Eight to face Microsoft

A high-powered team has been chosen to represent government departments and agencies in licensing negotiations with Microsoft.

A high-powered team has been chosen to represent government departments and agencies in licensing negotiations with Microsoft.

They are Alison Fleming from Internal Affairs, Tony Lester from Inland Revenue Department, Warwick Sullivan from the New Zealand Defence Force, Andrea Presant from NZ Post, Mohammed Sayeed from the Christchurch City Council, Derek Lyons from the Department of Corrections, Debbie Moody of the Health Sponsorship Council and Gordon Chisholm of the Auckland District Health Board.

About 150 organisations representing 92,000 IT seats have registered their interest in the renegotiation of a government Microsoft Select agreement for 2003 onwards. The Select option is available to enterprise-size organisations under Microsoft’s Software Assurance licensing plan, which is due to take effect in August.

Fleming says the team members are talking to various agencies to find out their concerns and what people want the group to argue for.

She says it’s difficult to say what the per-seat cost will be because a range of licensing options will be made available.

“Different organisations will choose from a menu of options to suit themselves. What they choose will depend on how often they upgrade, the product life cycle, how big they are, how mission-critical Microsoft products are to them and whether they want to capitalise or have the software as a operating cost.”

The current licence covers agencies for four years — a two plus two rollover option or three plus one. Fleming says the government must have a new agreement in place by next April. Some agencies’ licences will start expiring this year though they have an option to roll over for another year. Others that expire next June won’t have the rollover option and most will end next September.

Fleming says it will be at least August before the group actually sits down with Microsoft.

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