DISA set to site-license software

Before year's end, the Defense Information Systems Agency
expects to sign enterprise licensing agreements with several software vendors that would
let Defense users buy licenses and download programs in less than a week.


"We are optimistic that several agreements will be in place by late
December," said Don Black, DISA's program manager for enterprise licensing and the
Electronic Shopping System. DISA staff first began working on the enterprise licensing
project more than two years ago [GCN, July 19, 1993, Page 1].


Lotus Development Corp., Oracle Corp., Sybase Inc., Informix Software Inc., Borland
International Inc. and Netscape Communications Inc. are among the vendors negotiating with
DISA. More limited enterprise licensing agreements for Microsoft Corp. products are being
negotiated through such resellers as BTG Corp. in McLean, Va.; Semcor Inc. in Mount
Laurel, N.J.; and CyberSource Corp. in Menlo Park, Calif.


Early next year, master copies of software products covered by the agreements will be
stored on a CD-ROM jukebox at the Software Engineering Directorate of the Army's
Communications-Electronics Command at Fort Monmouth, N.J.


On-line servers will distribute the software electronically to users who buy licenses
through the enterprise agreements. Copies also will be available on magnetic media, Black
said.


"Buying extra licenses [for a software product] traditionally requires all sorts
of sole-source justifications and other system decision papers," Black said.
"The enterprise agreements will do away with much of the front-end documentation by
implementing class and standardized justification and approvals, or J&As, that will
allow you to buy what you want, in the quantities and on the media that you want, with
delivery in five to 10 days."


Chip Bumgardner, a marketing executive at BTG, said the agreements will speed
distribution and supply more flexible usage terms for Defense Department users.


"It effectively allows the government to take over distribution and reselling
roles," Bumgardner said.


Don Arnold, an executive at Cincom Systems Inc. in Cincinnati, said the electronic
distribution facility at CECOM could shave hundreds of dollars off shrink-wrapped software
prices. Cincom, an object database and application development software company, signed an
enterprise agreement with DISA in May.


"Our price for an electronic version of a database application is around
$100," he said. "If we had to print and collate the shelf-load of documentation
that goes along with it, copy the diskettes and ship it all, it would cost around $750 per
copy."


Arnold said customers who have bought Cincom products through the enterprise agreement
have concluded, "This is better than canned beer. It's quick; it's easy; it costs
less than the GSA schedule; and it takes five days to process the whole order."


Initially, the enterprise licenses will be available through the Single Agency Manager
(SAM) IT Store at the Pentagon, which is run by the Naval Computer and Telecommunications
Station (NCTS) in Jacksonville, Fla.


Customers will need to establish a military interdepartmental purchase request (MIPR)
account with the IT Store or directly with NCTS. When an MIPR is in place, buying a
license will be as simple as placing a phone call, Black said.


Black acknowledged long-standing industry concerns that enterprise agreements will
result in a loss of control over distribution. He said DISA will let individual vendors
continue controlling distribution and license generation under the agreements, if they so
choose.


"Another incentive to vendors is the fact that we will provide them with a
database of users and purchases," Black said. Such a database would give vendors
unprecedented detail for tailoring their DOD marketing efforts, he added.


For information on setting up a MIPR account through the SAM IT Store, call Ken Rauen
at 904-779-6103.


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