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Agenda item

Procurement of Microsoft Licencing and Support

      Report of the Chief Executive.

 

Minutes:

Cllr Pauline Church, Cabinet member for Finance, Procurement, Commissioning, IT, Digital and Commercialisation presented the report seeking permission to re-procure, by competitive process, the Microsoft licences agreement needed to operate Council ICT systems for the next 2-3 years. This would also include software support for the smooth operation and fault finding.

 

Cllr Church explained that the Council uses Microsoft software across the organisation for end user computing and the ICT infrastructure. This required a licence and support through an Enterprise Agreement, usually for 3 years.

 

The Cabinet noted that the cost was in the region of £2.7m per annum; £2.1m for licensing and £0.6m for software support. The current 3 year agreement ended in June 2022 and reprocurement needed to be considered in order to continue using and supporting these licences

 

The Leader and Cllr Church confirmed that the proposals had been considered by the Commercial Board and were considered to be the best possible value for money.

 

Cllr Pip Ridout, Chair of the Financial Planning Task Group, informed Cabinet that the Task Group had considered the report at its meeting held on 10 December 2021. Cllr Ridout confirmed that the Task Group recognised the Council needed to procure a Microsoft licence with necessary support and considered the benefits of using the proposed tender process. They also considered whether the two elements of licensing and support could be progressed separately. The Task Group were reassured that the proposal was the most cost-effective way of continuing the licence and support. The report was welcomed by the Task Group who supported the proposals and commended it to the Cabinet for approval.

 

Cllr Jon Hubbard expressed his support for the proposals and suggested as part of the process that the Council consider the suite of Microsoft 365 products did not appear to be utilised. Cllr Church confirmed that officers undertook an annual assessment of the products available, and the number of licences used, and this was monitored on a regular basis.

 

Resolved:

 

  1. Approval to enter into a competitive procurement process for a Microsoft Licence Re-seller agreement for licences and support, contracted for up to 3 years

 

  1. Delegated permission to the Corporate Director for Resources, in consultation with the Cabinet member for Finance, Procurement, Commissioning, IT, Digital and Commercialisation to award a contract for both software licences (Enterprise Agreement) and support following competitive process

 

 

Reason for Decision:

 

1.    Microsoft licensed software is used throughout the Council and is pivotal to virtually all computer services. If we were not licensed much of the work of the Council would grind to a halt.

 

2.    Our licence re-seller contract expires in June 2022 and we need to start work now to ensure we have a replacement contract ready. Suitable competitive routes are available to use.

 

3.    The complex software needs a support agreement to ensure best use and rapid remediation of faults when they occur.

 

4.    We have not previously competed both provision of licences and support and not via an aggregated Crown Commercial route. It is hoped this may deliver a best value solution.

 

Supporting documents:

 

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