Novell offers licensing program on GSA sked

Novell Inc. has launched a software licensing program through the General Services Administration schedule that offers federal buyers discounts of at least 42 percent on volume purchases.

Novell's Master License Agreement (MLA) program has been available in the commercial market and on such indefinite-delivery indefinite-quantity (IDIQ) contracts as the Air Force's Unified Local-Area Network Architecture (ULANA) II. But with its GSA initiative Novell has lowered the dollar threshold required to obtain a discount and put the licensing program on what has "almost become a ubiquitous buying vehicle " said Rick Carlson the director of major market operations in Novell's federal office.

The MLA program covers Novell products such as the NetWare network operating system the GroupWise groupware package and the ManageWise network administration product.

Novell is tapping resellers qualified as MLA fulfillment agents to market the MLA program to agencies. ASAP Software Express Inc. Buffalo Grove Ill. was the first reseller to modify its schedule to offer software through the program.

According to Drew Nowak the government business manager at Novell the following firms are expected to complete the modification of their schedules within a month: Communications Products Inc. Indianapolis GE Capital Information Technology Solutions Gaithersburg Md. Softmart Inc. Exton Pa. and Software Spectrum Inc. Garland Texas.

"Recommended Buy-In"

Novell has established a "recommended buy-in " or minimum net purchase of $250 000 to obtain the discounts offered under GSA's MLA program. Novell account managers however can lower the threshold at their discretion Carlson said. Discounts which start at 42 percent are also negotiable and are established "directly with the end user " Carlson said.

In contrast the buy-in under the commercial MLA program is $420 000 and discounts start at 40 percent."That's a big benefit for agencies that don't want to spend a half a million dollars to get into the program " said Paul Jarvie the vice president of marketing with ASAP.

Greg Cline director of networking and intranet research at Business Research Group Inc. Newton Mass. said the lower dollar-volume threshold will make a difference to agencies as they upgrade or buy new licenses.

He said the government remains a stronghold for Novell products amid the rise of Microsoft Corp.'s Windows NT adding that the MLA program could help keep those users in the Novell camp.

"At this point they have to keep users as happy as humanly possible to sustain themselves " Cline said.Carlson said MLA programs managed under IDIQ contracts remain in effect. A spokesman for Electronic Data Systems Corp. confirmed that the company's MLA under ULANA II remains in place.

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