Government departments unite for Microsoft licensing

In a world first, New Zealand government departments have banded together to negotiate new supply agreements with Microsoft. The current Microsoft Select licensing agreements end in September.

In a world first, New Zealand government departments have banded together to negotiate new supply agreements with Microsoft. The current Microsoft Select licensing agreements end in September.

It's the first time government agencies in any country have presented a combined negotiating team to Microsoft, says Neil Miranda, who is chief negotiator for the group on behalf of Social Welfare.

"We're trying to come up with an agreement that may also extend to local government," he says.

The recently established action group includes representatives from IRD, Education, Statistics and State Services.

Miranda says Microsoft has proposed two agreements: one for enterprise strategies and one for those wanting to concentrate on desktop clients and Office.

"We find [the new agreement] hard to understand and that what's being proposed is no better than what we've got," he says. "We can't afford to not understand how to move forward without screwing up our budgets and service delivery."

Miranda says Microsoft's attitude has been "pretty good" and Microsoft corporate is involved because of the combined departmental approach.

He expects the issue to be resolved by the end of the month.

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