DVLA takes advantage of government MoU to keep Microsoft in cloud mix

Deal signed under public sector-agreement put in place last year

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The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency has become one of a handful of public sector bodies to take advantage of the discounts offered by the public sector-wide memorandum of understanding signed last year by the government and Microsoft.

The agency has awarded an £885,600 contract for Azure cloud services to Microsoft reseller partner Insight. The deal came into effect on 19 May and lasts until 30 June 2024. 

It covers cloud hosting capacity, as well as “additional services from the Azure Marketplace and professional services, as and when required”. Such requirements are likely to include about 60 days of support from consultants and technical specialists over the course of the three-year term.

The deal follows a one-year £300,000 contract for Azure services signed last year by the DVLA with another provider, Cloudreach.

That arrangement expired at the end of last month and the incoming contract with Insight states that “the transition of services from the incumbent supplier shall take place during the period of 19 to 31 May”.

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“To enable a smooth transition from our existing supplier, the new supplier shall agree to fully participate with transition activities, including an initial three-way conference call, ahead of contract start date, to agree roles and responsibilities for the changeover,” the document added. “Services must all be value add and come as part of the contract.” 

The new deal was signed under the terms of the Azure Pricing Arrangement (APA) – one of seven memoranda signed last year by the Crown Commercial Service with government’s biggest suppliers of cloud services. The Microsoft agreement sits alongside similar arrangements with UKCloud, Amazon Web Services, IBM, Oracle, Google and HPE. All of these offer discounts on services and other benefits by, effectively, treating the public sector as a single customer.

Since its introduction in November, the AWS One Government Value Agreement has been heavily utilised by public-sector buyers, with deals worth more than £300m being awarded to the cloud firm – including a £6.74m three-year contract signed in April by the DVLA. Some agencies have used the introduction of the OGVA to renegotiate and replace AWS deals that were only a few months old. 

In contrast, the other six discount agreements have seen muted uptake. Records on government’s Contracts Finder website show that four deals, worth a cumulative £2m, have been signed under the terms of the Oracle arrangement. 

The DVLA agreement is only the second contract awarded in the past year to mention the Microsoft MoU – although a handful of other Microsoft Enterprise Agreements signed during that time also include the provision of Azure services that would qualify for the savings offered by the APA. 

The other explicit use of the memorandum was by Wolverhampton City Council, which signed a £5.3m contract that runs for three years from July 2020 and covers various cloud services. That contract was awarded to software reseller Bytes. 


Sam Trendall

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