Looking down on two rows of tables with people sat down. One man is walking across from one row to the next.

The British government has struck a deal with Microsoft to allow public sector organisations to buy Azure cloud services and tools directly from the tech company as part of a new procurement framework agreement. Since being named as a supplier on the Crown Commercial Service, UK-based public and third sector organisations have been able to use the framework to purchase high volume cloud hosting solutions flexibly and easily.

The move simplifies the journey to the cloud for the affected organisations and makes it easier for them to digitally modernise and transform. Furthermore, the deal facilitates improved support data centre migration to the cloud, and streamlined building, running and managing of apps. Azure also permits public sector organisations to use AI to analyse large quantities of data efficiently and easily.

How Will the Agreement Benefit the Public Sector?

The deal forged between the UK government and Microsoft will make it easier for public sector organisations to keep up with their private-sector counterparts. But how?

  • The public sector will become more competitive, and be in a position to raise catalogue orders and transact Azure orders directly for the first time via a new digital platform.
  • Microsoft’s comprehensive partner ecosystem will be able to provide many value-added services to help implement and run Azure-based solutions.
  • Beneficiaries of the deal will still have the choice to transact with Microsoft partners through other programmes – the deal will simply provide the sector with greater flexibility.

Chris Perkins, General Manager of the Public Sector at Microsoft UK has said: ‘this new agreement will allow public sector organisations to increase the pace of their digital transformation, ensuring they can take advantage of Microsoft’s Azure cloud platform even sooner.

The Cloud Compute Framework will empower many more organisations as they look to innovate citizen services and work smarter and faster. We are delighted to be helping the UK’s public sector on its digital journey.’

The current agreement or Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) is set to last three years. During this period, public sector organisations will be able to continue to unlock the many benefits associated with cloud computing.