Defense-wide BPA offers deals on Informix software

Defense-wide BPA offers deals on Informix software

By Bill Murray

GCN Staff

Through the latest Defense Department Enterprise Software Initiative agreement, buyers can receive a year's worth of Informix Corp. products and maintenance for $200.

After seven months of work, the Army Communications'Electronics Commands Acquisition Center'Washington signed a blanket purchasing agreement last month with Informix of Menlo Park, Calif., said Rex Bolton, a computer specialist at the Office of the Secretary of Defense and also the head of the ESI Steering Committee.'The Army Small Computer Program at Fort Monmouth, N.J., is managing the contract.

Even as the Army signed the deal on OSD's behalf, Bolton was receiving criticism from the Air Force and one of its contractors, which said it could offer better software site licensing deals.

OSD will pay Informix $7 million by October and $3 million more by October 2000 if enough agencies sign up for the unlimited-use license agreement, Bolton said.

Informix, which makes relational database management system software and tools, 'offered us such a good deal that we could not turn them down,' said Bolton, who conceded that a lot of organizations will have to order under the BPA for OSD to recoup its investment in the contract.

Count on this discount

One integrator discounted the importance of the recent ESI contracts for RDBMS software with Informix and Oracle Corp. 'Everyone in DOD is vehicle-rich. I could list someone 30 to 40 vehicles they could [use to] buy [software] licenses for OSD,' said Vince Steckler, vice president at Logicon Inc. of Herndon, Va., which holds the DOD Integrated Computer-Aided Software Engineering (I-CASE) contract, managed by Standard Systems Group at Maxwell Air Force Base's Gunter Annex, Ala.

'With large purchases, you need to collect requirements and add terms and conditions,' Steckler said. 'Saving money is not the ultimate objective. To know that you're an important customer' to the vendor can help agencies get better service, such as when Oracle signed a software license with the Air Force Logistics Command through I-CASE. Under the agreement, Logicon agreed to staff a help desk at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, at no extra charge.

'I'd rather not comment on the Army's approach, other than to say we disagree,' said Lt. Col. Glenn Taylor, head of SSG's Commercial Information Technology Product Area Directorate.

Logicon has signed more than $150 million in Oracle I-CASE software licenses through his organization.

SSG, which is negotiating an ESI deal for networking management products, was upstaged on June 30 when the Army negotiated an $8 million BPA with Telos Corp. of Ashburn, Va., to provide IBM Tivoli products at a 75 percent discount, Bolton said. Telos is providing Tivoli Distributed Monitoring, Enterprise Console, Framework, Inventory, Security Manager and Software Distribution through the BPA.

'This shows the power of enterprise software agreements,' Bolton said. People were waiting for SSG to negotiate a network management contract they could use, he said. But they gave up and negotiated their own contract on the Army's behalf, he said.

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