Teething problems relating to Microsoft’s new public sector purchasing model have made a dent in channel order books.
Microsoft last month signed its landmark Public Sector Agreement (PSA09) with government procurement agency Buying Solutions.
The agreement will offer public sector bodies more competitive pricing and allow them to transfer licences between each other. PSA09 also puts more emphasis on pay-as-you-go purchasing models.
Tim Dickens, sales director at Microsoft large account reseller (LAR) Trustmarque, welcomed PSA09, but said pricing issues had caused “confusion and angst” among public sector clients.
“There have been problems around how the component parts of the Enterprise Agreement are priced,” he said. “Microsoft’s systems did not recognise the pricing so orders could not be made.
“This has affected Microsoft’s numbers and it has been an issue for some of its resellers.”
Trustmarque is a public sector specialist but other Microsoft partners confirmed they have had problems making orders using PSA09.
One LAR, that wished to remain anonymous, said: “It has slowed down the order process. Microsoft is very poor at managing the roll out of new programmes.”
Dickens added that PSA09 would encourage the public sector to make more bulk purchases.
“It is encouraging people to pay as they go rather than owning assets,” he said. “It will be a good deal for the government.”
Edward Hyde, head of central government for Microsoft UK, said: “We have been in a position to process PSA09 business since day one of its launch, but some of our processes and documentation have needed revision.
“This work is now largely complete, and we can transact orders as normal in almost all circumstances. For the remaining few, we have an active information exchange to enable us to support each LAR directly.”
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