a good partner for them. We got together and worked out this opportunity that is beneficial to all parties involved."

The ELA Way

Singleton and Rutledge hammered out a solution, in fact, that works to both parties' benefit. That solution came in the form of an enterprise license agreement (ELA). An ELA is not a new concept in government IT. But it is relatively new to government IT security, according to Singleton and Rutledge.

The ELA between New York and McAfee includes a total of 11 products that secure state IT resources end-to-end, including mobile devices. Using the established model of procuring IT security solutions with state rates on state contracts, it would have cost nearly $32 million to achieve this level of protection, according to Singleton. The McAfee deal cost less than $2 million and frees the state to offer unlimited licenses to its agencies. Also part of the negotiation was allowing New York to extend the agreement to counties, which like many state agencies could typically afford only the security pieces that were absolutely necessary.

"One of the reasons we fought so hard to include [the counties] is because we got a lot of input and feedback from the counties that said this is something they would like," Singleton said. "There are counties and small agencies that are paying $30 to $40 per user. When now, with the state enterprise agreement they are going to be able to get it for $3 to $4 -- whatever the cost equals out to. So it's a huge opportunity that they would not previously have had. I've already had a number of counties reach out to me that want to sign up and participate."

The $30 million question is what makes it so much cheaper to do it this way? Singleton said it's all about standardization. Across 200,000 PCs, laptops and mobile devices, and more than 100 state agencies, breaking through the silos and moving to standardization is the key.

"We can manage all 11 products with one client and one agent running on desktops across the agency, across the enterprise," he said. "That's a huge administrative advantage for us."

But getting agencies to standardize is difficult. That's where the ELA came in, as a carrot and stick.

"We removed cost from the equation, we made it more affordable, we gave them the opportunity to deploy as much as they wanted to protect their environment," Singleton said. "We're hoping as a result of that we're going to see an increase of uptake into the adoption of these other products, securing our environment, lowering total cost of ownership for the state."

Chad Vander Veen  | 

Chad Vander Veen previously served as the editor of FutureStructure, and the associate editor of Government Technology and Public CIO magazines.