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Tech Department’s Top Buys of IT Goods Continue Trend

The California Department of Technology’s five most expensive purchases of IT goods in the year’s first quarter reflected an ongoing relationship with a familiar vendor and centered on cloud-based application suite purchases.

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With the first quarter in the rearview mirror, IT goods purchases by the state technology department prolonged a trend seen last year.

From Jan. 1-March 31, the California Department of Technology (CDT) made 98 purchases of IT goods – and 18 of those buys, or a little more than 18 percent, were with Crayon Software Experts LLC, a well-known vendor to the state. From Jan. 1, 2021, through Dec. 15, roughly the same thing happened: CDT made 424 purchases of IT goods in that period – and 92 of them, or nearly 22 percent, were with Crayon. During that nearly 12-month period, the value of CDT’s five costliest purchases with Crayon totaled $156,750,516. During this year’s first quarter, CDT’s five most expensive IT purchases of IT goods – all with Crayon Software Experts – cost exactly $39,602,643.

Each of those top five purchases so far this year seems to be through Microsoft Volume Licensing, most likely for Microsoft Office 365 government community cloud E5 application suites for all language. Three of the purchases happened March 1 and are for a roughly four-year term ending March 31, 2026. They range in value from $5.8 million to $9.5 million, with rounding. The fourth and least expensive is for a little more than $5.1 million and runs from Jan. 1 through March 31, 2026. The fifth and largest, at $10.3 million for four years, runs from March 25 through March 31, 2026. Information on past state purchases is available through the State Contracting and Procurement Registration System.

CDT’s top five IT purchases last year and during other monthly periods last year looked quite similar. A CDT spokesman said in mid-2021 that the year-to-date purchases were linked to the department’s main Microsoft Office 365 E5 five-year shell contract; in April 2021, a CDT spokesperson said the cost of the department’s top five purchases of IT goods that March had been due to upgrades and to a longer contract term that brought down unit costs.

Crayon Software Experts, based in Oslo, Norway, was also the destination for CDT’s single most expensive IT goods purchase of 2020 – a purchase of nearly $16 million made in February that looked to be a volume licensing purchase of Microsoft 365 E3 government community cloud shared servers.
Theo Douglas is Assistant Managing Editor of Industry Insider — California.