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The OCAS Newsroom

New Microsoft Agreement Results in $300,000 Savings for Ontario's Colleges

September 15, 2015

GUELPH, ON: A newly formed partnership between the Ontario College Council of Chief Information Officers (OCCCIO) and the Ontario College Application Service (OCAS) saw the signing of a new Microsoft Enrollment agreement - one of the largest and most comprehensive of its kind.

"This partnership represents an important milestone, bringing together individual colleges and college system partners to work as a collective, for the benefit of all students and staff," said Paul Ruppert, Chief Information Officer at George Brown College. "Through collaboration and communication between OCAS and OCCCIO, we were able to achieve results that surpassed any of our expectations."

The new agreement includes a core package of Microsoft products - Education Desktop with Enterprise Client Access License (CAL) Suite, Enterprise Desktop Bundle (Office Professional 2013, Project Pro, Visio Pro) and Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack (MDOP) - and opt-in products available at discounted pricing. Negotiations on terms were managed by a core team, including Ruppert, Microsoft Account Executive Glen Donegan and OCAS Director of Technology and Innovation Marc Provencher.

The Ontario Education Collaborative Marketplace (OECM) - a not-for-profit group procurement organization mandated to support collaborative purchasing for Ontario's publicly-funded education sector - was enlisted to conduct a formal request for proposal  for licensed Microsoft resellers. Softchoice - a technology solutions provider out of Toronto - was ultimately selected.

"Microsoft is pleased to have been able to structure this agreement in partnership with OCAS and OCCCIO," said Donegan. "Through this agreement, colleges in Ontario will benefit from access to a common set of Microsoft technologies that can be deployed to all staff, faculty and lab devices across the entire Ontario college system.  With these standard software tools, colleges can focus on preparing students for employment and leveraging best practices across the system.  Microsoft in turn, can focus on helping colleges unlock the value of these solutions as we pursue our shared goal of enabling people to reach their potential."

Unlike the previous agreement, which calculated each institution individually, this new agreement pools all college and OCAS employees into a single head count totaling over 27,000. Under this new model, a new level of pricing for Microsoft products was made available, resulting in a nearly $300,000 annual savings for the college system.

"We are thrilled with the outcome of this renegotiation," said Provencher. "As a strategic partner and shared services provider for Ontario's colleges, this is a prime example of how OCAS can leverage our unique position within the postsecondary landscape to add value to the college system."

The new agreement will be in place until May 31, 2018.

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Alissa Robson
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