The federal government has opened its exclusive Microsoft licensing arrangement with Data#3 up to the market as part of a new broad procurement arrangement for software licensing and services.
Data#3 has been the federal government’s exclusive license reseller (LAR) for the Microsoft volume sourcing arrangement (VSA) since 2008.
It currently sells core desktop license to the Digital Transformation Agency – which assumed the Department of Finance's procurement responsibilities earlier this year– which then distributes the licenses per seat.
The arrangement was worth $364 million between 1 July 2013 and 30 June 2016.
The DTA indicated last month that it would replace the LAR contract with a whole-of-government software licensing and service panel that would contain more than one supplier offering Microsoft licensing solutions.
The panel will also include more than one category in the future, allowing it to cover a greater number of providers and types of software down the track.
It has now approached the market for the first category – 'Microsoft licensing solution provider' – of its new whole-of-government software licensing and services panel.
The DTA expects that the panel will give agencies covered by the VSA “access to a cost plus mark up arrangement” whereby products are provided at an agreed price and agencies pay a mark up for all additional services.
However, while the DTA will appoint a panel of suppliers, only a single panellist will be chosen to provide core desktop licenses – the most common Microsoft software licenses, such as Office, Windows and client access licenses.
For non-core desktop licenses including server, some desktop, online services and other Microsoft products, each agency will select one or more panellists.
Non-core desktop licenses can only be purchased via Data#3 currently.
The DTA expects the panel to run for a maximum of eight years, but will review it annually.
It has also indicated that the panel may be refreshed to add additional panellist, categories, or deliverables on an annual basis, in a similar manner to the whole-of-government cloud services panel.
The agency hopes to have the new panel up and running before the end of 2017.