U.S. Air Force Selects Microsoft Software and Services In Technology Transformation Effort to Increase Security

WASHINGTON and ROUND ROCK, Texas, Nov. 19, 2004 — The U.S. Air Force has entered into a multiyear enterprise agreement for Microsoft® software and associated software support services. Microsoft Corp. will provide core server software, maintenance and upgrade support, while Dell Inc. will supply more than 525,000 Microsoft desktop Windows®
and Office software licenses for the Air Force — one of the world’s largest single enterprise-level implementations.

Part of the service’s One Air Force, One Network initiative, the agreement is intended to simplify the acquisition process while meeting demands for stringent enterprisewide cybersecurity requirements, timely distribution of software updates and enterprise configuration management. The combined value of the contracts could total more than $500 million over a six-year period.

The services contract signed with Microsoft overhauls previously decentralized software support contracts into a single enterprisewide support agreement for the Air Force so the software system can be managed and supported much as traditional weapons systems are. Microsoft consultants will work across the Air Force’s nine major worldwide commands, developing an enterprise approach to facilitate an array of new initiatives with direct Air Force participation in testing software updates.

The software products initiative, through Dell, consolidates 38 software license agreements previously established by the Air Force. It will allow the Air Force to implement standard configurations of software that will be mandated for use across global Air Force operations.

“By consolidating purchases of software and hardware products across its enterprise, the Air Force will be able to enhance IT operations globally through better management, policies and planning. It will be able to add integrated security and configuration management processes as well as baseline requirements that will have security and software feature settings specifically configured,” said Curt Kolcun, general manager for Microsoft Federal. “The partnership will help the Air Force meet its goal of standardizing software capabilities to support core Air Force operations.”

The Air Force’s transformation initiative creates a new, increased level of cooperation, accountability and savings between the Air Force and Microsoft. It also provides the standardization that will give the service a greater ability to architect its enterprise using a more secure and consistent platform suite and eliminating inefficiencies.

Also core to this strategic agreement is a highly proactive effort by the Air Force and Microsoft to jointly work to solve security concerns across the Air Force’s global enterprise. Through this relationship, the Air Force will drive new methods of testing and upgrading software and increase overall sharing of best practices. The move will aid in the Air Force’s effort to improve capabilities by enabling centralized testing of product upgrades and the rapid testing, distribution and installation of those upgrades on all Air Force desktops and servers using Microsoft software worldwide.

Additional components of the services program aimed at security, reducing cost of ownership and simplifying training include the following:

  • Standardized desktop and server software configurations

  • Streamlined configuration management capability

  • Systems security vulnerability management

  • End-user productivity enhancement

  • Heterogeneous integration and interoperability support

“This is a true partnership and an agreement that benefits both organizations. The Air Force will achieve far greater benefit from its investment in Microsoft technology and best practices, and we at Microsoft will learn how to continually improve our technology as it is applied across a massive and truly global enterprise like the U.S. Air Force,” Kolcun added.

“This agreement builds on Dell’s long-standing relationship with the Air Force,” said Troy West, vice president of Dell Federal Systems. “As an organization with facilities worldwide, it is important for the Air Force to efficiently and affordably procure technology when and where it needs it. This agreement enables it to accomplish that goal.”

Other core server software supported under this agreement includes Microsoft Windows Server (TM) 2003, Microsoft Exchange Server, Microsoft Systems Management Server, Microsoft SQL Server (TM) and Microsoft Office SharePoint®
Portal Server. There are additional options for Air Force organizations to acquire software unique to their organization or major command.

Through Software Assurance, Air Force personnel are also provided with desktop licenses for use at work and home with the Home Use Program, which offers personnel the option to acquire a licensed copy of select Office desktop applications for use on a single home computer at a nominal cost.

The agreement also will support other Department of Defense (DOD) organizations, including the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the Joint Chiefs of Staff and several Joint Combatant Commands for which the Air Force has executive responsibility.

About Dell

Dell Inc. (NASDAQ: DELL) is a premier provider of products and services required for customers worldwide to build their information-technology and Internet infrastructures. Company revenue for the past four quarters totaled $47.3 billion. Dell, through its direct business model, designs, manufactures and customizes products and services to customer requirements, and offers an extensive selection of software and peripherals. Information on Dell and its products can be obtained http://www.dell.com .

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

Microsoft, Windows, Windows Server and SharePoint are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.

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