Information Systems Delivery Methodology – COTS

Information Systems Delivery Methodology – COTS

Commercial Off The Shelve (COTS) products are third party solutions that can be purchased, configured and/or customized to meet the client needs. Examples of COTs include SAP (System Application Program) – an enterprise resource planning and industry solutions portfolio, Oracle® Financials and PeopleSoft HR.  Figure 26 shows a COTS delivery framework.

Figure 26 – COTS Delivery         


COTS delivery framework can be categorized into two parts: (i) Plan & Acquire and (ii) Delivery (Plan, Organize & Implement).

 Plan & Acquire includes the following key elements:

  • Product delivery strategy: a decision has to be made by the organization to build or buy a new product, based on the organization’s strategy or a specific need.
  • Requirements specification: for COTS solution, the requirements have to be defined and specified in great detail to ensure that the right or best-fit product is selected for implementation.
  • Evaluation checklist: this is derived from the requirements specification. It presents the requirements in format that facilitate features comparison across the selected third party products.
  • Product Selection: products are selected for evaluation based on preliminary reviews (e.g. request for information and vendors’ demonstration) of possible products.
  • Evaluation: evaluation of selected products is performed using the evaluation checklist. A product, with the lowest trade-off, is usually selected based on the evaluation result and recommendation.
  • COTS decision and acquisition: this is a procurement process to acquire the selected product(s), usually through the request for proposal (RFP) activities.

Delivery (Plan, Organize & Implement) includes the following key elements:

  • Delivery Plan: the main deliverable of delivery planning is the solution blueprint for the infrastructure setup and software configuration.
  • Implementation: includes setup of test-bed for customization and/or configuration, training, pilot, testing, pre-production packaging, acceptance and production release.
  • Transition: includes creation of support agreements, commission, decommission and post-production release review.


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