Headlines: March 4th, 2002

The Treasury is predicting that a groundbreaking deal between the Office of Government Commerce (OGC) and three of the world’s major suppliers of IT software will offer the Government savings of 100 million pounds over the next three years.The arrangement was reached following discussions between Microsoft, IBM/Lotus and SUN Microsystems.

The Treasury sees the deal brokered by the OGC as a coup for the buying agency. It is the first time that OGC has worked with central government departments, devolved administrations and local government to secure a major UK public-sector wide deal on software.

SOCITM, the society which represents IT experts in local government, raised concerns in May of last year when Microsoft’s licence charges began to escalate. The society was part of the negotiating team that will not only see keener prices for software across the public sector, but greater options to use a wider range of software.

Previously departments have made individual arrangements with suppliers for their software requirements.

Sun Microsystems has announced that it is delighted with the opportunity to be part of greater vendor competition in public sector IT. It sees an opportunity opened up to put its software on up to two million desktops.