Microsoft and BearingPoint target governments

Microsoft is teaming up with systems integration and consulting firm BearingPoint to deliver a set of software and services...

Microsoft is teaming up with systems integration and consulting firm BearingPoint to deliver a set of software and services packages aimed at governments.

The companies will develop packages in the areas of programme management, electronic document filing, e-government, web services, national security, public pension administration and independent software suppliers bundles based on Microsoft's enterprise software.

The partnership is not Microsoft's first with BearingPoint, and underscores the software maker's push to win more of the lucrative public sector market.

BearingPoint has a strong client base and experience in the public sector, so it would make sense for Microsoft to team with the firm, said RedMonk analyst James Governor.

"The public sector has been a pretty hot market for the past 18 months and Microsoft obviously wants to position itself in that context," Governor said.

The companies already rolled out an eFiling for Courts package in March, which helps courts implement electronic-filing systems, and have worked on putting together packages for state governments in areas such as transport and online retirement services, said Lawrence Herman, BearingPoint's managing director in charge of state and local government solutions and alliances.

In addition to making advantageous partnerships, Microsoft has also been pursuing government sector contracts with larger sales teams, and key public sector executives.

Last month, the company appointed the SuSE Linux account manager who convinced the Munich city government to switch from Microsoft to Linux.

The public sector push is key for Microsoft given the market created by compliance regulations, and the enlargement of the European Union, Governor said.

Ten Eastern European countries joined the union on 1 May, and as members they must meet EU guidelines on projects such as e-government and other IT-heavy services.

Microsoft and BearingPoint will be targeting these members and other emerging markets in the Middle East and Africa, Herman said.

Although it is a four-year, global agreement, the packages will be rolled out gradually, with the initial focus on emerging markets, he said.

Under the agreement, the companies will also invest in marketing, technical training, solutions co-development, solution center upgrades and sales support and events.

Many of the packages will be available within the next six to seven months and pricing will vary according to the government and scope of the contract.

Scarlet Pruitt writes for IDG News Service



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