DON Enterprise Licensing Agreements to Optimize IT Procurement

Published, February 27, 2012

Use of enterprise license agreements (ELAs), where available, is mandatory by all Department of the Navy organizations and programs with the release of a joint DON memo. These enterprise agreements optimize cost savings by leveraging the full purchasing capacity of the department.

The joint memo "Mandatory Use of DON Enterprise Licensing Agreements," which was signed by the Department of the Navy Chief Information Officer, the Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Research Development and Acquisition (ASN (RDA)), and the Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Financial Management and Comptroller (ASN (FM&C)), states, "Effective immediately, where a DON ELA exists, any software products, hardware, and related services offered by that ELA must be procured using that ELA, including those procured by government purchase cards."

The enterprise license agreements will be grounded in a strong governance framework involving the financial, acquisition and IT management communities that will ensure awareness and compliance. ELAs will be developed for various software products, hardware and related services, including those procured by government purchase cards.

In most cases, the DON ELAs will be primarily software product focused. However, DON ELAs may include software-related services and hardware components, such as switches, routers or database appliances included in the agreement, as well as related services that are necessary for the effective use of the commercial software product, including software maintenance.

DON ELAs will enable more efficient DON IT procurement and business processes through standardization of many processes, contractual terms and conditions, as well as develop a full awareness of many of the department's IT assets. It also supports Department of Defense IT consolidation efforts.

"The DON will leverage and adopt best practices from the private and government sectors as we seek to streamline our IT processes to maintain current or better level of operations and security, while concurrently delivering increased levels of efficiencies and cost-savings," Terry Halvorsen, DON CIO, said at the DON IT Conference held in January in San Diego, Ca. "One area that we can do this is around enterprise software license agreements. These can help to eliminate overspending on software, while increasing the overall value to the DON."

Based on analysis of DON IT spending on software, the DON CIO has identified several initial DON software enterprise licensing opportunities. The Marine Corps Enterprise License Management System (MCSELMS) Project Office will determine the projected award dates of those opportunities and submit to the DON CIO for review. Once approved, information will be posted to the DON CIO website. DON CIO will review all ELA awards.

Establishing ELAs as a department-wide initiative to achieve cost savings and produce efficiencies is being echoed across the federal government. Congressman Joseph Walsh (IL) wrote in a recent article, "The message is clear that cost containment will be a continuing dominant theme in government IT – but even more important will be cost containment strategies that deliver more capability and productivity to end users. That is, delivering more value for less spend."