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.
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.