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HMRC hops back into bed with Microsoft, finds purse £10m lighter

Computacenter puts couple right after four-year split

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IT reseller Computacenter has brokered an Enterprise Agreement (EA) between Microsoft and HMRC valued at roughly £10m. The agreement entitles Blighty's taxmen to volume discounts on Redmond gear, upgrades and more over the next three years.

It is understood Computacenter will take a small cut for hooking up the two organisations; HMRC's last EA with Microsoft expired in 2008.

This latest contract was touted to prospective suppliers to handle a week before Christmas. The deal offered wafer thin margins, but was awarded to Computacenter last week.

The agreement covers about 90,000 desktops across HMRC and ends the four-year hiatus between the government department and the US software giant. Sources close to Microsoft said Her Majesty's taxmen "didn't see the value in renewing" back in 2008 as it hadn't made much use of Redmond's products on offer.

One of our insiders reckoned the change of heart came after HMRC decided to update its "Microsoft technology stacks".

There are a raft of 2013 product refreshes already out or planned for release, and by moving to an EA HMRC also avoids price rises on Microsoft products, the source added.

The deal was shoehorned into Microsoft's year-end and will help to boost its top line, but the fee Computacenter stands to make from the deal is understood to be fairly small as HMRC is classified as a major account that Microsoft sells to directly.

Back in October 2011 Microsoft reduced partners' fees on business done with any large entity in the corporate or public sector by two thirds, effectively forcing its large account resellers into the small corporate and mid-market spaces.

The Channel is awaiting a response from Computacenter and HMRC. Microsoft refused to comment. ®

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