The Ministry of Defence has inked the single largest Microsoft Enterprise Agreement across the public sector, designed to gradually shift users to the cloud, specifically Office 365.
The EA was tendered under Lot 2 of the Technology Products agreement, a framework that kicked off in November last year, and Comparex beat Microsoft’s other Licensing Solutions Partners (LSPs) to the deal.
The agreement is valued at £41m excluding VAT, but departments and agencies within the MoD will be moved to Office 365 at different times over the three-year timeframe.
In the first year, the MoD will roll out Office 365 to 90,000 users, some 150,000 will move by the second and 180,000 by year three. The Atlas consortium, led by HP Enteprise Services, will help roll out the service.
Mike Chambers, UK managing director at Comparex – the newest UK LSP – sent us a canned statement confirming the EA win: “We look forward to working with the Atlas consortium and the MoD.”
The margins on these government EAs are wafer thin, as the fees Microsoft pays out on large corporate and public sector deals was reduced by two third in 2012, but it will oil top-line growth.
The win for Comparex is significant, because rival LSP Software Box Ltd (SBL) was the incumbent supplier for the MoD for the past eleven years. An exiting agreement with SBL runs out next summer.
As we exclusively revealed some months back, Microsoft and the Cabinet Office agreed not to renew the Public Sector Agreement 12 with a like-for-like scheme when it expired at the end of April.
This allowed government IT buyers to access discounts for certain volumes, but instead, a Cloud Transformation Agreement was signed to force more people to use software-as-a-service via an EA Subscription, Server & Cloud enrolment or the Enterprise Cloud Suite.
The CTA runs from May 1 until June 30 2017, but the bad news for the dawdlers is that the price of on-premise desktop wares went up 47 per cent from the start date.
Microsoft refused to comment and the MoD is preparing a statement.
The Mod has sent us a statement - make of it what you will.
"We are in the process of delivering a redesigned IT solution that will provide the modern, open and flexible capability required to support Defence activity. Work has commenced on this new style of delivery and to ensure software compliancy, the MOD procured additional desktop licences to compliment the new design. The requirement was competed through the Crown Commercial Services Framework and Comparex were the successful bidder based on price." ®