Licensing top priority for user alliance

Software licensing, international purchasing and IT service contracts will be the first issues tackled by the Strategic...

Software licensing, international purchasing and IT service contracts will be the first issues tackled by the Strategic Suppliers' Relationship Group (SSRG), a consortium of 10 UK user groups, which will be officially launched tomorrow.

The SSRG, bringing together some of the UK's most powerful user groups in a unique collaboration, aims to build better customer/supplier relationships.

The aim is to provide a common user approach to suppliers on core issues to head off potential problems and help IT suppliers recognise the needs of users.

It has taken four years of discussion to reach this landmark launch, which has the support of leading IT companies including Microsoft, IBM, Oracle, Sun and IT supplier organisation Intellect.

Ray Titcombe, chairman of  the SSRG and the IBM Computer Users Association, outlined the group's priorities. 'The three big challenges will be the simplification and standardisation of software licensing, international purchasing for multinationals, and IT service contracts.

'We are also developing the Ôrules/guidelines' to improve purchasing/contracting between IT suppliers and users.'

Ralph Miller, SRRG representative for the Institute of Management Information Systems, said, 'This group will provide a strategic service to our members. In a maturing IT industry, serious effort to manage relationships provides clear evidence of positive governance and enhances the reputation of all participants.'

Ronan Miles, chairman of the UK Oracle User Group, said, 'The UK Oracle User Group is firmly committed to the belief that its members, Oracle and third parties form one economy whose success or otherwise is shared by all. Via the SSRG, we see the opportunity to bring that thinking to the overall IT community.

The SSRG will be funded by its members and will be independent of suppliers, with each user group communicating discussion to its own members.

The catalyst for the SSRG was a roundtable meeting of 15 user groups in April 2001, organised by Computer Weekly, to explore ways in which groups could collaborate more effectively.

Computer Weekly editor Hooman Bassirian said, 'IT users and user organisations face universal issues such as standards, skills, software quality and licensing. The SSRG gives users the opportunity to speak with one voice in a developing dialogue with suppliers. We aim to play a central role in facilitating that process.'

SSRG members

  • The Corporate IT Forum
  • IBM Computer Users Association
  • UK Oracle User Group
  • BCS Elite Group
  • Institute for the Management of Information Systems
  • The Society for IT Management
  • Charities Consortium IT Directors Group
  • Charity IT Resources Alliance
  • Chartered Institute of Arbitrators
  • Computer Weekly 500 Club.

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