Microsoft examines aged care arrangements

The software company is reviewing its decision to remove ageed care discounts after talks with the Aged Care Indsutry IT Council.

Microsoft is reviewing a decision to revise its pricing structure for aged care operators.

For over 30 years, providers have been able to purchase software at academic rates but earlier this year Microsoft began auditing the licences of some aged care customers.

If aged care providers were charged commercial rates for Microsoft products, the ACIITC estimates the industry would have to pay an extra $70 million over an 18 month period.

The council met with Microsoft in mid-October to discuss these concerns and the company agreed to halt the audit process until Christmas while it reviews its relationship with the sector.

“We are appreciative that we were able to reach that accord and now we want to work with them to find a mutually satisfactory arrangement,” said ACIITIC spokesperson, Rod Young.

“They were struggling to understand the intricacies of the Australian aged care industry and now they will try to come up with a set of criteria that better reflects our situation.”

According to the editor of IT:informer magazine, Mark Barnett, open source software may be a viable alternative for providers if Microsoft were to significantly change its arrangements with the sector,

“The problem with open source software though is that it is misunderstood and not known very well within the industry,” said Mr Barnett.

“In order for it to develop a significant footprint, in the industry there needs to be a lot of education and training.”

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