Microsoft Lands Government Contract

CAPE TOWN — The State Information Technology Agency (SITA) has signed a three-year enterprise licensing and services agreement with Microsoft South Africa (MS).

The deal is valued at R468 million, with the government winning savings of R300 million in licensing fees. MS products will be deployed in 100 000 PCs as well as MS Enterprise servers in various Government departments.

Included in the agreement is a clause whereby MS will be investing R25 million over the next 3 years in local skills training and the Digital Villages program.

Products involved in the deployment include MS Office, Windows 2000, SQL Server 2000 and MS Internet Technologies. SITA and MS partners will ensure interoperability and standardization of information systems across the Governments IT infrastructure.

“The agreement with Microsoft was especially attractive due to the return on investment of Government IT expenditure whilst improving Government services,” says Colin van Schalkwyk, CEO at SITA. “The agreement will assist SITA drive its objectives forward as we move towards a digitally inclusive society.”

SITA’s primary objective is leveraging Government’s IT capabilities to accelerate service delivery, promote effective black economic empowerment and reduce costs.

Says Mark Hill, MD of MS South Africa, “Technology’s true value lies in being able to empower knowledge workers to share information and streamline administrative processes across departments.”

Indeed, e-government could be a boon to both citizens and government, easing the burden of time and paperwork on all sides. Applying online for an ID, web-access to government documents, etc, makes life easier for citizens; for government, computerization allows for easy capturing and collating of information as well as allowing powerful analyses of citizen needs.

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