DOD's enterprise license best practices

In 1999, the Defense Department looked at best practices for enterprise software agreements within DOD. The report identified a number of best practices:

When providing a selection of standards-compliant software:

* Conduct research, evaluate and test to identify the best products.

* Base standards on commercial offerings.

* Determine what degree of choice will be permitted.

* Keep up with evolving standards, products and delivery methods.

When funding enterprise agreements:

* Determine the necessity of up-front funding or if it will significantly improve discounts.

* Consider using revolving funds to acquire licenses.

* Use only the alternative financing plans that make sense.

When reducing acquisition and support costs, including software asset management:

* Identify high payback targets and focus your energy on those opportunities.

* Assign responsibility to negotiate enterprise software agree- ments only to offices that have demonstrated specialized knowledge and expertise.

* Benchmark, benchmark, benchmark.

* Be demanding.

* Consider the acquisition life cycle when crafting enterprise agreements for licenses neces- sary to operate software and keep it current.

* Keep it simple.

* Standardize terms and conditions of agreements.

* Understand and leverage market forces.

* Convince industry that the deal is real and that you control the buyers and the number of contracts.

* Establish a partnership with the supplier.

* Manage and track software as an asset.

To get people to use enterprise agreements:

* Emphasize ease of use.

* Communicate to obtain better buy-in.

* Demand compliance.

* Develop both top-down and bottom-up incentives to control and ensure use of the enterprise agreements.

* Identify and remove impediments to using enterprise software agreements.

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