Home Office wants to reduce dependence on Microsoft

The Federal Ministry of the Interior wants to reduce the dependency on individual software providers. A “strategic market analysis to reduce dependencies on individual software providers” identified the need for improvement, as a spokesman for the ministry explained.

He responded to requests from heise online to the demands of the Open Source Business Alliance (OSBA). This had suggested last weekthat “alternatives are examined and a strategy developed which does not further reinforce the far-reaching dependencies of the Microsoft administration that are already identified as pain points”.

The Ministry of the Interior replied that the federal and state governments would identify and implement solutions and measures based on their “strategy to strengthen digital sovereignty for IT in public administration”. This includes the German administrative cloud or the planned establishment of a center for digital sovereignty. This is intended to reduce dependencies on software providers.

“The Center for Digital Sovereignty, for example, is supposed to ensure the supply of high-performance and scalable open source alternative solutions,” explained the Ministry spokesman. It should act as a link between ideas, suggestions and requirements of the public administration (ÖV) and pass them on to the open source community. It is also intended to promote collaborative projects between public transport and the OS community.

The OSBA wrote in a statement last week, “Microsoft has made it clear to the federal administration that from 2025 onwards there will no longer be any possibility of using the company’s essential software products that are now central to public administration. These include products such as Microsoft Office , Sharepoint or Exchange. ” The Federal Ministry of the Interior said, “On the basis of the current terms and conditions, Microsoft will continue to provide software maintenance for the Office 2016 and 2019 products currently in use after 2025”.

The OSBA had also called for open, product and provider-neutral award procedures, “in which the profitability is considered over the entire life cycle including the possible replacement of software or providers”. The ministry replied tersely that procurement procedures are already being carried out in a product-neutral and supplier-open manner.

The planned center for digital sovereignty is to take on the task of maintaining an open source platform for public administration. The government recently decided to set up such a platform. There, software projects should be stored in a structured Git-based code repository and processed jointly.

At the end of June it was in Berlin the GovTech Campus Germany founded. The association wants to promote cooperation between administration, science and the business and civil society technology scene.


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