10 July 2023

Joint procurement exercise for IT licences delivers savings

Collaboration across 11 local authorities reduces costs and brings resource efficiencies


Scottish councils are facing increasing pressures to save money while continuing to deliver first class services.

Scotland Excel is continuously supporting its 32 member councils through the intensifying need to do more with less by looking for opportunities to work together to save on costs.

A recent example is a collaborative exercise Scotland Excel implemented with the Digital Office for Scottish Local Government and Crown Commercial Services to procure Microsoft licenses for councils, to replace those due to end in 2023.

What we did

Based on information provided by Microsoft, more than a third of all Scottish councils were due to renew their Microsoft Enterprise Agreement before the end of 2023.

Councils with a Microsoft Enterprise Agreement expiration date in 2023 were invited to take part in a joint procurement exercise.

Scotland Excel gathered the required spend information from 11 councils that opted to take part and identified that on average councils could save 4.49% over three years by signing up to the new agreement directly negotiated with Microsoft and their licence reseller providers.

The outcome

Eleven councils took part in the opportunity to jointly procure their Microsoft 365 licences, resulting in a collective cost saving across the organisations of £370,000.

The aggregation contract has been awarded by Crown Commercial Services to Phoenix Software with initial discussions taking place with Digital Office and Crown Commercial Services to repeat the process for other councils, where their licence agreements end in 2024.

Julie Welsh, Chief Executive of Scotland Excel said: “The Microsoft 365 licenses are widely used across councils to support a host of services delivered to their communities. This opportunity to review the cost of the licences across Scottish councils, shows the power of working together to get a good deal. The 11 councils involved in the project will benefit from cost savings and a more efficient use of resources due to a streamlined process.”