It may be “Soft”ware but GSA is coming hard

In late October, GSA issued a Request for Information (RFI) about a proposal to change the way agencies buy software under IT Schedule 70. The proposal would support compliance with the MEGABYTE Act of 2015, and improve federal management of $6 billion worth of software.

The proposed changes mostly impact term licenses, perpetual licenses, and software maintenance. Term software licenses would be “Redefined so that they are only applicable to software that is provisioned and executed from the ‘user’s servers, computing end-points, or other designated computing devices where the user has the right to load or deploy software,’” GSA stated. “Additionally, the requirement to convert term licenses into perpetual licenses has been modified so that it is only required when an offeror offers the same conversions to their commercial customers.”

There will be two pathways towards perpetual licenses: “Option 1 contemplates software vendors that will embed software identification tags in their software products that are consistent with the ISO/IEC 19970-2 standard,” the RFI states. “Option 2 contemplates software vendors that will allow incumbent software licensees a right to transfer or move perpetual licenses to a new licensee for a previously negotiated fee. It is intended that these new asset management rights and features are voluntary, meaning that software vendors who wish to offer them may optionally include them on their schedule contract.”

And there might be a new SIN for software maintenance! “Software maintenance-as-a-product, henceforth, will be the maintenance that software vendors charge for on an annual basis…Under the current software maintenance SIN structures, it is impossible to differentiate a software purchase from an annual software maintenance purchase. Providing software maintenance-as-a-product with its own SIN identifier allows the federal government to better manage software as an asset and appropriately track categories of spend by differentiating between software licenses and software maintenance.”

Exciting! If you have any questions or worries about your Schedule 70 products, feel free to call your EZGSA proposal specialist or anyone at our office at 301-913-5000.