Citra strikes new deal with Microsoft to improve sector IT use

Citra, the coalition that was caught up in the dispute with the ICT Consortium over running the £4m ICT hub, has struck up a partnership with Microsoft.

The relationship, which is open-ended, will give Citra - the Charity IT Resource Alliance - funding to develop its technology support to the voluntary sector. It will also provide Microsoft with a channel into the sector, to help it realise its commitment to corporate responsibility.

Neither partner would reveal how much money is involved.

Since Citra missed out on the ChangeUp funding, it has been pursuing commercial deals in order to boost its support capacity.

The charity world is one of Microsoft's key global 'vertical markets' - industry sectors in which it feels it has existing strengths and can grow even further. Others include manufacturing and distribution.

Microsoft initiated the relationship, approaching Citra, which counts the Institute of Fundraising and the Charity Finance Directors' Group among its founding members, with a view to using the partnership as a means to convey to the sector what it has to offer.

Microsoft's logo will go up on Citra's website this week. According to Citra chair John Tate, the two organisations will also be discussing clarification of Microsoft's licensing schemes, "so it is easier for the sector to buy what it wants through Microsoft".

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