Microsoft and New York City have signed a broad technology partnership that consolidates multiple software contracts, tailors software licensing to suit employee roles, and enables the city to leverage cloud computing.
Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer and NYC mayor Michael Bloomberg revealed the deal -- which includes consolidating more than two dozen software licensing agreements into one multiyear contract -- in a press conference in New York Wednesday.
Calling the single, multiyear contract, which will cover about 100,000 city employees, "the first of its kind," the mayor said the consolidation will save the city $50 million over the next five years. The contract is for both desktop software and hosted services.
The agreement also puts city employees into one of three categories in terms of software use: those who need occasional access to specific tools, those who regularly use Microsoft's basic programs, and power users who need all of the Microsoft software and services the city licenses. Previously, the city would purchase software without necessarily taking into account whether or not people were using it.
The Microsoft deal, and other efforts to streamline IT operations unveiled Wednesday, are aimed at modernizing New York's IT department and making it more operationally efficient and cost-effective, Bloomberg said.
"Combined they are going to make a huge difference about how our city operates," he said, adding that the IT department will have the same "cutting edge" qualities you get in private sector companies.