Army signs back-to-back software deals

With the Air Force bogged down studying policy options for buying enterprise management software, the Army recently closed a deal with Telos Corp. for a slew of enterprise management products and also has negotiated an agreement with Informix Software Inc. for unlimited use of the company's database products.

Officials are putting together the details of the deal, but officials from the Army's Small Computer Program said a blanket purchase agreement was signed June 30 with Telos, covering enterprise management solutions from Tivoli Systems Inc.

The three-year deal, which is estimated to be worth at least $45 million, provides the Army a 75 percent to 80 percent discount off the General Services Administration's federal supply schedule prices, according to Tom Leahy, deputy product manager at the Army's Small Computer Program, Fort Monmouth, N.J.

The Army's decision to move forward with an Army-only standard enterprise management software award comes after the Air Force delayed its acquisition strategy for a Defense Departmentwide enterprise management solution until senior officials can craft a policy that either mandates the use of a single product or calls for multiple awards [FCW, July 5].

While the Army's agreement with Telos will standardize the service on solutions from Tivoli, the Army plans to roll all of its future enterprise management requirements into the Air Force agreement once it is completed, according to Leahy. The Army also is considering Computer Associates International Inc.'s Unicenter TNG enterprise management product as another possible contender, he said.

Although officials from Tivoli declined to comment until all the details of the agreement are ironed out, Leahy said the BPA is consistent with the strategy laid out by the Pentagon's Enterprise Software Initiative (ESI). "Based on the reforms that have been put in place, I think we're off to a good start," Leahy said. "The real benefit in something like this comes [from] the consolidation of requirements. We want everybody to use these BPAs."

According to Peter Jacobs, vice president of marketing and communications for Telos, the deal will provide up to 435,000 user licenses for Tivoli products. "Just about everything Tivoli makes is on the BPA," Jacobs said. "Telos is heavily committed to Tivoli."

However, Ralph Buona, vice president of product marketing at Telos, said that while the contract technically is a BPA, the "solutions concept" employed by Telos and Tivoli differentiates this Army deal from all the BPAs awarded so far under ESI. In fact, Telos will be providing the Army with installation, configuration and training services for all products offered on the BPA, Buona said. "These are not out-of-the-box solutions," he said.

Second Deal

In addition to the enterprise management software contract, the Army also put the finishing touches on the second round of enterprise database awards, scooping up an initial $7 million deal from Informix at discounted rates similar to the Tivoli deal. The so-called "golden disk" agreement provides the Army with unlimited site licenses to the entire line of Informix products that are being sold within DOD and also provides straight BPAs for products that are not provided on the golden disk, Leahy said.

"They get every product we make," said Dick Martin, federal sales manager for Informix, describing the scope of the Army deal. "We will be there to support the products as well," he said.

Negotiations for a third round of database awards are under way, Leahy said. According to DOD sources, "there could be a lot of money at stake" under a potential deal with Sybase Inc.

Robert Guerra, president of the consulting firm Robert J. Guerra & Associates, said the Army deal has shown that "BPAs have become consummate [indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity contracts]," primarily because the government has managed to provide vendors with payment upfront.

"An enterprise agreement is a fixed-delivery, fixed-quantity...agreement," Guerra said. "Thus, this was a one-time buy with great discounts because the [Army] made a commitment to a large quantity upfront, not because of any BPA award."

Guerra also said that the award shows DOD cannot force each of its organizations to use a specific enterprise management solution. "Certainly, Tivoli does not have 100 percent [of the] market share in DOD," he said. In addition, "the [Hewlett-Packard Co.] user base that is hooked on HP OpenView will [likely negotiate] OpenView agreements, while other [organizations] will sign other agreements," Guerra said.

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AT A GLANCE

Army's enterprise deals:

Telos Corp.* $45 million deal with Telos for enterprise management solutions from Tivoli Systems Inc.* 435,000 user licenses.* Installation, configuration and training included.

Informix Software Inc.* $7 million deal for Informix database products.* Unlimited site licenses.

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