Crown Commercial Service

Are you overpaying for your Microsoft licenses?

Could you be driving more value for your organisation through your technology procurement?

As you may be aware, we negotiate MOU’s (Memorandums of Understanding) on behalf of the UK government with key commercial partners including Microsoft. These MOUs ensure that the entirety of the UK public sector is able to access the best possible price for Microsoft software and licenses, by leveraging the size and buying power of the public sector. This avoids public sector organisations having to individually negotiate less favourable terms, saving the taxpayer money and delivering efficiencies for the public sector and the supplier.

Despite this high level understanding being in place between the UK public sector and Microsoft (among other companies), there remain multiple routes to market for you to access the MOU. In this article I aim to outline the benefits of choosing  our Technology Products 2 framework for Microsoft software and licensing.

Microsoft Licenses & the MoU

CCS negotiated the MoU directly with Microsoft and so is perfectly placed to explain how to access it and how to get the most from it. We can provide an impartial review of current or proposed license requirements, linked to the longer-term strategy of your organisation. What’s more, Microsoft licenses can be purchased quickly and simply via the Technology Products 2 framework (RM3733).

What are the benefits of using the Technology Products 2 Framework for Microsoft licensing & support?

  • Microsoft licenses can be purchased alone or as part of a wider procurement including hardware and/or other software; all bespoke requirements can be considered
  • Best public sector prices – CCS suppliers’ margins are contractually capped (max 2.5%) and these margins can be routinely audited by CCS, with rebates imposed where required to ensure best value is maintained
  • Reduced timescales – no further OJEU process needed and we can provide tender documentation and templates to make the process even easier. Using the framework for your Enterprise Agreement renewals can also be faster than other routes.
  • Pre-defined terms and conditions and a simplified order form allow for an extremely simple contracting process

What about Value Added Resellers (VARs) & Technology Products 2?

  • There are a wide variety of Microsoft partners on the framework meaning that you can be confident you will get a good response to your tender and that the pricing will be competitive
  • There are differences between VARs – these companies tend to have different operating models and USP’s, with some more focused on service than others.  Some will have closer relationships with Microsoft than others (different levels of partners dependent on volume of sales etc.) Some account managers will be better than others and staff can change frequently, all of which can impact on the deal attained.
  • Technology Products 2 provides access to the best VARs – adding value for many customers in innovative ways.  Types of reseller value added services include;
    • License tracking
    • Asset management
    • Software assurance benefits
    • Training vouchers
    • Classroom days
    • Technical support
    • Suppliers can be tested on these value added services as well as price
  • Price and value scoring mechanism – customers should use a price / quality mix on TP2:  For example; 10% Quality / 90% Price. Quality could measure – delivery time, sales service, accessories, and service fitness for purpose.  Price could measure life cycle costs, cost effectiveness & price; price and running costs. Using a scoring mechanism is good practice, as you will want to test the market and the resellers in order to attain value from them. Not all resellers are equal so it is wise to test them at tender stage.
  • Some customers may be using a reseller that is also a supplier on our framework. Contracting direct is both non-compliant and non-competitive i.e. you could be paying too much for the same product.. Using Technology Products 2  will allow you to ensure you are getting the best price for your licenses and service.

Want to find out more?

Get in touch via our contact form, quoting ‘Microsoft’ in the comments box and one of our experts will be in touch.