In a fairly controversial move to modernize technology infrastructure and reduce costs, the U.S. Army, U.S. Air Force and Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) are entering into a new agreement for Joint Enterprise Licensing. This agreement will allow all three organizations a single point of access to the latest Microsoft technology centered around collaboration, cybersecurity, mobility, cloud computing and big data. It is interesting that these government agencies chose Microsoft over other IT datacenter companies such as Google for this exclusive partnership.
As part of this agreement, all three organizations can begin using the newest versions of Microsoft products, including Microsoft Office 2013, SharePoint 2013 Enterprise and Windows 8. The ability to standardize on SharePoint 2013 Enterprise will unlock new levels of cross-agency information sharing through improved enterprise search and social communications features while powering advanced business intelligence and reporting capabilities. Access to Office 2013 will equip each organization with the latest versions of productivity tools that personnel rely on every day, including Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel and Microsoft PowerPoint. The increasingly mobile DoD workforce will also use Windows 8 to empower productivity from any location, and any supported device, while taking advantage of enhanced security. The U.S. Army’s Network Enterprise Technology Command headquartered at Fort Huachuca, Ariz., and the Air Force Program Executive Office for Business and Enterprise Systems at Maxwell Air Force Base-Gunter Annex in Alabama, have been working closely with Microsoft on achieving Army Golden Master and Air Force Standard Desktop Configuration compliance for Windows 8.