The South Australian Government is on the hunt for a major Microsoft partner to take on the next three years’ worth of the vendor’s software licensing and support services for its 62,000-strong desktop user workforce.
The state’s Department of the Premier and Cabinet has gone to market with an invitation to supply (ITS) in its bid to track down a Microsoft Accredited Partner to step in and handle the provision of software across the Government once its current Microsoft licensing contract agreement wraps up next year.
Since 1994, the South Australian Government’s desktop computers have primarily operated on a standardised Microsoft-based desktop software platform. At the same time, the state’s IT network also operates on servers running Microsoft software and applications.
Microsoft based desktop software is used across all SA state agencies, with an accumulative 62,500 users.
In June 2017, the State entered into a new three-year agreement with Microsoft under its volume licensing program for the provision of Microsoft licenses and services to 30 June 2020.
Of course, distribution and management of these licences needs to be provided by an accredited Microsoft Licensing Solution Provider.
At present, the State’s current single supplier contract for Microsoft Licensing Solution Provider services is due to expire on 30 June 2018, meaning the Government has to go back to the market to establish a new contract with an expanded scope of services to meet the current market environment.
The proposed term of the new arrangement will be three years with up to a further three year extension option at the discretion of the State.
This time around, the state Government is setting itself up to take the opportunity seek out the new offerings and capabilities of Microsoft Licensing Solution Provider in today’s market, reflecting the shift in Microsoft services and products which are now focused more on online, cloud-based services.
In line with the state’s SA Connected ICT strategy, the Government’s agencies are increasingly moving to cloud-based services with the directive to become “digital by default”.
As such, SA’s Government agencies are progressively moving from on-premise desktop software applications to the online environment of Microsoft Office 365. This trend also extends to other Microsoft applications, such as SharePoint and customer relationship management applications now moving to a Dynamic 365 online platform.
According to tender documents, the present tenancy is managed internally by the state’s Department of the Premier and Cabinet IT operation, and has in excess of 60,000 users to date.
While many of these users do not yet use Office 365 for desktop services, there is an expectation that most government employees will utilise the cloud-based services within the next three years, as about 62,500 users are already licenced for this online service.
Microsoft’s compliance archiving is another service that is currently being rolled out in the Office 365 tenancy environment, according to tender documents.
Among the scope of services to be provided by the winning provider is the supply of software products, the provision of a licensing help desk and the provision of software licence keys to agencies.
In July, it was revealed that South Australian Government had signed off on a $55 million licensing deal with Microsoft via Data#3, as the reseller.
Some of the enterprise software included in the contract is Core CAL Software Assurance, WINE3 Software Assurance and Office 365.
The deal came after Data#3 was awarded a $26.5 million contract for HealthShare NSW in June, also for the provision of Microsoft enterprise software across NSW Health.
In addition, the South Australian Government recently signed a contract with DXC Technology in February worth $394.2 million for the provision and support of PCs, laptops and tablets to the state’s government agencies.
The latest invitation to supply closes in mid-November.