The Queensland Government has signed a whole-of-government deal with Microsoft to give all departments access to the vendor’s software through a selected panel of Large Account Resellers (LAR).
The three-year enterprise agreement, which was announced on Australia Day, will see all panel participants selected through a tender process.
“In addition, the arrangement gives all state and local government entities the opportunity to purchase other Microsoft solutions with various options, depending upon the needs of the agency involved,” Minister for Public Works and Information and Communications Technology, Robert Schwarten, said.
The major agreement was signed as part of the Government’s ‘Toward Q2 through ICT’ strategy, a five-year plan designed to bring the state’s ICT under whole-of-government arrangements.
Software Queensland secretary, Glenn Irvine, welcomed the move as a major boost to local businesses and the economy, but hoped more small resellers would be invited to join the panel.
“Historically, the thinking has been that you’d get better pricing by doing direct deals,” Irvine said. “While [Queensland] has historically done whole-of-government Microsoft deals through VARs, and previously Data#3 had that role, it’s good to see that they’re continuing in that vein rather than looking at a direct approach.
“From the local industry perspective, we’re seeing small VARs locally are being cut out of something like that and are being supported or at least sponsored by the Queensland Government accordingly.
“I can name a number of our members that are small resellers and have quite unique licensing model experience and are more than capable of being able to do that and manage it, so we’d love to see smaller [VARs] being included in the picture going forward.”
While the industry group secretary was unwilling to label the Queensland system as perfect, he claimed it was inclusive and beneficial for all parties involved and could be taken nationally.
“Certainly this is a model we think could be taken right across Australia,” Irvine said. “It’s far better than what we have seen before…I’d like to see how this one matures.”