Software Review - Process
Information about and process for software reviews
What is a Software Review?
A Software Review is the process of Information Technology and campus Purchasing reviewing the requested software and its terms before a purchase takes place. This is done to ensure all elements are in alignment with UWSA and State of Wisconsin policy. IT and campus Purchasing each review in different capacities. A review, in most cases, follows a Software Quote Request, when the requested software is not carried by a re-seller under the mandatory procurement contract (refer to Knowledgebase article on Software Quote Requests).
An IT Help Desk ticket is transitioned from a Software Quote Request to a Software Review, to begin the process. In some instances, such as requests for free and open-source software, a new ticket is created upon receipt of the installation request.
Framework of a Software Review:
- Software is reviewed
- Information Technology assesses the software; this varies per request as each instance is unique in nature. The IT department may reach out and ask specific questions to better understand the use case. Some items taken into consideration during this portion of the review include but are not limited to deployment, management, and security.
- Governing Terms of the software and its use are reviewed
- Information Technology reviews the governing terms from a data security, infrastructure integration and overall IT impact perspective. Data security review is in alignment with UWSA security policy to ensure our student data is being handled in a safe manner. The infrastructure pieces are assessed to ensure the software can be accessed and delivered in a managed and secure manner.
- Campus Purchasing reviews the governing terms from a contractual perspective, to ensure compliance with the State of Wisconsin.
- IT and Campus Purchasing both need to assist with procurement of software outside of the scope of the mandatory procurement contract for software (i.e. direct from the vendor and not through a State of Wisconsin re-seller), the IT department compiles supporting documentation and requests a Business Case Exception from the Department of Administration, on your behalf. While this action is initiated by the IT department, it meets the requirements of the purchasing rules and regulations for the State of Wisconsin (the campus Purchasing side).
- What is a Business Case Exception?
- The Business Case Exception is a supporting document in a pending software procurement (new or renewal) that allows purchasing directly with the vendor/publisher, for that specific instance only, if all other criteria are met.
- The Business Case Exception only provides an exception from the mandatory use of the software procurement contract in this specific instance. Compliance with UW System data security polices, an assessment of campus infrastructure impact, procurement rules and procurement thresholds still apply.
- A copy of the Business Case Exception document is a required attachment when entering the Requisition, through the Requisition Wizard within the ShopUW+ platform.
- What is a Business Case Exception?
Responsibilities and Notes:
Typically, already supplied at Quote Request time:
- Identify product: Include a quote from the vendor/supplier outlining the software product you wish to purchase so IT is informed of the exact item being requested. By taking this approach, it is clear upfront what product/licensing tier is being requested and mitigates discrepancies throughout the process.
- Is this a renewal?
- If you received a renewal quote from the vendor, please include that in your request.
- Is this a renewal that was through a State of Wisconsin re-seller the year prior (i.e. SHI, Insight, or CDW-G)?
- Relay this information in your request; include the procurement paperwork from the year prior that outlines the software pieces that are up for renewal (i.e. quote, invoice, PO)
- Is this a renewal?
- Provide scope: Include a brief explanation (in your own words) of what type of software this is, what it does and how it will be used at the university. This information is helpful and provides context to IT and to campus Purchasing.
- Any Other Valuable Information: Include anything else the IT department and campus Purchasing needs to know about the specifics of your request. For example, in a software licensing renewal situation, if you are in a multi-year agreement with the vendor, let us know you are looking to renew year 2 of 3 and attach the signed agreement between the university and the vendor which outlines this information.
Supplied at time of transition from Software Quote to Software Review:
- Terms that govern the software and its use
- PDF format of the terms is requested as the campus Purchasing department will need an actual document to work from, in the event they have contractual markups.
- Work with your vendor representatives to secure these documents. In the event you do not have a specified representative at the vendor, contacting them via chat or a “Contact Us” link off the website are alternatives as well.
- Liaison for term modifications and acceptance
- Campus Purchasing will review and provide contractual markups to the governing terms in alignment with what is acceptable under the State of Wisconsin. You will be asked to shepherd those contractual documents between the vendor and campus Purchasing, during this phase.
- Data: Advise if the software will collect and house student information and if so, please identify those data fields.
Information Technology and Campus Purchasing will work with you to understand, review, procure and implement the requested software, in alignment with existing policy and procedure parameters.
Please note each software request and review is unique and may require additional information than outlined above. Due to the various teams who need to be engaged during the process, please allow a 6 –8 week turnaround for these requests. If the software request requires IT project work, additional time and resources may factor in as well. The purpose of this Knowledgebase article is to serve as a general guide which would cover most of the software review situations for campus.
See the following Knowledgebase articles for specific information regarding software quoting and software procurement processes:
If you need further assistance please contact the Information Technology Help Desk at 920-424-3020 or firstname.lastname@example.org