Microsoft Scores Huge Contract With US Department of Defense

Well, it seems Microsoft is getting off to a great year with news of a massive contract awarded to it by the U.S Department of Defense.  The 3-year deal will be worth $617 million and involve the latest versions of Microsoft Office 2013, SharePoint 2013 and Windows 8,

Following a year that can be characterized as ‘middling’ for Microsoft, this news shows the company has many more facets and strength in the enterprise than its competitors and the general public give it credit for.

So even though we have had some challenging things to say about Redmond in the past few months, we should equally be ready to give credit where credit is due.  So kudos to Microsoft on this one.

An excerpt from the DoD press release is shown below.

DOD Awards First Joint Licensing Agreement

By Amaani Lyle
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Dec. 28, 2012 – The Defense Department has leveraged the buying power of more than two million information technology users to award a three-year, $617 million joint enterprise license agreement for Microsoft products, defense officials announced.

The deal, led by the Army Contracting Command in collaboration with the Defense Information Systems Agency, the Army and the Air Force, demonstrates the best pricing DOD has received to date for Microsoft desktop and server software licenses, officials said.

“There’s a move afoot throughout the department to bring about efficiencies in the [information technology] world,” David L. 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.”

Under the agreement, the Army, Air Force and DISA can begin using the newest versions of Microsoft products, including Microsoft Office 2013, SharePoint 2013 and Windows 8, officials said, adding that Office 2013 provides enhanced security and content management tools.

The package has been customized to meet the specific security needs of the Defense Department.

“How do we bring about better effectiveness for the warfighter, better improved security on the networks … while reducing the cost of ownership?” DeVries asked. “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.”

Department officials estimate savings could run into tens of millions over the course of several years through lower license and software assurance costs, officials said.

“This effort is a significant pathfinder on how to do major contract awards for the Department of Defense,” said Air Force Lt. Gen. Michael J. Basla, Air Force CIO and chief of information dominance. “This contract award culminates over a year’s worth of great teaming between the Air Force, Army and DISA, and ultimately the Air Force will see a cost avoidance of about $50 million a year.”

Michael E. Krieger, Army deputy CIO, said the Army will save more than $70 million each year for the span of the agreement.

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