The General Services Administration (GSA) is looking to align its cloud pricing and invoicing with industry practices, according to a request for information (RFI) posted this week.

GSA’s IT category office is conducting market research on discounts the business sector offers for upfront annual payments on software-as-a-service (SaaS) platforms.

“Software delivery methods have changed over the years,” GSA wrote in a July 31 blog post. “Pricing for software has become complex, and depending on how the software is invoiced, there can be a significant difference in pricing.”

“The General Services Administration’s Office of IT Category is reviewing industry practices on term-based (time limited) Software as a Service (SaaS) pricing,” the agency said. “The information received in response to this RFI will be used to explore options to align the IT Multiple Award Schedule (MAS) with industry practices for pricing and invoicing term-based software.”

The RFI asks for information from IT MAS contractors, such as their estimated annual Federal business volume for the provided SaaS solutions through blanket purchase agreements and task orders, what discounts could be provided with upfront annual payments and what other commercial practices GSA should consider.

GSA’s IT MAS offers Federal agencies – as well as state, local, and Tribal agencies, and other stakeholders – access to trusted vendors selling SaaS, infrastructure-as-a-service and platform-as-a-service offerings and support through Special Item Numbers designated for cloud and IT services.

The agency explained that in government, SaaS and other cloud services are to be paid monthly, however, commercially, the practice is to pay upfront.

GSA’s RFI seeks to help inform the government about the discounts industry provides for upfront annual payments on SaaS.

Interested stakeholders have until Aug. 23 to respond.

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Cate Burgan
Cate Burgan
Cate Burgan is a MeriTalk Senior Technology Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.