The Federal Government has put its new whole-of-government software licensing and services (SLS) procurement panel out to tender.
The new panel arrangement, which comes under the auspices of the Digital Transformation Agency (DTA), is currently recruiting for its initial category, Microsoft Licensing Solutions Provider.
The DTA, which grew out of the Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s Digital Transformation Office (DTO), put the call out on 17 July to potential suppliers to provide feedback on the proposed panel.
The new panel category is set to replace the existing reseller arrangement for Microsoft licensing that is due to expire in March 2018.
The current Whole of Government Microsoft Large Account Reseller (LAR) Deliverables procurement panel, which was established in March 2012, claims just one supplier, Data#3 Limited.
The new panel is set to see other suppliers vie for inclusion in the potentially lucrative Microsoft Licensing Solutions Provider category, meaning Data#3 may see its sole supplier status taken down a notch.
According to tender documents, the Australian Government spent over $364 million on Microsoft licences (including online services) and software assurance, between July 2013 and the end of June 2016.
Now, through its ICT Procurement Branch (ICTPB), the DTA – which took on procurement duties from the Department of Finance this year – is set to manage the new whole-of-government Microsoft Volume Sourcing Agreement. This arrangement has a term from July to the end of June 2019.
At present, the DTA has not set any maximum number of panelists that may comprise the new panel, which will eventually see additional categories added for other software licensing and related services.
In July, a draft statement of requirement for the first panel category called for the provision of services relating to the procurement of Microsoft products, such as licensing advice, quotations, invoicing, licence key distribution, renewal advice and compliance support.
“The Tenderer may propose Additional Value Add LSP Deliverables within the Mark Up quoted by Tenderers, for DTA to consider,” the statement of requirement said.
“For example, these may include (but are not limited to) help desks, onsite support, further benefits related to the redemption of Microsoft Software Assurance Benefits, software asset management, media management, deployment services, discounts, rebates etc,” it said.
The operation of the new panel is set to be reviewed annually by the DTA and may be refreshed or reopened to add additional or different panelists further down the track, according to the tender documents.
The request for tender closes on 12 September.