In the aftermath of the government's decision not to renew an NHS Enterprise Wide Agreement with Novell, reseller partner Trustmarque is building regional frameworks to pull together the purchasing power of the local Trusts.
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The Department for Health this week confirmed the fate of the EWA which expires 30 October, placing the management of licenses and maintenance in the hands of local Trusts.
In response, Novell had initially indicated that without the economies of scale of an EWA it would cut sector discounts to 34%, said Angelo di Ventura, group sales and marketing director at Trustmarque - the incumbent partner on Novell's EWA for the past two years
However, he said the firms had worked together to price larger deals more aggressively and comparatively closer to the EWA,
"Our job is to recruit as many Trusts as possible to almost create our own mini regional framework to negotiate deals with Novell on their behalf," he told MicroScope.
Novell will offer a tiered structure of discounts for maintenance; 55% off list price for deals from 1 to 5k seats, 60% for 5k to 20k and 65% for 20k plus desktops.
He estimated that there are around 470 Trusts in England and roughly 150 have a "significant installed base of Novell", including identity management, systems management and collaboration tools.
"There is going to be an enormous amount of risk associated with not renewing the maintenance contracts," di Ventura warned.
Trustmarque also plans to set up quarterly user groups to review the situation, create framework promos and offer financing to defer customer payments, which plays to cost conscious public sector departments bracing themselves for the austerity measures.
Not all Trusts have used the EWAs so smaller and more manageable frameworks might be a cost effective alternative - an unintended consequence of the coalition's efforts to reduce the £950bn UK national debt by cutting Novell and Microsoft's EWA.