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IT Agreement Guidelines

This addresses the requirements of a mid-range hardware systems contract. It includes an agreement template

Source: ITANZ
Jun 24, 2002
Reprinted by the courtesy of Information Technology Association of New Zealand. Please note that the article may be slightly country-specific when it comes to legal issues.

This paper is one of a series prepared by the Information Technology Association of New Zealand (ITANZ) to assist organisations undertaking technology purchases. The first paper (Information Technology Procurement Guidelines) dealt with the procurement process and recommended actions which purchasers might adopt to identify the best solution for a specified business need. This paper follows on from the identification of a preferred supplier in the procurement process and addresses the contract negotiation stage that would normally follow.

Due to the convergence and inter-linking of computing and telecommunications, this guideline series applies equally to both these technologies (collectively referred to as Information Technology or "IT" below). For example, PABXs are increasingly computer-like software-controlled devices integrating voice with data at a userís workstation. A user will take voice calls via a headset linked to the PC. The voice call may initiate the retrieval and display of data relating to the caller from a sales database. Voice and data are no longer separate parts of a system.

The nature and scope of agreements used in the computing and telecommunications industries are very wide because the requirements of purchasers differ considerably. Agreements between purchaser and suppliers can range from simple transactions involving the delivery of standard hardware to large-scale multi-vendor projects involving the delivery, implementation and support of complex systems over an extended period of time.

Although each agreement must be tailored to meet the requirements of a particular acquisition, this paper seeks to provide practical guidance and advice on the general principles of contract preparation. It is expected that organisations undertaking contract negotiation would also seek legal advice as required.

There is a growing trend to lease IT equipment, especially in the telecommunications arena. In a leasing agreement, the purchaser will usually decide to use the supplierís own lease agreement, therefore the sample agreement attached to these guidelines is restricted to an agreement to purchase.

Attached is a sample system supply agreement, which follows the approach outlined in these guidelines. This agreement could be adapted for the acquisition of a small to medium sized computer system, PABX or call centre system together with associated software and services.
Download Attached Document(s): l24062-05.pdf (109.4 Kb)