Commission moves to a fully electronic, flexible procurement process for the acquisition of software licences and associated services


News article published on 24 May 2023 by Directorate-General for Informatics on European Commissions website.


DG Informatics (DIGIT) of the European Commission has launched an improved dynamic purchasing system for software licences and associated services (SIDE III DPS).

SIDE III DPS will enable the Commission and the rest of the participating European institutions, bodies and agencies (EUIs) to run mini-competitions that will address their needs for software licences and associated services and will result in multiple contracts.

The scope of the DPS includes:

  • Software licences, as well as maintenance services and support thereof;
  • Use rights for multi-tenancy SaaS services;
  • Consultancy, on-site support or installation services related to acquired software;
  • Use rights for learning management solutions;
  • SAM and comprehensive licence management services;
  • Digital assets services, in particular data services;
  • Solutions and professional services from the suppliers required in case of cybersecurity implementations.

SIDE III DPS offers an equal opportunity to big and small providers to propose their services to the EU institutions. The new procurement procedure is more flexible, with the following advantages:

  • There is no limit on the number of participants;
  • New economic operators of different sizes can join the tender at any time, supporting innovation and market trends by continuously including new services and use cases;
  • Selection criteria allow for smaller size operators including software vendors and distributors to join directly;
  • Simplified and fully electronic process.

This is part of Commission's efforts to modernise IT and procurement, streamline and digitalise procedures, reducing burden for the administration and companies as well as to open opportunities for smaller businesses.

How will it work?

SIDE III DPS is a two-step procedure and will last for a total of four years. During the first stage, economic operators will submit their requests to enter the system itself. During the second stage, the European Commission on behalf of the participating EUIs will conduct mini-competitions among the economic operators admitted at the first stage in order to award contracts.

Economic operators will be allowed to register in the DPS at any time throughout its duration to tender in the mini-competitions, which are planned to have an overall value of EUR 3.1 billion. The precise scope, rules, estimated value and contract award of each competition will be set out in its respective tender specifications. Registered economic operators of all sizes can decide on a case-by-case basis whether they would like to participate in the corresponding mini-competition.

The new system is now open for registration. The first mini-competitions will start as of June 2023.Software vendors, resellers, providers of digital assets services and providers of IT services related to open source software are welcome to apply.

SIDE III DPS will be the main dynamic purchasing system for the procurement of software licences by the Commission and the other participating EUIs.


For more information:

SIDE III DPS contract notice

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