Microsoft inks first-ever joint licensing agreement with DoD

Microsoft announced Friday the most comprehensive licensing agreement ever established with the Department of Defense. The Army, Air Force and Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) have entered into a modernization agreement aimed at reducing costs while offering advanced mobility, collaboration and cloud-computing capabilities to nearly 75 percent of all DoD personnel.

The three-year, $617 million joint enterprise license agreement for Microsoft products provides the Army, Air Force and DISA with access to the latest Microsoft solutions, including Office 2013, Sharepoint 2013 Enterprise and Windows 8. Microsoft reports that this is the first-ever Joint Licensing Agreement that Microsoft has established with the DoD.

The Joint Enterprise Licensing Agreement (JELA) agreement provides all three organizations with a single vehicle for accessing the latest Microsoft technologies in support of top IT priorities around data-center consolidation, collaboration, cybersecurity, mobility, cloud computing and Big Data.

Army Contracting Command was the lead organization for the contract, which was awarded to Insight Public Sector, a division of Insight Enterprises, one of the largest Microsoft Large Account Resellers.

The deal demonstrates the best pricing DoD has received to date for Microsoft desktop and server software licenses, reports an article by the American Forces Press Service.

“There’s a move afoot throughout the department to bring about efficiencies in the (information technology) world,” David DeVries, DoD deputy chief information officer, told American Forces Press Service. “We took a long, hard look at it…realizing that the Department of Defense relies upon the network and upon information technology to do its business.

“How do we bring about better effectiveness for the warfighter, better improved security on the networks…while reducing the cost of ownership?” DeVries was quoted as asking. “We are the largest corporation out there, comprised of four military services. No one comes close to our scale, so when we talk about something that produces a standardized way of buying, installing and maintaining (enterprise software), that’s a huge deal.”

With the contract in place, Air Force CIO Lt. Gen. Michael Basla said the Air Force will see a cost avoidance of about $50 million a year, while Army Deputy CIO Michael Krieger said the Army will save more than $70 million for each year of the contract, according to the American Forces Press Service report.

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