Case Study

“The Art of the Possible”: Improving Vendor Relationships to Increase Efficiencies and Reduce Costs

Censeo guided a federal defense agency in implementing strategic vendor management and software licensing best practices, saving the agency more than $100 million (and counting).

With its emphasis on active engagement and collaboration, the success of the SVM process developed by Censeo and their federal partner has been recognized by GSA, ACT-IAC, and the Office of Federal Procurement Policy (OFPP) as a best practice.


Two federal defense software management programs joined forces to reduce the cost of commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) software through improved enterprise agreements and management of strategic IT vendor relationships. These two programs brought in Censeo to support their efforts, leveraging Censeo’s rigorous analytics, IT subject matter expertise, and vendor relationship management best practices to further reduce costs and drive efficiencies.


Censeo worked with the client to combine commercial software licensing and strategic vendor management (SVM) best practices, developing an innovative framework tailored to the unique federal defense environment. This framework provided a standardized approach to identifying and evaluating opportunities to drive efficiencies and cost savings through improved enterprise relationships with strategic IT vendors.

Censeo also focused on bringing robust analytics and expert facilitation of collaborative dialogues with both the original equipment manufacturer (OEM)/publisher and key internal constituencies. The team brought actionable business intelligence to inform the client’s decision-making, and developed a range of client-specific analytical tools and techniques that have provided unprecedented spend and asset visibility. Combined with deep IT subject matter expertise, Censeo’s business intelligence toolkit has enabled the client to identify and execute on near-term opportunities (such as enterprise licenses), as well as develop a roadmap of future initiatives to continuously improve management of their vendor relationships.

Expert facilitation of productive engagement with the OEM/publisher is perhaps the most impactful element Censeo brings to the SVM process. The team worked collaboratively to engage each publisher as a strategic partner, facilitating critical dialogue with OEMs to explore “the art of the possible” and maximize outcomes for the agency. In addition, Censeo worked across functional silos within the client’s organization to bridge gaps between the acquisition, business, technical, and financial communities. This cross-functional collaboration was critical to ensure solutions aligned with both component and enterprise strategy and had buy-in from key constituencies.


Censeo has utilized the SVM process to support the client across several major IT initiatives, and these efforts have achieved more than $100M in documented savings (and counting). However, the benefits of these efforts stretch far beyond simple cost savings. By elevating these previously decentralized vendor relationships to the enterprise level, the agency has been able to standardize terms and conditions across the enterprise, reduce administration costs, enhance security, improve spend and asset visibility to better manage demand, and increase access to training and value-added services – all while reducing total cost. The success experienced by this agency has led to requests for support from Censeo and their federal partner on broader multi-agency software agreements.

The success of the SVM process developed by Censeo and their federal partner has been recognized by GSA, ACT-IAC, and the Office of Federal Procurement Policy (OFPP) as a best practice. Through this project, the team is currently contributing to the further definition of the Federal processes, as well as developing and delivering training in the SVM process open to all federal agencies.

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