Qld govt inks $8m Microsoft support deal

The Queensland government has signed a three-year, $8 million agreement with Microsoft Australia to access software support services, the state's Minister for public works, housing and racing Robert Schwarten announced today.

Hailing the deal as the first of its kind in Australia, Schwarten said the agreement provides the Queensland government direct access to Microsoft's Premier Support Services including access to technical experts and operational support for Microsoft software and products.

"This agreement will ensure that our ICT infrastructure continually enables service delivery of the highest quality ... we will benefit from better risk management and quicker resolution of problems. This in turn will maximize the government's IT productivity and ensure the delivery of critical and essential services," he said.

Schwarten said the agreement supported the Smart Directions Statement for ICT within the Queensland government which Premier Peter Beattie launched last month.

Microsoft Australia's public sector director Kevin Ackhurst said the Microsoft Premier Support Services Agreement built upon services previously provided under a broader enterprise agreement and would ensure that smaller government agencies had access to support services at an affordable price.

"Microsoft's Premier Support team will conduct an initial ICT infrastructure risk assessment audit for agencies and then participate in building a customized guidance and workshop program," Ackhurst said.

Minister Schwarten said the new arrangement would enable government IT staff to develop their knowledge and skills through workshops, information services, and technical subscriptions.

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