Bournemouth, Christchurch, Poole Council awards reseller a multimillion-pound contract for Microsoft services

Sun, sea and software? UK south coast authority goes all in on Redmond

Updated Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole (BCP) Council has awarded reseller Bytes Software Services a three-year contract for Microsoft software and cloud services that could be worth up to £18m.

Formed in April 2019 after the merging of Bournemouth and Poole unitary authority with the non-metropolitan district of Christchurch on the English south coast, BCP Council expects its spending with Microsoft via the framework agreement to nearly double.

According to a contract award notice, the value of the deal has been set at up to £6 million per annum. "This is an estimated value based on a potential increase in spend on Microsoft Licensing during the term of the agreement. The current spend per annum (2020/2021) for the Supply of Microsoft Licensing is £2.9 million," it said.

The council serves a population of 395,331 and is currently still building its strategic governance model, which itself involves the tendering of an IT and consultancy partner for £18m.

Whatever the outcome of that procurement, the council seems confident it will need a lot of stuff from the omnipresent Redmond tech business. The council said it will buy the wares via a Microsoft Enterprise Agreement (EA), Server and Cloud Enrolment, and Cloud Solution Provider services.

Microsoft's Azure cloud is something of a favourite in the UK public sector. In January, two local authorities in North West England awarded reseller Insight Direct a six-year £35m contract for Microsoft licences and cloud services.

Cheshire East Council teamed up with Cheshire West and Chester Council to "adopt and consume Microsoft Azure SaaS/PaaS and other cloud-hosted services and products" under the deal as they continued "to migrate core applications into an Azure cloud environment through engagement with our strategic cloud enablement partner".

Bytes Software Services, itself no stranger to the British public sector, listed on the London Stock Exchange on December 11. The IPO raised £352.4m for the business. Bytes currently has a market cap of £1.05bn. ®

Updated at 10:16 on 24 March 2021 to add:

Explaining why so much was tossed into Microsoft's coffers at once, Bournemouth council got in touch to say that it required a Server and Cloud Enrolment (SCE) deal "to standardise broadly on... key server and cloud tech from Microsoft."

"A Microsoft EA must be in place to take out a SCE agreement. The current spend per annum (2020/2021) for the Supply of Microsoft Licensing is £2.9m."

It added that "The procurement process for a Strategic Implementation Partner for the Implementation of Organisational Design at BCP Council is currently being concluded."

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