Feeds

Microsoft crows about 149k-seat Office 365 deal that costs it MILLIONS

Queensland banks savings, decides one in three workers can do without Office

Remote control for virtualized desktops

The Australian State of Queensland does not observe daylight saving and an old joke about the state says that air travellers entering the region have in the past been advised to “turn your watch back one hour and 50 years.”

How then, to consider the State's decision to head for the cloud with a 149,000-seat deal for Microsoft's Office 365?

Queensland has of late gone on a cost-cutting binge and is also backing away from failed shared services initiatives. On the IT front it is very risk-averse thanks to the debacle of the IBM-led payroll project that went a billion bucks over budget and still didn't work. A move to the cloud for productivity tools that will save a reported of $AUD13.7m over three years is therefore a good thing for the state and a sign it is going with the times. And a slightly scary thing for Microsoft if this becomes a trend: if all Office users of this scale can strip similar sums from their budgets each year Satya Nadella has a lot to worry about.

Perhaps there's a silver lining here for Microsoft. As of December 2013, according to the December 2013 Queensland Public Service Quarterly Workforce Profile (PDF), the State employed 227,836 people in the equivalent of 191,196.52 full-time jobs. Lots of government workers do their thing in the field and may not need Office 365. Others may job-share. It is conceivable the State figured out it only needed 149,000 licences instead of a previous higher number, which means the savings come from rightsizing. Microsoft can grumble, but can't complain, about that!

Except for one inconvenient fact: Queensland's public education sector employs 66,000 people and the Education Department has its own Microsoft deal. That leaves 12,000 workers without office and Microsoft's claims that this is a whole-of-government deal looking shabby.

What are those 12,000 workers using for email? Might there be pockets of resistance? That possibility is important because Microsoft's canned blog postsays acquiring Office 365 “... will also provide a foundation for standardisation and simplification: All employees will have access to the same capabilities and tools, which means information can be exchanged more easily.” If pockets of resistance exist, that homogeneity isn't going to happen.

Let's also note another small piece of Microsoft naughtiness: the assertion in the canned blog post that Queensland is “the second-largest state in Australia”. As indeed it is … by area. But it is Australia's third-largest in terms of population, which makes the deal just a little less significant.

To be fair, Microsoft does point out that Queensland is more decentralised than most Australian states. Microsoft's statements to the effect that government workers will be able to collaborate more easily now that all have the same tools therefore hold water.

Which is not to diminish the scope of this sale. 149,000 seats of anything is a globally-significant deal. Microsoft must be chuffed. But also sobered, because whatever happened in Queensland cut Redmond's revenue even as it advanced its cloudy cause. Microsoft, as antiquity's King Pyrrhus once remarked, cannot afford many such victories. ®

Intelligent flash storage arrays

More from The Register

next story
NSA SOURCE CODE LEAK: Information slurp tools to appear online
Now you can run your own intelligence agency
Azure TITSUP caused by INFINITE LOOP
Fat fingered geo-block kept Aussies in the dark
Yahoo! blames! MONSTER! email! OUTAGE! on! CUT! CABLE! bungle!
Weekend woe for BT as telco struggles to restore service
Cloud unicorns are extinct so DiData cloud mess was YOUR fault
Applications need to be built to handle TITSUP incidents
Stop the IoT revolution! We need to figure out packet sizes first
Researchers test 802.15.4 and find we know nuh-think! about large scale sensor network ops
Turnbull should spare us all airline-magazine-grade cloud hype
Box-hugger is not a dirty word, Minister. Box-huggers make the cloud WORK
SanDisk vows: We'll have a 16TB SSD WHOPPER by 2016
Flash WORM has a serious use for archived photos and videos
Astro-boffins start opening universe simulation data
Got a supercomputer? Want to simulate a universe? Here you go
Do you spend ages wasting time because of a bulging rack?
No more cloud-latency tea breaks for you, users! Get a load of THIS
prev story

Whitepapers

10 ways wire data helps conquer IT complexity
IT teams can automatically detect problems across the IT environment, spot data theft, select unique pieces of transaction payloads to send to a data source, and more.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
The total economic impact of Druva inSync
Examining the ROI enterprises may realize by implementing inSync, as they look to improve backup and recovery of endpoint data in a cost-effective manner.
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.
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.