11 Sept 2023



Licence Management

More sustainability, lower costs - used software in the focus of procurement          

Procurement management that conserves the environment and resources is increasingly coming into focus in the public sector. This also applies to the IT sector. The challenges of the dynamically advancing digitalisation with comprehensive information and communication platforms, a multitude of cloud services and new AI applications are additionally increasing the pressure to invest and modernise at all administrative levels. It is not always easy for buyers to meet the requirements for  efficient and sustainable procurement. In this blog post, we show how this can be achieved, for example, through the use of used software licences.

Sustainable procurement - reduce IT costs and conserve resources

Public institutions and administrations are role models in their procurement management and can set effective market-based impulses for the efficient and sustainable purchase of products and services. Software procurement offers a good example here: by using second-hand software licences for widely used standard software, such as Windows operating systems and servers or MS Office products, efficiency and sustainability can be successfully combined.

More efficiency: Considerable savings can be achieved through the large number of workplaces in the organisational and administrative area with a similar software requirement profile. Price advantages of up to 70 percent compared to the latest licence version are possible and that in an audit-proof, compliant manner and without quality losses in daily use. The annual savings gained in this way create new financial scope for often urgently needed investments in the digitalisation of administrative processes or citizen services.

More sustainability:
By implementing used software, public institutions and administrations make a measurable contribution to a successful circular economy and conserve resources, for example by limiting energy consumption and extending hardware cycles.

Would you like to know more about integrating used volume licences of standard software into your IT landscape? The PREO licensing experts will be happy to advise you personally and create a customised offer for you upon request.

Public procurement law reform 2016 paves the way for more sustainable procurement

For several years, public procurement law has offered various options for applying and combining sustainability criteria, be it during the selection of the object of the contract, in the specifications, within the selection criteria or the award. Procurers have relatively much leeway to implement sustainable procurement.

Support and guidance for taking sustainability aspects into account during the award and tendering process is provided, among other things, by the Federal IT Procurement Strategy, the current Procurement Regulation, the General Administrative Regulation on the Procurement of Climate-friendly Services (AVV Klima) or the criteria of the "Blue Angel" (UZ-161). In addition, the current guidelines of the Federal Environment Agency for the environmentally friendly procurement of software, among others, provide concrete working aids with criteria and requirements for system requirements, energy demand, support for energy management and hardware utilisation, but also for security standards, data sovereignty and availability.

Why used software is particularly worthwhile for public institutions

The optimisation of existing software assets to the respective needs of a larger administrative organisation remains a constant challenge in terms of sustainability and cost efficiency. More and more people in charge are therefore relying on the advantages of used software licences, especially for widely used standard software, and integrating them into their software architecture. The reasons are convincing:


  • Used software licences are sometimes up to 70 per cent cheaper and are in no way inferior to new products in terms of functionality and security, as software does not age or wear out.

  • Current Europe-wide price increases for Microsoft Cloud products of 11 percent on average reinforce the financial savings effect.

  • Public administrations of municipalities, districts, cities or countries with high security standards in the areas of data security and data sovereignty continue to rely on on-premise solutions in order to reduce external dependencies such as vendor lock-in.

  • By using already established and well-known software, downstream savings can be achieved, for example through lower training needs and fewer internal support requests.

  • The sustainable procurement of used software supports a resource-saving circular economy and reduces climate-damaging CO2 emissions, for example by extending hardware cycles.

PREO tip: Sell software licences that are no longer needed

The secondary software market not only offers public administrations and institutions the opportunity to operate more efficiently and sustainably through the purchase of used software. By selling existing and no longer needed licences to a reputable provider of used software with high compliance standards, such as PREO, they can tap into additional income. The regular review of the software inventory on the basis of current and future needs is a basic prerequisite for successful asset management.

We have compiled a checklist of the criteria you should consider when selecting a provider. Click here to download it free of charge.

Used software from PREO is not only worthwhile for public institutions          

We are one of the pioneers in the European trade with used software licences and market leader in Germany and offer companies, organisations and public administrations a large selection of used volume licences at any time, with which they can sustainably optimise their running licence costs and benefit several times over:

  • High savings in running licence costs of up to 70 percent compared to the respective new version.

  • 100 percent legally and audit-proof licence acquisition with maximum transparency in all processing steps, including complete documentation in the PREO licence portal "Easy Compliance".

  • Many years of expertise in the integration of used software licences in classic network structures or hybrid licence models.

  • Detailed market knowledge and extensive experience through the audit-proof transfer of over one million used software licences.

  • Existing capacities for software licence management in large IT infrastructure projects with thousands of workstations and transnational locations.

  • Convincing reference projects, among others for public institutions as well as numerous other companies from the area of services of general interest, such as energy suppliers, waste disposal companies or health service providers.