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How to Achieve Best Value in Commercial Software Acquisition

March 01, 2018

Imagine a scenario in which you are tasked with a high dollar value software acquisition. Like most folks, you have limited experience with market pricing and with enterprise software terms and conditions, and you do not know the Government’s acquisition history with this software. You have a quote from the vendor, which includes a discount from price lists and the OEM’s (Original Equipment Manufacturer/Intellectual Property Holder) standard licensing agreement. You have heard about the complexity and variability of large software acquisitions and your focus is on obtaining the best value for the Government while avoiding higher costs and post-implementation use restrictions.

As defined in FAR 2.101, “’Best value’ means the expected outcome of an acquisition that, in the Government’s estimation, provides the greatest overall benefit in response to the requirement.” Best value is a qualitative measure that factors price and performance into the decision process, just as we balance price and performance when making our own purchasing decisions. We may not always select for low price, especially if we can obtain greater performance for slightly more cost.

In the Enterprise Software world, where high dollar value software acquisitions are routine, the price paid and the performance received (established by terms and conditions of the acquisition) are anything but routine. Every large acquisition has at least some variation 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 appear to be very different values based on the uniqueness of each situation.

TAGS: Other News

Software License Negotiations Support Proves Valuable

September 12, 2016

This article provides information on how DoD ESI is on the leading edge of trends in the software licensing world and the impacts they have on the Government.

TAGS: Other News, About ESI, Training

DoD ESI Ordering Roadmap

September 17, 2015

The purpose of this Roadmap is to help DoD ESI customers understand the process required to place an order using DoD ESI Blanket Purchase Agreements (BPAs).

TAGS: Other News, Enterprise License, Contract Management, Training

How to Order Software Using DoD ESI Contract Vehicles - White Paper

May 19, 2015

This white paper describes the process buyers should follow once they have determined to fulfill their requirement through the DoD ESI Blanket Purchase Agreements (BPAs). It is important to note that ESI does not dictate the products or services to be acquired.

TAGS: Other News, Contract Management, Training

Best Practices in Evaluating IT Acquisitions - White Paper

August 13, 2013

This paper illustrates commercial best practices for estimating the costs of implementing commercial software and related services. However, the underlying methodology – utilizing a framework of team involvement and total cost analysis - is applicable to all types of IT acquisitions and is in support of the DoD ESI. This paper provides details and examples on how to identify the key components of your acquisition and the costs associated with them to help you determine whether or not the acquisition will be beneficial to your organization. Cost estimating tools and guides are also provided to accompany this insightful paper.

TAGS: Other News

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