VA Again Seeks Alternative to Microsoft

The VA is shopping around for a different kind of software.

The VA is shopping around for a different kind of software. Paul Sakuma/AP File Photo

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The search for software packages to replace Office, SQL, SharePoint etc.

The Veterans Affairs Department has kicked off its second effort in just more than a year to find an alternative to the Microsoft software key to its operations.

In procurement documents posted on FedBizOps on Tuesday, VA said it wants to identify “comprehensive integrated solutions that exist today” to replace Microsoft software currently installed on 370,000 laptops and desktops and 30,000 servers at the department.

In February 2012, VA announced plans to test desktop applications -- email, word processing, presentation, database and spreadsheet software -- in a cloud computing environment.

The current request for information seems aimed at buying a Microsoft alternative that would be hosted on VA hardware, not the cloud. VA wants a “seamless integrated” software package that replicates everything done by a bunch of Microsoft desktop applications, including Office, SQL, SharePoint, as well as server software.

If this is a fishing expedition, I’m sure that Google will be ready to bite.