The UK government has signed a new three-year Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Microsoft to enable public sector organisations to continue to unlock the benefits of cloud computing and business applications.
The new MOU, entitled the Digital Transformation Arrangement 2021 (DTA21), allows all eligible public sector organisations to benefit from discounts and beneficial terms for Microsoft 365, Azure as well as associated Support and Consulting services, and for the first time – Dynamics 365 and Power Platform cloud services.
DTA21 renews the existing DTA MOU as a three-year agreement starting on May 1, 2021, and runs until April 2024. It brings together Microsoft 365, which includes Modern Workplace offerings such as Teams, the current Azure Pricing Arrangement (APA) and expands into new areas such as Business Applications.
The new MOU was negotiated by Microsoft and Crown Commercial Service, an Executive Agency of the Cabinet Office and the UK’s largest public procurement body.
The MOU’s between Microsoft and the UK government have increasingly focused on cloud services since the Government launched its Cloud First policy in 2013. The policy was reassessed in 2019 and remains a flagship technology policy. The MOU builds on the Government’s One Government Cloud Strategy and the principles of the Digital Data and Technology (DDaT) strategy, which focuses on modernising technology, strengthening cyber defence, improving digital skills and embedding a culture of innovation. It also supports more recent issues such as supporting the UK’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, sustainability and the social value agenda.
Gareth Rhys Williams, the Government Chief Commercial Officer, said: “This new agreement with Microsoft builds on the Government’s One Government Cloud Strategy, which supports the key principle of treating government as one single customer. It shows the Government’s determination to drive transformation as well as adopt value for money technologies that improve services and ensure government departments and their staff have the digital tools they need, now and in the future.”
Philip Orumwense, Commercial Director and Chief Technology Procurement Officer at Crown Commercial Service (CCS) said: “This agreement recognises the significance of cloud computing to the UK public sector as it continues its digital transformation and aims to build back better. It is another example of CCS’s commitment to achieving outstanding commercial value for our customers across the public sector.”
The DTA21 MOU covers products such as Microsoft Teams, Microsoft 365 E5 Security and Compliance, Phone System Calling Plans, Dynamics 365, PowerApps, Azure Cognitive Services and AI, Azure Analytics, Azure Synapse and Azure Arc that empower users to innovate using new technologies, improve the management of hybrid and multi-cloud and support the transition from legacy IT to cloud. The MOU also enables public sector organisations to maintain on-premise server licensing discounts.
DTA21 includes offers for both Premier and Unified Support services for new customers and the opportunity for eligible public sector organisations to access free implementation resources. This includes Solution Assessments, and training courses for public sector staff such as Technical Skills for Business to learn new skills and unlock the benefits of using Azure. Other support programmes are also available to assist with implementation such as Microsoft FastTrack, and the Azure Migration Program.
Chris Perkins, General Manager of Public Sector Sales at Microsoft UK, said: “The DTA21 MOU has been substantially expanded to cater for public sector organisations large and small, regardless of where they are on their cloud journey. Microsoft is committed to working with the Government to help support modern hybrid working and help drive the move to digital with Microsoft 365 and Azure. The addition of Dynamics 365 and Power Platform to the DTA21 line-up can now also help with agile, low-cost, low-code application development, which has been so critical in the response to the COVID-19 pandemic. We look forward to continuing to work with our public sector customers to improve citizen services and provide cost-effective.