The Southern University Purchasing Consortium (SUPC) has issued a tender to resellers for a software framework worth an estimated £60m a year.
SUPC is the largest of the UK's six higher education procurement organisations and includes 117 member colleges and institutions that stump up its funding.
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Resellers were last week asked to cough £120 to access the tender document as SUPC is trying to "stop the tyre-kickers" bidding for a place on the framework.
The deal has four lots: Microsoft, Adobe, VMware and a fourth section branded as "Other Software Vendors" – which includes Symantec, Citrix, Corel, McAfee, Novell and Red Hat.
The tender did not specify the number of suppliers SUPC wants to get involved in the software gig.
A source told The Channel that they suspected this is to minimise the number of resellers that question SUPC's final contract award. "They are always contested when there is limited space," said the reseller.
The agreement is believed to run for three years.
SUPC declined to comment until the legal standstill period ends, which is when the framework contracts are awarded. ®