasing arrangement with Microsoft earlier this year – known as the G2012 framework - as part of its usual three-yearly cycle; this was said to have the potential to save 55 percent of the cost of Microsoft goods and services for most government agencies.

However, the actual arrangement of purchases has been done until now through a variety of “large account resellers” (LARs). Agencies have chosen for themselves which LAR they used. This has resulted in “inconsistency in service levels and fees charged by the LARs”, Tremain says.

The service providers appointed to the syndicated panel are Datacom, Dimension Data, Fujitsu, Gen-i and Insight. All participants in the G2012 framework will have access to the new LAR arrangement.

The panel arrangement, like others for the supply of products and services, is designed to encourage government agencies to adopt shared approaches and solutions, Tremain says. Agencies will not be obliged to deal with a member of the panel, but “I strongly encourage all government agencies to find out how the panel can help save them time and money,” Tremain says.

A set of “basic LAR services” has been agreed. These are the core services that are required to acquire and administer Microsoft licenses and related agreements

Each panellist has proposed a set of additional services that it could provide related to its role as a Microsoft LAR. These will be finalised for each of the suppliers over the next few months, says DIA.

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