University of Sydney to keep backing Azul Java runtime
University of Sydney’s Emiliano Fisanotti.
The University of Sydney is set to renew its use of Azul’s Java platform after switching from an Oracle Java runtime environment about two years ago.
The current agreement is set to expire in Q3, vendor management specialist and university software licensing community executive member Emiliano Fisanotti told iTnews.
Pricing, licence structure and support for older versions of Java in production use are among the reasons the university initially switched from Oracle to Azul, he said.
At the time of the switch, CAUDIT – the Council of Australasian University Directors of Information Technology – had been attempting to negotiate a sector-wide offer from Oracle, without success.
“The CAUDIT group generally try to magnify the intentions of every university, coalesce them into one single request and try to pass it onto a supplier for them to provide a consistent offer,” Fisanotti said.
The two sides ultimately could not agree to terms.
However, CAUDIT had better fortune with Azul tabling an education sector offer, which the University of Sydney went on to use, after doing some of its own due diligence.
“The only thing we needed to do is go to Azul and request for a quote that was tailored to our utilisation,” Fisanotti said.
“If we’d had to go do that ourselves, I think it would’ve been a very unlikely scenario because we were not very primed with what was happening on support with Java at the time, so we probably would’ve struggled to find the correct supplier for our needs.
“CAUDIT had already verified that for the whole sector.”
Fisanotti said the university had a fairly unique position in being able to lean on CAUDIT, Universities Australia-owned Higher Education Services (HES), or NSW government sourcing deals, if and when it suited their needs, but the institution could equally go direct, and often did.
“The team I’m part of works with probably about 250-275 different contracts, of which about 20 contracts are either CAUDIT/HES or a mixture of those ones, but most of them are direct engagements,” Fisanotti said.
Azul CEO and co-founder Scott Sellers, who is in Australia this week, was impressed with the centralised purchasing arrangements possible through CAUDIT.
He said this kind of deal wasn’t necessarily possible in the United States, where arrangements were either state-based or negotiated university-by-university.
“The fact there’s centralised decisions and conversations that can be had is hugely advantageous not only for vendors like Azul, but as Emiliano described it’s very beneficial to the university side as well, given commonality of pricing and standard structure,” he said.
The University of Sydney has also recently implemented a software asset management (SAM) system, work that was conducted in partnership with Insight Australia, who are an Azul partner.