Minnesota teams with Microsoft on bulk licensing agreement

In an effort to save millions of dollars and streamline government operations, the state of Minnesota has signed a six-year enterprise software agreement with Microsoft Corp. Announced today by Minnesota Chief Information Officer and head of the Office of Enterprise Technology (OET), Gopal Khanna, the deal will reportedly save the state $2.37 million in annual licensing fees, as well as save millions for the state taxpayers by improving services delivery.

“We are reforming the way the state purchases goods and services so we can increase quality and reduce costs in government,” Mr. Khanna said in a statement.

The deal is one of the largest enterprise agreements Microsoft has ever signed with a state. Minnesota’s Office of Enterprise Technology (OET) is purchasing 32,000 software licenses for its executive branch agencies, paying the same price that would have covered roughly 10,000 users under a previous contract.

“In an economy where every penny matters, Minnesota has chosen a flexible path that not only saves taxpayer dollars but simultaneously takes the state to the next level of great service delivery,” Gail Thomas-Flynn, General Manager of State and Local Government at Microsoft, said in a statement released by the state.

The agreement will also set standards agency-wide for OET on devices ranging from laptops and routers, to monitors and improving “green” IT environments. By consolidating mismatched versions of commonly used software programs, the state will be able to improve compatibility issues by using Microsoft’s System Center tools.

“It is important to look for every opportunity to reduce costs in our current environment so we can invest in the future,” Mr. Khanna said. “Our standardization and enterprise agreement activity not only improves government efficiency and avoid costs immediately, it ultimately allows policy makers to invest in securing and modernizing the state’s digital infrastructure.”

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