Feeds

Australia cuts Microsoft bill by AU$100m

CTO John Sheridan wonders why anyone would upgrade Office again

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

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.” ®

The next step in data security

More from The Register

next story
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
Israeli spies rebel over mass-snooping on innocent Palestinians
'Disciplinary treatment will be sharp and clear' vow spy-chiefs
Apple CEO Tim Cook: TV is TERRIBLE and stuck in the 1970s
The iKing thinks telly is far too fiddly and ugly – basically, iTunes
Huawei ditches new Windows Phone mobe plans, blames poor sales
Giganto mobe firm slams door shut on Microsoft. OH DEAR
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Found inside ISIS terror chap's laptop: CELINE DION tunes
REPORT: Stash of terrorist material found in Syria Dell box
Show us your Five-Eyes SECRETS says Privacy International
Refusal to disclose GCHQ canteen menus and prices triggers Euro Human Rights Court action
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.