The Jordanian government and Microsoft Corporation on Sunday signed an agreement that allows for the provision of Microsoft software licenses for government institutions through its local agent, Network Exchange Technology Company (NEXT).
The agreement was signed on behalf of the government by minister of Information and Communications, Azzam Sliet, and Microsoft's Tom Comber in the presence of Ministry Secretary General, Nader Thniebat, General Manager of the National Information Technology Center, Abdul Hameed al-Abadi, Microsoft Office Manager in Jordan Hussein Malhas and the General Manager of Next Company Maher Farraj.
Under this (Select Plus) type agreement, government institutions will be provided with software licenses on need basis.
Prior to the signing, a national committee reviewed the strategic deal with Microsoft and prepared the needed tender documents for attracting proposals from local agents designated by Microsoft who are capable of implementing the agreement.
The committee examined all possible options for the agreement and concluded, based on the available data, to recommend that the Council of Ministers sign the (Select Plus) type agreement that includes the selection of software on need basis as this type of agreement would help in saving a portion of the financial costs.
The Council of Ministers approved the Committee’s recommendation in addition to the development of the appropriate mechanism for the purchase of software by government entities.
Sliet said that the government was sparing no effort to improve the technology services in the Kingdom and increase the efficiency of different government institutions to provide quick and effective services.
The minister also said that the government had maintained an old and distinctive relationship with Microsoft Corp and that the projects that "we have worked through with them had led to tangible results that contributed to uplifting the Kingdom in information technology".
He said the Ministry of Information and Communications Technology is currently working on implementing several projects with Microsoft, and "we will see their positive and tangible effects on the e-Government Program and different public sector organizations".
Sliet added that the agreement, indicates the government's respect for Microsoft Corp and international conventions, noting that the government is working in collaboration with Microsoft to maintain intellectual property and anti-piracy programs so as to contribute to the protection of individuals and institutions from the harmful effects of counterfeit software, especially in the field of protection and security and to avoid significant losses that the person using such pirated software might incur.
The minister said that the agreement, whose reference will be the Jordanian laws and courts, does not entail any cost to the government and that software licenses will be approved according to the needs of various governmental institutions based on the best prices offered by Microsoft, noting that, through this agreement, we will succeed in reducing the total cost and achieving efficiency for many of the software.
Jordan Microsoft Office Manager Hussein Malhas said the partnership between the Jordanian government and Microsoft was sustainable and had paid off by launching a number of projects, the first in the Middle East and Africa, including cloud computing. This asserts Jordan's leading role in the area of technology and underlines that Microsoft's endeavours are in harmony with the Jordanian national plan that seeks to develop the (IT) sector.