Defense Dept. Inks $40.5M Deal For Adobe Software

The DOD expects to save $16.6 million under a three-year contract with CDW-G giving the Army, Air Force, and DISA access to Adobe technologies.

The Department of Defense (DOD), in a move to improve collaboration within its agencies and reduce costs, has issued a $40.5 million joint enterprise license agreement (JELA) with the IT vendor CDW-G that provides the Army, the Air Force, and the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) with a single vehicle for accessing the latest Adobe technologies.

The three-year agreement encompasses Acrobat Pro, Experience Manager Document Services, and several Creative Cloud subscriptions for the Army, Air Force, and DISA. The DOD said its operational model doesn't require a network connection for Adobe cloud services, which allows instant software upgrades and file storage. Instead, it will be installed as traditional desktop software with file storage on local devices.

By moving to Adobe, the DOD expects to reduce costs and improve interoperability, collaboration, document services, and publishing capabilities. It expects savings of $16.6 million over the next three years.

"The agreement with Adobe not only produces substantial savings... but also allows us to move beyond electronic versions of forms and begin transforming business processes using online, fillable 'smart' forms tied to databases," Air Force CIO Michael Basla said in a press release.

[Joint enterprise licensing is one part of the DOD move to share IT. See U.S. Military Units Share IT, Save $1.2 Billion.]

The Army plans to convert all its forms to the Portable Document Format to boost information sharing. "The agreement greatly improves the standard license terms and conditions to enable a true joint information environment," Army deputy CIO Michael Krieger said in the release.

The DISA said it's "in discussions" with other vendors to pursue additional JELAs. The agency is the lead organization for the contract, which gives combined buying power to 2.6 million DOD employees.

This is the second JELA for the DOD. The first was signed with Microsoft in December 2012. That $617 million contract provided the DOD with the lowest prices ever for Microsoft software and services. Like the Adobe agreeement, the Microsoft deal involved the Army, Air Force, and DISA. It included access to the latest Microsoft software, such as Windows 8, Microsoft Office 2013, and SharePoint 2013. When that deal was announced, the DOD said it would help the Air Force save $50 million annually, the Army $70 million annually, and the DISA 10% over its previous Microsoft contracts.

In July 2012, the Navy entered a multi-year, $700 million licensing agreement with Microsoft. That deal, which included both the Navy and the Marine Corps, consolidated several other licensing agreements with Microsoft and covered desktop and server software.

Find out how a government program is putting cloud computing on the fast track to better security. Also in the Cloud Security issue of InformationWeek Government: Defense CIO Teri Takai on why FedRAMP helps everyone.