COTS and Software Solutions

Commercial Off The Shelf Software Projects: Using Business Objectives to Reduce Risk of Failure

COTS and Software Solutions

C​OTS is a software package or solution that is purchased to support one or more business functions and information systems. ECI provides a variety of COTS and Software solutions geared and optimized to provide more immediate business value than traditional pure custom solutions.

Benefits of COTS and Software

  • New s​ystems can be implemented more quickly because extensive programming is not required.
  • Many organizations cannot afford the staffing and expertise to develop in-house solutions or buy custom solutions
  • COTS vendors spread their development costs across all customers who purchase their software, which allows them to invest in continuous improvements.  The benefit to our customers is higher ROI (return on investment) and lower TCO (total cost of ownership).
  • Feature capabilities and usability that individual businesses cannot always afford.
  • Features you might not know you need are included. This is especially important if you’re unsure about future vision of system, or are in an early stage in requirements gathering.
  • Software is more reliable because more users typically means a more mature system, with less likely to have surprise bugs that lead to implementation issues.
  • Software is available soon since the core system is already written and can be modified to meet unique requirements.
  • ECI facilitates successful and sustainable roadmaps for our customers, identifying the risks involved with procuring and integrating COTS solutions.

With over two decades experience providing market leading technology to our clients, ECI has developed a business ethic founded on understanding and realizing client objectives.

Combining excellent service delivery with deep technical expertise in market leading software applications, ECI enables its clients to identify business values, manage risk and maximize success.

We help our clients ensure their business is not disrupted during system transition. Our consultants work alongside you to ensure conducting business as usual while the organization is learning, training and migrating to a new system.

Many COTS projects fail due to lack of support beyond the implementation phase. At ECI, we emphasize on user adoption through appropriate training and securing post implementation support in our solution and/or product evaluation.

ECI has assembled a team of senior Business Analysts and technology experts who have been performing packaged software (COTS) selections and implementation in nearly two decades. This volume of work and the experiences derived from it have allowed ECI to develop and execute an effective Requirements Definition and Package Selection methodology. This proven methodology has been utilized in dozens of client engagements.

Replacement of a mission-critical application with a Commercial Off The Shelf Software (COTS) product and the required packaged software selection process is one of the riskiest IT projects an organization can undertake. Package selection is often affected by factors such as:

  • Poor defined business requirements resulting from a lack of specificity
  • Insufficient consensus on requirements and relative priorities
  • Lack of management commitment to the packaged software selection process
  • The inability to clearly communicate the business requirements to the software vendors
  • Lack of continuity between the software selection and the implementation plan

ECI’s software selection methodology accounts for all of these factors. Our tasks, milestones, and methods are developed with two goals in mind:

  • Identify the software solution that gives the client the optimum blend between functionality and cost
  • Minimize risk, both in the software selection and the implementation of the selected solution

Our evaluation criteria at a minimum takes the following into consideration:

  • Functionality
  • Reliability
  • Cost (including license, subscription and royalty fees)
  • Ease of use
  • Vendor reputation
  • Ease of customization
  • Ease of implementation
  • Maintenance and Operation

ECI has assembled a team of senior Business Analysts and technology experts who have been performing packaged software (COTS) selections and implementation near two decades. ECI’s COTS and Software Solutions team has a combined 100+ years of experience in the software industry.

Our COTS and Software Solutions team comprises strong blend of business and IT skills to build bridge between the business and IT groups. We selectively assign team leaders who have strong foot in both IT and business worlds, serving as an intermediary who can translate business desires into functionality and, conversely, technical constraints into business reality.

ECI selectively recruits, and develops employees with strong interpersonal skills to complement their solid business and technical acumen. Our consultants receive ongoing education through our professional development program, and attending industry conferences and training to keep current on evolving best practices. Nearly all our consultants are certified in their subject matter areas.

Beyond professional skills, all ECI consultants share our core values: honesty, integrity, respect, responsibility, excellence, care, and humility. ECI consultants demonstrated a deep commitment to our clients and a passion for excellence.

ECI’s COTS and Software Solutions Center of Excellence is a centralized collection of resources that provide various Commercial Off The Shelf (COTS) Software Services. Our CoE comprises of team of experts in each of ECI’s COTS service offerings.

Continuous training and education is an integral part of ECI business and supported by our Professional Development Program for consultants so they continuously keep current on evolving technologies, new applications, methodologies, and tools.

All of these components ensure that when you work with ECI, you don’t just get individual consultants, you get the support of the entire ECI team with access to 100+ years of combined knowledge and experience.

At ECI our EA Center of Excellence support our client’s COTS project with:

  • Setting up the implementation team
  • Selection and customization of a COTS
  • Creating and glossary of relevant COTS and software development terms for client

Our services include:

  • Project management, system specification and scoping
  • System design, technical and application management
  • Installation, configuration and infrastructure optimization
  • Risk assessment, and troubleshooting
  • System and user acceptance testing
  • Implementation documentation
  • End-user training and ‘Go-Live’ support


SharePoint’s rich feature-set make it a natural for collaborating with business partners and customers via the extranet.

Microsoft has added many new features to SharePoint 2013 that make it an excellent choice as a platform for an extranet. The out-of-the-box solution requires expert guidance to fully implement and utilize. ECI can provide your organization with expert SharePoint guidance to ensure your project success.

We can help you with:

  • ​Developing security strategies for the Extranet.
  • Architecting SharePoint Server farms for Extranet usage.
  • Configuring Forms-based authentication (FBA).
  • Configuring alternate authentication providers (i.e. non-AD providers).
  • Selecting and configuring tools to ease the burden of extranet administration.
  • Establishing governance best practices for the extranet sites.
  • Automating the process of new site request and provisioning.


Could your Enterprise ETL environment benefit from an software product developed to provide robust logging and development conformance?

We have an open source software solution developed to provide a set of proven and repeatable ETL processes in order to provide an environment for fast ETL development.  Using a well defined process flow, ECF will deliver business value by accelerating your ETL development while providing you an ETL framework with core features you expect.  Please contact our sales team to schedule a technical overview (

Project Server

ECI has the experience and expertise to guide you through the process of successfully implementing Microsoft Project Server solutions in your organization.​

We will use our proven methodology to make sure you get it right the first time. We realize that it takes more than just a “tool” to be successful at project management. That’s why we offer a full array of services designed help you achieve project management greatness.

  • ​Microsoft Project Server Implementation Services
  • Microsoft Project Server Training
  • Mentoring and Support

Ad Hoc Analyzer

ECI’s Ad Hoc Analyzer product provides advanced analytical capabilities that dramatically improve the productivity of power users and ensure optimal execution.  Ad Hoc Analyzer is focused on simplifying the process of creating and editing reports and queries.


  • Provides the ability to generate reports and conduct analyses
  • Provides the ability for users to create, store and share their own custom queries and reports (based on standard or custom templates) in personal libraries.
  • Supports structured queries to be designed by users that allow basic filtering and drill-down capability on ARJIS data.
  • Supports the creation of custom data elements used in reports and queries, such as calculated values.
  • Allows users to export all data in a wide range of formats, such as CSV, Fixed-Width, XML, PDF, Excel, SAS, and SPSS.

ECI’s COTS enterprise software reduces total ownership costs and improves user productivity – allowing organizations to invest resources in other mission-critical priorities.​

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