Army taps Softmart for Microsoft software

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — The Army recently selected Softmart Inc. as the service's primary source for Microsoft Corp. software.

The $78 million delivery order, awarded to Softmart May 30, 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.

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 commonly used across an organization.

The Army received eight bids and chose the Downingtown, Pa.-based company on a "best-value basis," Baldwin told Federal Computer Week June 4 at the Army Small Computer Program's IT conference.

Sandra Sieber, director of the Army Contracting Agency, said the contract will help the Army do a better job of tracking its software buys.

Dee Wardle, product leader for the Army Small Computer Program's software licensing agreements, said the Army recently awarded an enterprise license to Popkin Software for its architecture tools and is working on a deal for collaboration tools.

The Air Force plans to award contracts for information assurance, and the Navy plans to award contracts for IBM Corp.'s Lotus Notes and PeopleSoft Inc.'s enterprise resource planning software.

Wardle said the enterprise licenses that the Army manages have saved the service and Defense Department about $1.3 billion during the past three years.

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