Army finalizes Oracle BPA

Army finalizes Oracle BPA

Through the agreement, buyers will get steep discount on software licenses

By Bill Murray
GCN Staff

Capping six months of work, the Army last month signed a blanket purchasing agreement with Oracle Corp., the second such deal under the Defense Department's Enterprise Software Initiative.

The Database Enterprise Agreement License-1 (DEAL-1) came through as a result of the three-year, $9.8 million Oracle buy made by the Global Combat Support System'Army of Fort Lee, N.J., said Rex Bolton, a computer specialist at the Office of the Secretary of Defense and the chief of the ESI working group for Marvin Langston, DOD deputy chief information officer.

'We beat by 20 percent what they could get on their own,' he said.

The BPA features prenegotiated discounts, with special deals for larger amounts, Bolton said. A $5 million order, for example, receives a 28 percent discount from Oracle's General Services Administration Information Technology Schedule contract pricing, while the GCSS order received a 63 percent discount, he said.

For DEAL-1, the Army is using its Working Capital Fund's Stock Fund, a nonappropriated resource usually used to buy spare parts, tanks and weapons, Bolton said. The GCSS'Army program office has already made one payment back into the revolving fund and will make subsequent payments in October of this year and next, he said.

Oracle officials have said they will not negotiate any other BPAs directly with DOD agencies, he said. Agencies don't have to pay for a reseller markup unless they want to, and they can buy relational database management systems, tools and services through DEAL-1, Bolton said.

Bolton credited the Army Program Status Review's Spring '99 Conference in Norfolk, Va., last month with bringing DEAL-1 together, on the heels of ESI's first BPA, signed with ASAP Software Express Inc. of Buffalo Grove, Ill., for Visio Corp. software last month [GCN, May 24, Page 49].

Last month, T. Kevin Carroll, program executive officer for Standard Army Management Information Systems at Fort Belvoir, Va., spoke at the conference, where he learned about the impending DEAL-1, Bolton said. Bolton worked with Carroll as a group manager at the Army Communications-Electronics Acquisition Center'Washington (CAC-W).

The GCSS'Army office is part of PEO STAMIS program, and Carroll spoke with the GCSS program manager about the BPA following the conference, Bolton said.

The Army Small Computer Program at Fort Monmouth, N.J., took the lead in Oracle negotiations with CAC'W and will keep the ESI working group apprised of its progress, Bolton said. The Army Small Computer Program, for example, may advertise periodic buys of Oracle software for DOD agencies, he said.

Big savings

'We tried to cover the mass of requirements within DOD for Oracle products,' he said.''

Bolton predicted that agencies with Oracle orders of $75,000 to $5 million will find DEAL-1 particularly valuable. 'They won't have to fight for discounts. ' Oracle can be tough to negotiate with,' he said.

Many Air Force activities, covering almost the entire service, have negotiated Oracle site licenses through Integrated Computer-Aided Software Engineering contract held by Logicon Inc. of Herndon, Va., and the Air Force Standard Systems Group at Maxwell Air Force Base's Gunter Annex, Ala.

Bolton predicted that a third ESI agreement, which would also cover RDBMS products, would be signed soon.

More information about DEAL-1 is on the Web at pmscp.monmouth.army.mil; more about ESI can be found at www.nawcad.navy.mil/its/EnterpriseSoftware/.

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