IT opportunities for vendors
EOTSS welcomes engagement with partners in the vendor community to procure and deploy high-caliber technologies that meet our strategic goals. EOTSS has developed an Enterprise IT Strategic Plan for FY23-25 to help secretariat and agency leadership make informed decisions for their agencies and the impacts to their constituents.
EOTSS oversees the IT capital investment portfolio and related program management through its Office of Capital Planning. The EOTSS Secretary, in collaboration with the IT Investment Advisory Board (IIAB), reviews and recommends projects to the Governor and the Secretary for Administration & Finance (A&F) for inclusion in the annual Capital Investment Plan (CIP). The IIAB also considers emergency and contingency funding requests and regularly reviews the progress of ongoing projects. The Board helps ensure that IT capital funding is allocated strategically on projects that align with the Commonwealth’s goals of enhancing its security and improving its delivery of government services for the people of the Commonwealth. Please refer to the FY23-27 IT Capital Investment Plan to browse the projects and programs for which the IIAB will select vendors.
Working with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts
EOTSS can help guide you through the steps and requirements for doing business with the Commonwealth.
Below, you'll find the definitions of commonly used terms, direct links to the most important documents and materials, and instructions to make it easy for you to work with EOTSS.
The EOTSS Contract Management Unit provides contract review and contract negotiation services on large scale projects across the Commonwealth, such as Modern Workplace; Adobe e-sign, Paid Family and Medical Leave (PFML), and the process improvement ‘BEST’ project, to name a few. To date, our Contract Management Team has negotiated and established highly discounted enterprise volume license agreements with several major software providers, resulting in a structured, centrally managed program that prioritizes contractual data security obligations, and ensures access to security patches and bug fixes for software deployments across the Commonwealth. Please visit the unit’s page for additional information on how to conduct business with EOTSS.
The Commonwealth uses a service called COMMBUYS to manage contracts and bids for services.
- Before registering, you should learn more about what you’ll need
- Once you're ready, create a profile for your organization. Look for the blue "Register" box on the top right.
- Then, you can sign up to be notified about contracts based on the goods and services your business provides
- You can also search COMMBUYS for open or upcoming Statewide Contract opportunities
COMMBUYS will provide you with access to current procurements in the Commmonwealth. Once registered, you can submit responses to procurements for EOTSS' review and evaluation.
Primary types of procurements
Request for Information (RFI)
RFIs are open to responses from any vendor registered on COMMBUYS. They are market research tools used to gain insight and feedback from the vendor community to help inform EOTSS' procurement process. RFIs posted on COMMBUYS will not result in a contract.
Request for Responses (RFR)
RFRs are open to responses from any vendor registered on COMMBUYS. RFRs are similar to Requests For Proposal (RFPs) in the private sector and will result in a contract. There are two types of RFRs:
- Departmental Contract RFRs provide requirements and specifications for a specific project. Vendors are invited to respond to these requirements and specifications with specific solutions and pricing information. EOTSS (or the RFR issuing entity) will evaluate all responses and award one or more contracts.
- Statewide Contract RFRs provide a general overview of a category of services or products, with no specific project information. Vendors may respond with general descriptions of their market offerings. The Commonwealth will evaluate all responses and award multiple vendors. Vendors who are awarded under a Statewide Contract RFR will enter into a Statewide Contract, which allows them to bid on Requests for Quotes (RFQs).
In order to respond to an RFR, vendors will need to
- Agree to the Commonwealth Terms and Conditions for IT Contracts
- Fill out a Standard Contract Form (Review the instructions)
- Complete a Taxpayer Identification Number & Certification Form. The Commonwealth uses this W-9 form for Taxpayer Identification.
- Complete a Contractor Authorized Signatory Listing Form, which is used to identify individuals who are authorized to sign contracts or other legally binding documents on behalf of the contractor.
- Meet each of the obligations detailed in the Accessibility Contract Language for IT Solutions
- Some RFRs require bidders to commit to spending a percentage of the contract value with a certified diverse vendor (like women-owned businesses, minority-owned business, and many other categories). If this is true for your RFR, review the Supplier Diversity Plan Form 1 (SDP Plan Commitment). More information including a current list of certified diverse vendors can be found here.
- The Commonwealth's Bill Paying Policy requires bidders responding to RFRs to offer a Prompt Pay Discount (PPD) by completing the Prompt Pay Discount Form. This requirement may be waived if a bidder demonstrates that offering a Prompt Pay Discount would be a hardship.
- Fill out a Business Reference Form, which allows bidders to provide reference contact information and supporting detail if reference checks are requested as part of a solicitation response.
Request for Quotes (RFQ)
RFQs are only open to responses from vendors who are registered on COMMBUYS and who have been awarded under a Statewide Contract (see Requests for Response section above). RFQs include project-specific requirements and specifications. Statewide Contract Vendors are invited to respond to these requirements and specifications with specific solutions and pricing information. EOTSS (or the RFQ issuing entity) will evaluate the responses and award one or more contracts.
What is a Statewide Contract?
The Operational Services Division (OSD) manages contracts for various goods and services known as Statewide Contracts. Executive Departments like EOTSS are required to procure (or buy) goods and services under these existing Statewide Contracts whenever possible.
OSD holds Statewide Contracts for goods and services ranging from clothing and footwear to technology and software. See a complete list.
RFRs for Statewide Contracts invite vendors to respond and register as Statewide Contract Vendors. Statewide Contract Vendors have access to all RFQs under the applicable Statewide Contract posted by the Commonwealth.
Current Statewide Contracts for Information Technology
- ITS75 – Software and Services
- ITS60 – Cloud Solutions
- ITS61 – IT Accessibility Services
Check back on COMMBUYS often, as Statewide Contracts are re-opened as Statewide Contract RFRs, allowing new Vendors to join.
Why use State Contracts?
Getting on Statewide Contract has many benefits, including the ability to work with EOTSS and scores of other state organizations.
It also lets you bid on projects across multiple business sectors, which can be found listed here.
The state benefits because these contracts help organizations save time, save money, and provide access to environmentally preferred products (EPPs). It also provides immediate access to diverse vendors.
If you have questions, please email the team at EOTSSPCOteam@mass.gov.