Defence has awarded Data#3 a three-year Microsoft large account reseller contract in a deal which could see the IT services company also servicing other agencies across the Commonwealth.
The contract was signed midway through last month, following a tender process in which Defence was looking to cut the price of its Microsoft products.
"Under the contract, Defence has negotiated competitive pricing for the Large Account Reseller Services in support of procurement for Microsoft products," Defence Minister Joel Fitzgibbon said in a statement.
Yet Defence may not be the only agency to benefit from the deal, since it had been negotiating the agreement as part of the government's Coordinated Procurement Contracting Framework, which means that under the Defence agreement, any government agency could be able to acquire Microsoft software licences as a separate contract without having to tender for the work by themselves.
"[The agreement can] be extended to all Australian government agencies, including federal, state and territory, and local government agencies," Fitzgibbon said.
Data#3 managing director John Grant wouldn't put a figure on the contract's worth, but said it would bring in many millions of dollars, especially if other agencies decided to follow Defence in using Data#3 as their Microsoft reseller, which he said fit in with procurement recommendations from the recent Gershon report.
Data#3 had spent three years trying to get traction in the Federal Government as a Microsoft Large Account Reseller, Grant said. "The bid to Defence was a very significant step for us."
The Data#3 bid had put a number of options before Defence, ranging from value-added offerings to those providing pure licensing and licence management, according to Grant. Cost savings for Defence from Data#3 would come from using the price-oriented options, he said.
One of the biggest values, however, would have come from negotiations between Defence and Microsoft, he said. "When you are talking about contracts that are worth millions of dollars, the customer gets to tread the hard line," Grant said.
Other Microsoft Large Account Resellers include Dell, HP, Dimension Data, Corporate Express, Insight Enterprises, Kaz, HP, Computelec, Simply International Group and Comstra.