Feeds

Australia cuts Microsoft bill by AU$100m

CTO John Sheridan wonders why anyone would upgrade Office again

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

Australia has reduced the amount of money it pays for Microsoft products by AU$100m (£66m, $103m), according to the nation's Chief Technology Officer John Sheridan.

Speaking yesterday at the Kickstart conference, Sheridan explained that consolidating contracts from 42 to one and working through a single reseller has enabled the savings. One contract now covers 300,000 devices and 260,000 people across 126 entities. Work has begun on negotiations for the successor contract with Redmond.

Sheridan did not say what savings he expects or hopes for that deal, but said cutting costs further by using open source software is not his preferred tactic, as big bang upgrades are costly and complex. A mandated replacement for Office may also hamper innovation and productivity, he opined, pointing to the presentation he created in the free iOS graphics app Haiku Deck.

Sheridan used the app to create a witty slide deck featuring Lego minifigures in quaint poses, but said it is not yet reasonable to expect that public servants will bring their own devices, do their work with apps and save the government some cash.

“BYOD does not have a lot of applicability for riflemen or Centrelink counter staff,” he said, hosing down the notion that all Commonwealth employees could be BYOD candidates. Sheridan likes the idea of cheap apps selected and sourced by staff being used widely across the public service, but just how bring your own device would work is yet to be determined.

“What if a worker does BYOD and their device breaks?” he asked. Would that worker be responsible for coming to work with a working device? Would the Commonwealth be expected to have backup devices? Those processes are yet to be considered, he said, and BYOD for the Commonwealth is therefore not yet feasible.

Sheridan also pointed to other savings the Australian Government Information Management Office's (AGIMO) revised procurement practices have brought about. Before that work commenced, Sheridan said the Commonwealth paid 54 per cent above the Australian average price for PCs. Today it pays 49 per cent below that average, with savings of $27m banked. Telepresence has saved $44m in travel costs since 2009.

Sheridan said vendor culture has also changed as a result of the purchasing panel arrangements. ISPs, he said, used to offer a capacity upgrade when their contracts expired. Now they offer that and a price cut.

“We regularly see savings in excess of 50 per cent,” he said. “They understand government wont be renewing contracts just because it is too hard to move.” ®

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

More from The Register

next story
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
'Cowardly, venomous trolls' threatened with TWO-YEAR sentences for menacing posts
UK government: 'Taking a stand against a baying cyber-mob'
Doctor Who's Flatline: Cool monsters, yes, but utterly limp subplots
We know what the Doctor does, stop going on about it already
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
Arab States make play for greater government control of the internet
Nerds told to get lost in last-minute power grab bid at UN meeting
Zippy one-liners, broken promises: Doctor Who on the Orient Express
Series finally hits stride, but Clara's U-turn is baffling
Don't bother telling people if you lose their data, say Euro bods
You read that right – with the proviso that it's encrypted
Apple SILENCES Bose, YANKS headphones from stores
The, er, Beats go on after noise-cancelling spat
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.