Corporate Counsel Partners, ALCSmith&wilson Legal Solutions for Entrepreneurs and Emerging Companies

Representation of Higher Education Institutions

 On July 8, 2014
 With 0 Comment

Over the years, we have developed a unique practice in the representation of higher education institutions for their purchase and implementation of enterprise software packages. We are experienced in assisting colleges and universities to develop requests for proposals (RFPs) for software and services, and drafting many of the agreements that will accompany the RFP as the basis for the contract between the university and the successful awardee.

We have been involved in the procurement of software for HR and Financials, along with negotiation of the implementation agreements to deploy these software packages into production. In addition, we have recently assisted several universities in the purchase of their Student Information System. From the RFP, to contract drafting, to software purchase, to negotiations over the terms of the software license and the implementation agreements, we know that the stakes could not be higher for the university considering implementing a system that is the main engine for their central operations.

This is where our background in representing large consultants who implement software outside of the higher education space comes in handy. Because we have negotiated so many contracts for software licensors and systems implementers, and because we know from first hand experience where projects tend to go sideways, we bring this experience to the table when negotiating for our higher education clients. Our contract forms are design to address may of the pitfalls inherent in long-term implementations that are expected to last two to three years. We are also frequently asked to remain as part of the project team during the implementation phase to help document amendments, change orders and to offer general guidance as to roles and responsibilities under the contract as the project progresses through actual deployment.

Not every software purchase involves tens of millions of dollars and years of implementation. We have also worked with colleges and universities on contracts that come up on a more routine basis.  We also assist with issues of technology transfer, licensing of software created by the university, and general matters related to campus or student use of technology and media. Our goal is to be a resource to the general counsel’s office and to provide specific expertise in the area of software, technology licensing and related services agreements to augment their representation of the campus.

We pride ourselves on working collaboratively with all involved – including those parties who will ultimately deliver the software and services.  Some of our best references have come from companies we have negotiated against.  That’s because, despite our effort to obtain the best contract terms for our client, these parties have recognized our expertise, our understanding of both sides of the transaction, and our ultimate desire to see the project successfully negotiated and implemented. Because academic institutions value sharing information with one another, we endeavor to leverage the information we are given permission to share from the experiences and best practices we have employed for other institutions.