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Commercial Software Applicability


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  • Multi-functional Team Approach
  • Fit to requirements
  • Price (see Best Value Price Factors Guide)
  • Terms and Conditions (See Best Value Terms and Conditions Guide)
  • TCO (see TCO Workbook)

In the enterprise software world, where high-dollar value software acquisitions are routine, the price paid and the performance received (as established by the terms and conditions of the acquisition) are anything but routine. Every acquisition has some differences in product set, usage requirements, operating environment, organizational structure, etc. Even when the vendor is offering the Government the absolutely best possible price in two separate acquisitions, those acquisitions may represent very different values based on the uniqueness of the requirements of the acquiring organizations—hence the purpose of this toolkit and the resources provided in its Tools Library, such as Best Value Terms and Conditions Guide, the Best Value Price Factors Guide, and the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) Workbook.

To achieve Best Value in a software acquisition, following commercial best practices is a useful guide. This Best Value Toolkit integrates commercial best practices into the recommended best value approach for DoD, for both the rapid assessment scenario (quick turnaround contract/order) and for the strategic, large enterprise software acquisition. Under Commercial Best Practices, strategic, large enterprise software acquisitions are addressed by using a Multi-functional Team Approach, matching experienced personnel with subject matter expertise to the technical and programmatic issues of acquiring enterprise software. Under both scenarios (obviously to greatly different degrees) commercial best practices emphasize four phases;

  • gather information concerning requirements, available contracts, and existing vendor quotes;
  • analyze the data from existing quotes and perform benchmarking;
  • develop a plan/strategy for terms and pricing that will deliver the best match of requirements at the best Total Cost of Ownership;
  • negotiate with the software providers (vendors/publishers/OEMs) to attain this position.

This action oriented and systematic approach will help achieve much better value than a reactive approach—and with proper use of available tools and information, Best value.