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SmartBUY is a federal procurement program that takes advantage of the U.S. government’s large buying power to provide federal agencies with commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) software and services at lower prices, with better terms and conditions.

According to the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA), a large portion of the $65 billion the federal government spends on IT every year is on software. COTS software is generally acquired using licensing agreements with terms and prices based on volume. As a result, different agencies pay different prices for the same software. SmartBUY serves to consolidate the agencies’ buying power to achieve enterprise-level software management and bulk savings on licensed software and software-related services.

COTS software vendors and resellers that participate in the program are SmartBUY Blanket Purchase Agreement (BPA) holders. A BPA is an agreement between a vendor and the government that gives the government the option to purchase goods or services from the vendor when needed on an on-call basis. The SmartBUY Agreement allows vendors/resellers to consolidate existing agreements with federal agencies and group product and service offerings for new marketing opportunities. SmartBUY Agreements also allow vendors/resellers to offer their products and services with better terms, conditions and prices compared to those available under GSA Schedules or existing BPAs.

Either the vendor/reseller or federal agency can start the process of establishing a SmartBUY Agreement. In order to qualify, a vendor/reseller’s product must already have a strong presence within government agencies, be available under a current GSA IT Schedule 70 and meet requisite compliance standards. The vendor/reseller must also be able to show a sufficient future demand for its products and agree to SmartBUY standard terms and conditions. Those with successful SmartBUY Agreements experience high demand for their products and services and offer the most favorable pricing.

While all executive agencies and Department of Defense (DoD) components are authorized to procure software through SmartBUY, the program does not cover all types of software. If the software is covered by a SmartBUY Agreement, however, then the agency is required to procure it through the program. Types of software covered by SmartBUY Agreements include database management, enterprise resource planning (ERP), GEO spatial information systems and information assurance.

The GSA is responsible for negotiating government-wide enterprise software licenses for SmartBUY Agreements. However, the terms and conditions vary within a given market space based on commercial practices, and agencies can negotiate lower prices with vendors/resellers.

Learn more:

The General Services Administration Web site provides more information on SmartBUY.

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This was last updated in February 2012

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