The Enterprise Software Initiative (ESI) is a Department of Defense (DoD) initiative to streamline the acquisition process and provide best-priced best-priced, standards-compliant information technology (IT) to DoD customers. Authorized ESI users include all Defense components, U.S. Coast Guard, Intelligence Community, and Defense contractors when authorized by their contracting officer.
The ESI is a business discipline used to coordinate multiple IT investments and leverage the buying power of the government for commercial IT products and services. By consolidating IT requirements and negotiating Enterprise Agreements with software vendors, the DoD realizes significant Total Cost of Ownership savings in IT acquisition and maintenance. The goal is to develop and implement a process to identify, acquire, distribute and manage IT from the enterprise level.
In September 2001, the ESI was approved as a "quick hit" initiative under the DoD Business Initiative Council (BIC). Under the BIC, the ESI will become the benchmark acquisition strategy for the licensing of commercial software and extend a Software Asset Management Framework across the DoD. Additionally, the Defense Acquisition Regulation (DAR) Council has approved a final rule that will incorporate the ESI into the Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement (DFARS) Section 208.74.
Recently, ESI has established multiple award Blanket Purchase Agreements against GSA Schedules for a full line of Microsoft desktop and server products, including: Standard, Enhanced, and Enhanced w/SQL CAL desktop configurations; FrontPage, Project, Publisher, Visual Basic, Visio, and server applications such as Application Center, BizTalk, Commerce Server, Exchange, SharePoint Portal, and SQL Server. In addition, any Microsoft product available on GSA Schedule can be added to the BPA. Ordering is decentralized. Customers should follow normal contracting procedures to process orders in accordance with FAR Part 8. Special ordering procedures exist for desktop configuration orders in quantities less than 250. Defense customers must consider these agreements when purchasing Microsoft products.