The government’s executive agency, the
Crown Commercial Service (CCS), has now signed a non-binding agreement with Microsoft.
Azure Pricing Arrangement (APA), the new accord will mean beneficial terms and reduced pricing when using Microsoft’s cloud-based platform Azure for businesses operating public enterprises or services.
This latest APA will form a postscript to an existing agreement between the CCS and Microsoft called the
Digital Transformation Arrangement (DTA) Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), which was originally signed back in 2018 and is officially in place up until April next year. Along with Windows 10, video conferencing capability in Teams and Microsoft 365, the DTA features packages for both compliance and security designed for the cloud.
Since 2013, when the government started its Cloud First Strategy, its MoUs with Microsoft have focused more and more on available services for the cloud. The scheme was developed to advise organisations in the public sector that were seeking to purchase existing or new services to look at and assess public cloud-based solutions first in depth, before considering other possibilities. Reassessed last year, it is still the government’s most
prominent policy for technology.
The APA has now become available for all DTA organisations in the public sector that fit requirements, enabling them to use these benefits on any new or existing Microsoft Enterprise Agreement for three years.
Chief Executive for CCS,
Simon Tse, commented:
“CCS provides commercial agreements which help organisations across the entire public sector save time and money on buying everyday goods and services. This agreement with Microsoft, is yet another example of our commitment to achieving outstanding commercial value for our customers, as they work to deliver essential services for UK citizens.”
Microsoft’s cloud platform Azure currently supports dedicated business solutions requiring Big Data, Analytics, Blockchain and AI, among others, in order to speed up digital transformation and facilitate innovation.
Chief Commercial Officer for the UK Government, Gareth Rhys Williams, commented:
“This agreement with Microsoft builds on the government’s Cloud First policy and incorporates key elements of the recent One Government Cloud Strategy. It shows the government’s determination to adopt value for money technologies which improve services and ensure government departments and their staff have the digital tools they need, now and in the future.”
The new initiative will support all existing Azure customers that are eligible within the public sector, offering them continued access to use the public cloud securely and store information with discounted services. Also, it will cover a wealth of cloud products, including Azure Synapse, Azure Analytics, AI, Azure Arc and Azure Cognitive Services.
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