DOD seeks way to buy software enterprisewide

DOD’s Marvin
Langston says “there’s got to be a smarter way of buying software” for

“There’s got to be a smarter way of buying software” for 2 million
users, said Marvin Langston, deputy chief information officer and deputy assistant
secretary of Defense for CIO policy and implementation.

He spoke after an Aug. 31 meeting of the department’s Enterprise Software
Initiative Steering Committee.

“We represent one of the largest organizations in the world,” Langston said.
“We want to use that leverage to our advantage.”

DOD will negotiate a mixture of BPAs and enterprise licenses for communications,
network control, site monitoring, office automation, relational database management and
year 2000 readiness tools, Langston said.

Different DOD agencies will examine different functional areas. The lead assignments
for all functional areas have been made except in the area of security software, which
steering committee members have not fully defined, Langston said.

An industry source said the Defense Information Systems Agency is negotiating a DOD
site license for electronic forms and workflow software from JetForm Corp. of Ottawa, and
the Army is in charge of a departmental license for Oracle Corp. relational database
management products.

The Navy’s functional area is Microsoft Corp. office products, the source said.

The Enterprise Software Initiative Steering Committee has representatives from the
military services, DISA, the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the Defense Logistics
Agency, intelligence agencies, and the National Imagery and Mapping Agency.

Depending on vendor negotiations and user requirements, there could be BPAs or site
licenses for two or three different vendors’ products in a particular functional
area, Langston said.

One of the biggest tasks is to fold in the enterprise licenses that DOD agencies
already have, Langston said. For example, the Air Force has an enterprise license for
JetForm products, and the Air Force Materiel Command has one for Oracle products.

Langston said he has made budget requests for software licensing contracts, but he
would not give specific figures.

The vendor source said the deputy CIO has submitted a $50 million budget request for
fiscal 1999 and a $100 million request for fiscal 2000.    

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