Socitm says Oracle deal will be good for councils

The government's new contract with Oracle for the supply of software to public sector bodies represents value for money,...

The government's new contract with Oracle for the supply of software to public sector bodies represents value for money, according to Bob Griffith, special projects secretary at the Society of IT Management.

Griffith, who was involved in the negotiations surrounding the agreement, said, "This is very similar to the deal that we fixed up with Microsoft last year - what we were trying to do was come up with an improvement in terms of value for money in existing Oracle licensing arrangements."

Last year Socitm, which represents UK local authority IT managers, was closely involved in the Office of Government Commerce's massive software deal with Microsoft, Sun Microsystems and IBM/Lotus.

OGC officials expect the Oracle agreement, which includes its 9i Database and Application Server offerings, could result in an average saving of 11% on the cost of technology products purchased either directly or indirectly from the software giant.

Griffith said, "The level of saving depends on each individual local authority - what we were able to do was put a contract on the table for the public sector to consider."

He also believes the deal could play a part in helping councils meet the government's 2005 target for making public services available electronically.

"Indirectly, it will help the public sector meet the 2005 target by making the money they have go further," Griffith said.

Under the terms of the new deal, which will run until March 2006, Oracle has offered the same terms to the UK public sector as it does to the US government.

Socitm hopes to negotiate an extension to the arrangement when it expires in 2006.

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