IT Software: Cost Savings in Enterprise Licenses Agreements, Strategic IT Resourcing

Posted by Mary Davie
on February 27, 2017

This blog post is part of a seven-part series reviewing the Acquisition Gateway and IT Category data, trends, expertise, and advocacy that GSA’s ​Office of Information Technology Category (ITC) organization offers to support other agencies’ missions.

(Note: This is a guest blog post by John Radziszewski, Director, Office of IT Products within ITC in GSA’s Federal Acquisition Service (FAS). In this capacity, he oversees GSA’s IT Hardware and Software Subcategories.

GSA’s IT Software Subcategory team is implementing government-wide strategies and initiatives that will reduce costly duplication of enterprise software agreements, improve pricing, and better leverage the government’s buying power. This is being accomplished by enhancing current IT Schedule 70 contracts such as: Environmental Systems Research Institute’s (Esri) geospatial software, Carahsoft’s Adobe’s data-centric security and electronic signature solutions, and Carahsoft’s Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) software. These enhancements give government users what they need, when they need it, and at the lowest cost.

The federal government spends at least $6 billion annually on commercial software through more than 50,000 individual contracting actions — not an optimal way to buy. This way of procuring commercial software licenses usually results in duplicate IT investments across agencies, causing disjointed pricing indexes, terms, and conditions, and increasing the complexity of licenses management.

To tackle this issue, the Enterprise Software Category Team (ESCT) is enhancing new Enterprise Licenses Agreements (ELAs) to reduce duplication of enterprise software agreements, improve pricing, and better leverage the government’s buying power.

Leveraging Government’s Buying Power through ELAs

Through smart government-wide mandates, GSA is currently enhancing ELAs on IT Schedule 70 to better meet government needs, while at the same time reducing duplication of enterprise software licenses, improving cost savings, and optimizing the government’s procurement capabilities. This allows agencies to redirect funding to other mission priorities.

In January 2016, we’ve already enhanced the following government-wide enterprise software license agreements:

GSA‑​Carahsoft’s HPE — The enhanced software agreement with Carahsoft for HPE IT management solutions could result in discounts of up to 39 percent over commercial pricing for government agencies and a potential savings up $50 million over five years for taxpayers.

GSA‑Carahsoft’s Adobe — Again working with Carahsoft, on their Adobe’s data-centric security and electronic signature solutions, it will result in potential savings of $350 million.

GSA‑Esri geospatial software — We agreed to modify Esri’s IT Schedule 70 terms and conditions for geospatial software ELAs. It will result to at least an additional 3% in savings for agencies.

Today, agencies with existing Carahsoft’s HPE/Adobe and Esri software can now take advantage of immediate savings by switching to these ELAs by processing a simple modification. Agencies who make the switch can receive additional savings on ELA prices.

A Look Ahead: Software License Management Service (SLMS)

Working with several agencies, GSA developed a Software License Management Service (SLMS) that can generate significant cost savings by:

  • cutting unnecessary software license spending,
  • implementing controls on the software license management lifecycle, and
  • improving an agency’s cybersecurity posture by tracking and monitoring vulnerabilities.

SLMS uses subject-matter experts to engage agencies with one goal in mind: saving the government (and taxpayers!) money on software licensing. The program is the foundation for successfully managing software. It employs a phased approach to assess agency maturity relevant to IT Asset Management (ITAM), while establishing plans for implementing improvements.

To date, GSA has successfully launched SLMS pilots at three agencies:

  • For GSA, our focus has been on deploying a cutting-edge software asset management toolset, targeting a quick ‘Return On Investment’ on software buys. This is achieved by capturing, controlling, and evaluating GSA’s current software inventory and procurement data, and finding areas for demand management.
  • At the Office of Personnel Management (OPM), the SLMS team is conducting a current-state gap analysis based on an ITAM maturity model. The outcomes will be a detailed analysis of program performance and a future roadmap for organizational maturity.
  • For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), we helped develop a full suite of ITAM governance, processes, procedures, and policies.

We are ready to expand the pilot to other agencies as well. If your agency is interested in an approach to software asset management, please contact our team (SLMS@gsa.gov). We are here to help you capture real cost savings, enhance cybersecurity, and comply with federal mandates.

To learn more and to access best practices and contract information, please visit the Software Hallway on the Acquisition Gateway.

Also follow us on Twitter @GSA_ITC and LinkedIn to join our ongoing conversations about government IT.

Other News!

2017 Category Management Conference

The American Council for Technology (ACT) and Industry Advisory Council (IAC), and GSA are co-sponsoring an event on Category Management and the Acquisition Gateway. The robust speaker list includes leadership from the the IT Category, the Gateway team, industry, and others! Get more information on the 2017 Category Management Conference.

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Interested in how MEGABYTE impacts you? We can help

Posted by Mary Davie
on November 9, 2016

With annual spend of over $6 billion through more than 42,000 separate transactions, software represents a significant IT investment for the Federal Government. Detailed findings published in a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report revealed that the vast majority of these purchases are decentralized, and that federal agencies lack the tools to manage these assets.

As a result, 2016 has been a busy year for federal Chief Information Officers (CIOs), Category Managers, and Software Asset Managers tasked with addressing federal mandates. I’m proud to say that my team has been working hard to help ease this process for agencies.

Getting a Handle on Software

On June 2, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) issued Category Management Policy 16-1 requiring each federal agency to employ a centralized software license management strategy and provide skilled personnel to maintain it. In addition, agencies must now collect software inventories and analyze/report cost savings attributable to their newly deployed strategies.

Piggybacking on the framework established by OMB’s memo, President Obama signed the Making Electronic Government Accountable by Yielding Tangible Efficiencies (MEGABYTE) Act into Public Law this July. MEGABYTE sets forth an official directive requiring Executive Agency CIOs to comply with the terms of the OMB memo.

GSA Is Your Resource

The MEGABYTE Act empowers agency CIOs to manage their IT infrastructure and perform Software Category Management. The successful outcome of both activities is substantial savings and cost avoidance, which can be re-invested in IT modernization efforts.

With this goal in mind, the Enterprise Software Category Team (ESCT)—consisting of GSA’s IT Software Category, OMB, and Department of Defense-Enterprise Software Initiative (DOD-ESI)—is providing assistance to agency software license managers on where to start.

The IT Software Category currently leverages experts (from industry and government) in Enterprise Software Licensing, software asset management, strategic sourcing, and category management to assist our agencies in developing and implementing MEGABYTE. We do this by hosting weekly information sharing and collaboration sessions where software license managers from the 24 Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Council agencies meet to discuss their progress in:

  • tracking and capturing savings;
  • software centralization efforts;
  • strategic vendor management; and
  • collecting accurate software inventory data.

Since early September 2016, the ESCT has hosted nine working sessions with representatives from 28 separate agencies (including the CFO Council agencies, and four sub-agencies). Outcomes of these working sessions have yielded tools and templates for vendor management planning, software centralization, cost savings analysis, and software asset management automated tool set functionality.

Next Steps

As the weekly working sessions wind down, GSA will continue to collaborate with the federal software community. Our goal is to successfully position agencies in their quest for effective software license management through:

  • A Community of Practice Portal accessible by registered federal software license managers to share success stories and lessons learned;
  • A Software Asset Management Website providing updates on federal progress, industry resources, policy guidance, and technology advancements; and
  • Periodic Webinars related to steady-state software license management best practices

GSA continues its development of the Software License Management as a Service program, which will enable agencies to acquire the tools and services they need for effective software license management.

Currently, the program is piloting the service with Nuclear Regulatory Commission, GSA IT and the Office of Personnel Management. Each pilot is focused on different aspects of License Management to include governance and procedure development, SAM toolset integration and current-state ITAM gap analysis.

To learn more, please visit www.gsa.gov/software and join our community on the Acquisition Gateway.

Also, please follow us on Twitter @GSA_ITC and LinkedIn to join our ongoing conversations about government IT.

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