There is no single tool more helpful to achieving Best Value while acquiring software than the use of a well-negotiated existing contract vehicle. Generally established by professionals with software acquisition experience, an existing contract should avoid many of the potential pitfalls of large software buys while offering at least somewhat favorable pricing
The single greatest efficiency in an enterprise software acquisition is to have one or more existing contracts or schedules which include pre-negotiated, best practice terms and conditions and some discounted pricing. In all likelihood, a good value has already been negotiated—but maybe not yet the Best value. Such contracts include GSA Schedules, ESI/SmartBUY BPAs, Organization Enterprise Licenses, Organizational Volume Purchase Agreements, etc. These existing contracts establish a baseline price and a set of terms and conditions against which the program ordering office can seek improvements and obtain better value.
A good starting point to determine what contract vehicles are available and what Terms, Conditions, and Prices are by contract is the Contract Vehicle Utilization Checklist. This high-level document will start you down the path of detailed Terms and Conditions analysis and comprehensive Price and Total Cost of Ownership determination.