NHS Wales signs £450m Microsoft licensing deal

The health service’s Digital Health and Care Wales body has picked reseller partner Trustmarque to fulfil a four year contract to provide organisations with software and help optimise their estate

NHS Wales has awarded a single-supplier £450m framework intended to fulfil the Microsoft licensing needs of health-service organisations across the country in the coming years.

The contract – which came into effect on this week and was awarded toa single supplier: software reseller Trustmarque – was signed by Digital Health and Care Wales (DHCW), a specialist technology unit embedded within NHS Wales. The engagement runs for four years, during which time the supplier will “work in partnership with (DHCW) to deliver seamless management of the NHS Wales Microsoft estate, training and licensing position”, according to newly published commercial documents.

Services covered by the deal include ensuring that Welsh NHS organisations buying through the framework “are correctly and optimally licensed”. This work will be supported by the provision of “a licence monitoring platform with the ability to allocate licences provided to sub organisations within the NHS Wales tenancy and view them in aggregate”.

Trustmarque will also be expected to “provide advice in changing the Microsoft licensing mix to meet new needs within the participating authorities [and] ensure ongoing optimisation of the licensing arrangements to drive down costs and deliver best value for money”. This will include “establishing software asset management policies and procedures which may include reviews of current policies and procedures and the current Microsoft estate” – although the asset-management services themselves are “specifically excluded from the scope of this procurement”, the contract-award notice added.

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The document indicated that DHCW “that further supporting services associated with the platforms may be procured” from Trustmarque during the coming months and years.

In order to bid for the contract, the NHS Wales tech unit required potential provides to currently hold all available certifications under Microsoft’s Solutions Partner Designations programme, through which resellers can demonstrate their expertise in six technology areas: infrastructure; data and artificial intelligence; digital and application innovation; modern work; security; and business applications.

Only a small number of firms possess all of these badges – each of which must also be renewed each year at a cost of about £3,750 per designation.

The contract-award notice indicates that only one bid was made for the deal.

Over the course of the contract, Trustmarque will be expected to provide Microsoft products and services in accordance with the discount terms set out in the UK-wide Public Sector Digital Transformation Agreement between the software vendor giant and the Crown Commercial Service – “or any subsequently agreed Microsoft public-sector arrangement, should it be favourable” to NHS bodies, the procurement notice said.

Sam Trendall

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