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New Zealand tertiary education sector unites to negotiate Microsoft licensing

New Zealand tertiary education sector unites to negotiate Microsoft licensing

A new five-year contract for licensing services will apply to 25 tertiary institutions.

Te Wānanga, universities and technical institutes are uniting to negotiate Microsoft licensing terms.

Te Wānanga, universities and technical institutes are uniting to negotiate Microsoft licensing terms.

Credit: Te Wānanga o Aotearoa

A consortium of tertiary education providers has gone to tender to upend the way Microsoft software licenses are negotiated and purchased in the sector.

Up until now, each tertiary institution has negotiated its own licensing agreement with Microsoft covering pricing and renewals via their licensing solution provider (LSP). However, 25 providers have now teamed up to negotiate collectively under a new tertiary sector agreement.

Current agreements will expire when participants transition to the new tertiary sector agreement on either 1 March or 1 April, 2022.

"The new tertiary sector agreement structure has been confirmed providing a consortia agreement (CASA) including standardised pricing, discounting and non-pricing concessions, with individual EES (enrolment for education solutions) for each institution allowing complete freedom re options and choices," a tender published last week said.

The Tertiary Education Commission (TEC) is now approaching the market on behalf of the collective to receive tender submissions for the provision of Microsoft licensing services for the next five years.

Three wānanga, fifteen technical institutes and seven universities are participating.

The successful provider must meet required qualifications and be recognised and authorised by Microsoft as LSP and have experience in providing licensing expertise to organisations to enable cost-effective solutions using both on-premises and cloud based products, the tender notice said.

They must also have good understanding of academic pricing of Microsoft products and licensing structures.

It would be advantageous for them if they can show they have experience assisting organisations with supplier product comparisons, contract analysis and the interpretation of agreement options as well as experience in advising organisations on usage rights, technology solutions and structure to match technology roadmaps and structure for hybrid cloud.

It would also be advantageous if the provider had a good understanding of opportunities Microsoft can deliver to education and training organisations, incentives and free services, and could provide dedicated contract managers and reporting on usage, it was noted.

As with most recent government tenders, broader social, environmental and other outcome goals also feature as weighted criteria in the tender.

Central government already has what it calls Microsoft cloud, software and services agreement covering licensing. The LSPs on that panel, which was renewed for three more years in May, are: Cyclone Computer Company; Datacom Systems, Fujitsu New Zealand, Insight Enterprises, NTT and Spark Digital.


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