Purpose: This chapter provides policies and guidelines for the purchase of licensed software and maintenance, including commercial off the shelf (COTS), and related support services. It also presents a comprehensive discussion on intellectual property.
The well-prepared solicitation will set the stage for negotiating a successful software and/or maintenance contract. Addressing IP ownership issues during the solicitation phase helps ensure an even playing field for the Commonwealth and potential suppliers.
Whatever the agency's business objective in buying the software, it's to the agency's advantage to build flexibility into the software licensing and/or maintenance contract to insure that the licenses can adapt to changes in a fast moving technical environment.
Except for small, one-time, or non-critical software purchases, VITA recommends that a supplier's license agreement not be used, but that the final negotiated license terms are included in the agency's contract.
For value-added reseller (VAR) software products, VITA requires the use of an end user license agreement addendum with certain non-negotiable terms.