Microsoft has signed off a deal with Buying Solutions that will allow the vendor to sell across the public sector and give the government the chance to trumpet £75m worth of savings.
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The aim of Buying Solutions was to get competitive and consistent pricing from Microsoft and it has been clear that any deal has to be value for money, particularly in the current climate where the government is looking to trim costs.
That had led to the deal taking time to hammer out as the list of demands from Buying Solutions was quite steep.
After consultations with national and local government representatives it became clear that they not only wanted competitive pricing but a flat cost structure that did not reward departments based on size. There is also the option to transfer licences between public sector organisations.
Microsoft has developed a number of public sector packages that are designed to appeal to specific job functions.
Angela Eagle, exchequer secretary to the Treasury, said that the flexibility in the licensing terms would produce £75m worth of savings to the tax payer in the next five years.
“The public sector must continually strive to become more innovative and collaborative in how it buys its goods and services to deliver maximum value for the tax payer,” she said.
“It also reinforces the Government’s commitment to its Open Source Action Plan by setting up a facility to reuse and share licences across the public sector,” she added.
Buying Solutions indicated that the model it had struck with Microsoft would be the purchasing approach it would be looking to replicate with other vendors.
“Through innovation and collaboration we have been able to maximise the spending power of the public sector and deliver a lower cost,highly flexible solution," said Alison Littley, chief executive of Buying Solutions.
"This is a great example of the opportunities Buying Solutions is targeting to make further savings in the future,” she added.
“The UK public sector is a key customer for us and we have responded to its dual requirements for flexibility and best pricing,” said Microsoft UK public sector director Nicola Hodson.