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Peterborough City Council wants to drop 'expensive' Microsoft for open source and collaborative tools

Computing - Peterborough City Council is looking to drop Microsoft and its "expensive" user agreements in favour of other, more open source applications and collaborative tools.

That's what Richard Godfrey, ICT, strategy, infrastructure and programme manager for Peterborough Council, revealed to Computing in a recent interview.

In a bid to cut costs and boost efficiency in the face of government austerity measures, the council is moving much of its IT infrastructure into the Amazon Web Services cloud, as part of an IT transformation that could also see the council ditch Microsoft applications.

"We're looking at moving to things like Google Docs and moving away from the traditional Microsoft Office," he said.

"For me it's about giving the member of staff the right tool to do their job. So it's not just if you're a senior manager you get an iPad, it's whether your job requires an iPad or other type of tablet, Chromebook or iPhone or whatever device it is, that's the device you'll get to do your job," he explained.

Godfrey said analysis had shown that many users rarely used Office apps, making them an expensive luxury.

"One of the main drivers is cost. Our enterprise agreement with Microsoft is hugely expensive and it's expensive to maintain especially when you've got a big exchange environment," he said.