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Gosford leads VMware group-buying effort for 43 NSW councils

NSW’s Gosford City Council expects a volume-purchasing deal – sealed between it and 42 other councils with server-virtualisation giant VMware – will save up to $3 million on future use of VMware technologies to support moves such as the delivery of virtual desktops to mobile users.

The deal with VMware, whose ESX Server virtualisation software is widely used across public and private sectors, covers a broad software portfolio including VMware View for virtual and mobile desktops and vCentre Operations for cloud and datacentre management.

Gosford took the lead role in negotiating favourable conditions for it and 42 other of the 152 local-government areas in NSW.Gosford-NSW

The group-licensing deal it negotiated will help deliver broad statewide technology objectives by giving all participants access to the core technologies to facilitate virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI), cloud-computing transitions and other virtualisation-related technology changes.

“Like most organisations, councils experience a tremendous enthusiasm for technology from our customers,” Gregory Punshon, manager for information management and technology said in a statement.

“We also feel the challenge of budgets: councils provide services to the community and every major investment in technology must be offset against some other service. As such, there is significant pressure for innovative solutions to increase what we provide while reducing the cost of providing it.”

The decision to “step up” and lead the negotiations came as Gosford itself began extending its virtualisation commitment to consider the use of VMware View to deliver desktop virtualisation across over 600 staff desktops and laptops.

This deployment will support efforts to mobilise its workforce with “improved mobility services and service delivery levels through centralised management,” IT systems administrator Byron Twilley said. “Without VMware virtualisation, it would have been far more challenging to deliver the services we provide today.”

Duncan Bennett, ANZ managing director with VMware, said in a statement that the company is “proud to be supporting this unprecedented collaboration between local councils across NSW and their joint bid to better serve their constituencies through best-practice use of ICT.”

“Since first working with them in 2008,” he continued, “we’ve had the pleasure of watching Gosford City Council establish itself as a true leader in public-sector IT innovation at the grassroots level, and we look forward to further assisting them as they set their sights on building a more mobile and resilient workforce.” – David Braue