Software has become the latest target of the NSW Government’s mission to completely overhaul the way that it buys ICT.
The Department of Finance and Services (DFS) has revealed that it is in the process of setting up a whole-of-government ‘Software Agreement’ into which existing licensing contracts will be transitioned as they expire.
While many of the details of the new agreement are yet to be released, it has been confirmed that State Contract 2602 for Information Asset Management Systems (IAMS), which expired at the end of May, has already been moved in under the new deal. State Contract 2313 for Novell products will follow when it expires on 30 June 2013.
“It is intended that IAMS products and services will be available for purchase under the new agreement from 1 June 2013, and that Novell products and services will be available from 1 July 2013. This will ensure business continuity and uninterrupted trade with suppliers,” advises the Government’s ProcurePoint website.
Seven suppliers were members of State Contract 2602 upon its expiry, including:
- Hewlett Packard
Novell is the only supplier accredited to sell its own products under State Contract 2313.
A spokesperson for DFS was unable to confirm whether new suppliers would be automatically transitioned to the new agreement, stating that those decisions would be made “where it is appropriate, drives value, manages risk and delivers savings”.
She added that “the Software Agreement is a vehicle for agencies to purchase software licenses and associated maintenance from software product providers.
“The Agreement will ensure business continuity, competitive pricing, flexibility in transition to Government Data Centres and XaaS models, and support for Software License Optimisation (SWLO).”
According to Intermedium’s Whole-of-Government Panels Database, only three state-wide software contracts are currently operating or recently expired, making them likely candidates to be transitioned into the new deal, including:
- State Contract 2601 for SAP ERP software (reported to have expired in March);
- State Contract 2600 for Oracle ERP software (reported to have expired in February and no longer visible online); and
- State Contract 2311 for Microsoft Large Account Resellers (due to expire in August this year)
The State’s licensing agreement with Microsoft itself will carry on until June 2015.
Any new procurement arrangements are very likely to be tailored to the NSW Government’s stated aim of encouraging cloud-based purchasing amongst agencies, and could possibly bring any number of new software-as-a-service products within the scope of centralised procurement.
However only further announcements will confirm whether the Software Agreement will share the minimised application processes and constant supplier refreshes that have been central to the reform of other Whole-of-Government ICT contracts already in the State. State Contract 2020 for IT Services was replaced by the NSW ICT Services Scheme in March 2013, followed soon after by State Contract 100 for general labour hire.
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