Microsoft has announced an agreement with the Crown Commercial Service (CCS) to provide discounted pricing and beneficial terms to eligible public sector organisations using its Azure cloud platform.
Named the Azure Pricing Arrangement (APA) it has been agreed as an addendum to the existing Digital Transformation Arrangement (DTA) memorandum of understanding, which was signed in 2018 and is scheduled to run until April 2021.
It applies to organisations defined as a contracting authority in the Public Contracts Regulations 2015 or the Public Contracts (Scotland) Regulations 2015, and to social enterprises working with the public sector.
The company said it will be possible to secure the benefits for up to three years on existing or new Microsoft enterprise agreements.
Among the products covered by the deal are Azure Cognitive Services, Azure Analytics, Azure Synsame and Azure Arc. It also applies to relevant implementation resources and training courses for public sector staff.
The Azure platform supports solutions that require technologies such as AI, analytics, blockchain and big data, and can work for organisations that use multiple cloud providers or a hybrid public-private cloud.
CCS chief executive Simon Tse said: “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.”
Chris Perkins, general manager of public sector sales at Microsoft UK, said: “Microsoft is committed to working with the government to help support the One Government Cloud Strategy. The Azure cloud platform offers the security, scalability and resilience to help the public sector provide the services that citizens need in a cost-effective way.
“Today’s agreement caters for public sector organisations, regardless of where they are on their cloud journey, and Microsoft is looking forward to working with our customers to accelerate and unlock the benefits of moving to Azure.”
Products already covered by the DTA include Office 365, Teams video conferencing and Windows 10.
Image: Microsoft data centre