Ministry of Defence returns to SBL for £190m Microsoft product deal

Written by Sam Trendall on 8 July 2019 in News
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Long-term software partner wins back contract after besting five other bidders

Credit: PA

IT reseller Software Box Limited (SBL) has won back a £190m deal to supply the Ministry of Defence with Microsoft products. 

The three-year agreement covers Office 365 and Windows 10 licences, as well as Azure cloud hosting and some of the software vendor’s security and communications products. 

SBL has worked with the MoD for about 15 years. But, the last time the department issued a tender for its core Microsoft product needs, rival software firm Comparex won a three-year deal worth about £40m.  Although the new agreement covers the same product groups, it is understood that the big expansion in the worth of the contracts reflects the fact that some other, smaller deals have been consolidated into one overarching agreement, as well as a general increase in the number and cost of licences required.


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During the procurement exercise for the new contract, SBL fought off five other companies that submitted bids. The MoD indicated that it signed on again with its long-term software partner because it believes the contract represents the best deal in government for the use of the latest version of Office 365.

The contract, which is worth £190.6m, was awarded via the £4bn Technology Products 2 framework, which expires later this year. The new deal between SBL and the MoD came into effect on 21 June, and runs until 30 April 2022.

A search of the GOV.UK Contracts Finder website reveals that SBL has won 26 separate contracts with the MoD and Armed Forces since the start of 2019. The Office 365 and Windows deal is by far the largest, but the other 25 add up to a cumulative worth of £11.5m.

The York-based firm also works with a range of other clients across the wider public sector. In addition to its defence contracts, it has been awarded a further 74 contracts by public bodies, with other major clients including the Met Office, the Valuation Office Agency, and several different police forces.

 

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Sam Trendall is editor of PublicTechnology

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