Victoria rethinks PC purchasing

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Victoria rethinks PC purchasing

Wants staff to buy their own devices off panel.

The Victorian government is re-evaluating how it buys computer hardware and has called on its current vendors and market newcomers to suggest ways it could improve its whole-of-government panel.

Victorian agencies are currently required to source desktop PCs and laptops from one of six suppliers, which successfully bid to join its whole-of-government state purchase contract back in May 2009.

Acer, Dell, Data#3, HP, Lenovo, and Toshiba currently provide hardware to the state's agencies via this mechanism.

The five year-old deal is due to expire in April, and the Department of State Development, Business and Innovation (DSDBI) is looking to replace it with a new contract offering greater flexibility and value for money.

Additionally, the DSDBI is considering adding a new feature to the contract which would allow Victorian public servants to buy devices for their own personal use, separately to what the state already provides within the workplace.

Under the proposed reforms, employees would be able to take full advantage of any discounts or favourable terms negotiated by the state.

The DSDBI expects most Victorian agencies will have a BYOD policy in place within the next 18 months, and as such is looking into opening state contracts up to staff to encourage adoption.

“DSDBI would like to support the option for individuals to purchase these devices through the new SPC, to allow for their potential use at work in the future.”

It expects that allowing the panel to be used in a personal capacity would make it easier for CIOs to manage a BYOD fleet, by providing “a broad standardisation of equipment” drawn from “the same pool of devices used by the agencies”.

Buy-now-pay-later financing and salary sacrificing options have been raised to make it easier for employees to pay for the devices.

In keeping with its mobility focus, the DSDBI also plans to add tablets and hybrid notebooks to the scope of the deal.

In 2012-13 the state bought 93,000 devices through the panel, which is currently limited to notebooks and desktop computers. Desktops accounted for 26 percent of sales and laptops and notebooks made up the remaining 74 percent.

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