Commercial-Off-the-Shelf (COTS) Software


As part of the CUNY Efficiencies for Reinvestment Initiative (ERI), CUNY Central Office has embarked on expediting University purchases for “commercial off the shelf” software or COTS. Aside from cloud and web-products, new and existing software purchases under $50,000 for the entire term of a contract or license will be purchased using this new procedure.


A COTS purchase must meet all of the following criteria:

  1. The software must require minimal customization and be installed and run on  CUNY-owned or CUNY-managed device(s) (e.g., desktop, laptop, tablet, or server). COTS does not include cloud or web-based software.

  2. Software purchases must be new or to renew software already in use with a license agreement that has a scheduled expiration.

  3. Contractual agreements cannot exceed a five-year term.

  4. The aggregate expense for the software, including renewals, must not exceed $49,999.

  5. The purchase must be eligible for processing through CUNYfirst.


COTS Process

Under this new procedure, end users must submit a requisition, include a completed CUNY Requisition Supplement Form and upload it to CUNYfirst along with your quote(s).  All COTS requisitions should utilize one of the following category codes:

4323000000—Software < $5,000

4323000001—Software > $5,000

5111230300—Software Licenses (<= 12 months)

8111180500—Software License and Support

The Software Requisition Supplement form is needed to reduce the average time required to complete software procurements and ensure that there are no ambiguities. If a software requisition does not include the supplement form, the requestor will be asked to complete one.

Once the request has been approved by the department and cleared Budget Check, the requisition will be routed to Otto Marte, Senior Director for Business Services, for category approval and then sent to CUNY Central Procurement for processing and sourcing rather than Campus Procurement or the University’s Office of General Counsel.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Otto Marte at  or Brian Genzmann at

Last Updated: 12/03/2020 13:37