Army consolidates Microsoft buys

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FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — The Army last week awarded a delivery order that consolidates all of the service's buying power for Microsoft Corp. software.

The $78 million delivery order, awarded May 30 to Softmart Inc., includes five one-year options that put the potential value at about $450 million, said Robin Baldwin, contracting officer at the Army's Information Technology, E-Commerce and Commercial Contracting Center (ITEC4).

Softmart, a small business, is one of nine Microsoft resellers approved under the Defense Department's Enterprise Software Initiative, which is a joint project designed to identify, acquire, distribute and manage software that is common across an organization.

The Army received eight bids and chose the Downingtown, Pa.-based company on a "best value basis," Baldwin told FCW today at the Army Small Computer Program's IT conference.

Sandra Sieber, director of the Army Contracting Agency (ACA), said the contract was an all-around success story for the Army for three main reasons:

* It consolidates the service's purchases of Microsoft products.

* It provides procurement asset management.

* It was awarded to a small business.

Sieber also said the work being done at ACA and ITEC4 is even more astonishing because ACA was started less than a year ago and won't have its own budget until 2005, and ITEC4 isn't expected to reach full operational capability until 2006.

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