The Department of Defense (DoD) awarded a $2.5 billion 5-year blanket purchasing agreement to Dell to provide the U.S. Navy with enterprise software licenses, DoD announced June 4. The contract details that the technology company will provide user-based subscription licenses for Microsoft 365 and Microsoft Azure products.

The contract follows the DoD’s transition to DOD365, a higher-security version of Office365, purchased through the $4.4 billion Defense Enterprise Office Solutions (DEOS) contract, which entailed cloud-based email and collaboration tools across the DoD.

Purchasing software has been a constant challenge for the DoD; its contracting methods were designed to procure major weapons systems, not code-based systems that require continual updates.

But in a 2019 Software Acquisition and Practices (SWAP) study, senior leaders at the DoD recognized four efforts to understand how the military acquires software and how it could do better. Such as creating and maintaining ross-program/cross-service digital infrastructure, refactoring statutes, regulations, and processes for software, creating new paths for digital talent; and changing the practice of how software is procured and developed.

The ordering period began on June 1, and funds will be paid through delivery orders using operations and maintenance DOD funds. Still, the agreement does not oblige the immediate payment of funds.

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Lisbeth Perez
Lisbeth Perez
Lisbeth Perez is a MeriTalk Senior Technology Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.