Microsoft is developing a free online marketplace to link public sector customers across Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) with qualified systems and technology providers.
The Public Sector Partner Marketplace, which will be free for customers and providers to use, will be formally launched at Tech Ed Europe on 29 June. By then the company expects to have entries for about 300 public sector information and communication technology systems.
Information will include systems and services from systems integrators, independent software vendors, trainers and consultants.
Matthew Bishop, director of government for Microsoft EMEA, told vnunet.com that the company had become very focused on delivering more value to its customers.
"The move is supportive of the company's aim to work with customers better and have closer contact. This will give faster access to information for our customers," he said.
The Public Sector Partner Marketplace in EMEA is the first phase of a global roll-out.
Bishop said the region had been chosen first because of its diversity. "It's a perfect place for proving [the marketplace]. It has pretty diverse countries, customers and companies. If it works here, we're pretty sure it will work across the world," he said.
Users will be able to browse for software by category, country or region. Alternatively, they can submit a request describing technology and regional needs, triggering an email alert to appropriate vendors willing to receive alerts.
In a separate announcement, Microsoft said it is working with Accenture to offer European governments blueprints - customisable sets of software, strategies and best practices for public sector organisations.
Blueprints will be available online for justice and public safety, education, e-government, tax and postal services.
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