Air Force inks Oracle license

Air Force inks Oracle license

Directing adoption of commercial products was one of his most satisfying assignments, retired Lt. Col. Glenn Taylor says.

Third BPA with Logicon makes database products available servicewide

By Bill Murray

GCN Staff

Air Force officials have moved a step closer to enterprisewide use of Oracle Corp. relational database management systems.

The Air Force Standard Systems Group in late May signed a $45 million license agreement with Logicon Inc. of Herndon, Va., for use by more than 40,000 users. This is the latest in a series of such licenses for Oracle products.

The license is open to users in the Air National Guard and Reserves and the Air Combat, Air Mobility, Central, Space and Strategic commands, said Lt. Col. Glenn Taylor.

He retired last month as director of the Commercial Information Technology Product Area Directorate (CIT-PAD) at the Gunter Annex'Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala.

Previously negotiated licenses with Logicon cover 120,000 Air Force users in the Integrated Logistics, Materiel, Personnel and Transportation commands, Taylor said.

More coverage

The new license also covers Air Force contractors and Defense Department users of Air Force databases that were not covered by the other four agreements, said Sabrina Law, a CIT-PAD computer specialist.

The Air Force negotiated a 10-year Oracle product license that includes a year of maintenance for products, Taylor said. The service will pay $7 million a year for maintenance, he said.

The Army, the lead agent on the Defense Enterprise Software Initiative for RDBMSes, played a key role in the deal, said Rex Bolton, chairman of the ESI Steering Committee in the Office of the Secretary of Defense. The Army negotiated the Air Force license under the Army Small Computer Program's blanket purchasing agreement for Oracle products, he said.

The Army pays for purchases through the Oracle BPA from its working capital stock fund, and the Air Force will pay the fund to use the new license, Taylor said.

The license is an unusual collaboration between the Air Force and Army.

Sites are better

Last year, Taylor and Vince Steckler, Logicon's vice president for application solutions, criticized the Army's negotiation of BPAs for software from Oracle and Informix Corp. of Menlo Park, Calif., rather than signing site licenses [GCN, July 26, 1999, Page 40].

'Pulling resources and funding has been difficult,' but the Army fund helped the Air Force come up with short-term funding, Steckler said.

'This license shows the acceptance of the DOD ESI' because Army and Air Force officials worked together to meet their goals, he said.

The Air Force has to pay a 2.5 percent per-order fee to the Army, in addition to a 1.7 percent fee to SSG, a 1 percent fee to the Army Small Computer Program and a 1 percent fee to the General Services Administration, Taylor said.

In return, the Air Force received an 80 percent discount on Oracle products through the license agreement, he said.

In a speech at a recent Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association luncheon, Air Force Secretary F. Whitten Peters noted that the service has more than '115,000 Oracle licenses, most purchased on a onesy-twosy basis.'

Using large license agreements, such as the five for Oracle products that cover the entire service, will save the Air Force money, Taylor said.

'We may have run the risk of buying more than we needed to' if the Air Force continued to negotiate small Oracle licenses, Taylor said.

Great discounts

'Site licenses are the biggest trend in the information technology market, not seat management or share in savings,' he said. 'They are easier to manage, and the discounts are so much greater because the vendors don't have to court so many deals.'

The license includes Oracle8i Enterprise Edition, the Advanced Security Option, the Developer Server, Oracle Application Server Enterprise Edition and WebDB.

The Air Force will receive around-the-clock technical support, including 800 hours of on-site support, 1,000 hours of consulting service from Oracle and access to 40 support points of contact.

That around-the-globe service availability suits the Air Force, Steckler said.

Oracle also will provide the Air Force with 16 on-site technical support staff members at no extra charge, he said.

Part of their work will be distributing the software, and Gunter Annex may be the central point for server-based distribution via the Web.

The wrap-up of the Oracle license project came just as Taylor was preparing to retire. He left his post June 30.

'It was a difficult decision' to retire after 20 years of military service, Taylor said. 'This last job's probably been the most satisfying I've had in my Air Force career.'

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