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Setting the Stage for A Successful Project. (The Art of Buying) RFP/RFQ Building Blocks. Presented by: Emily Nielsen, President 519-473-5373 Outline. Who is Nielsen IT Consulting Inc? Current Market Place

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Setting the stage for a successful project l.jpg

Setting the Stage for A Successful Project

(The Art of Buying)

RFP/RFQ Building Blocks

Presented by: Emily Nielsen, President


Outline l.jpg

  • Who is Nielsen IT Consulting Inc?

  • Current Market Place

  • What goes wrong with RFP/RFQ’s?

  • Preparation: Strategy and outcome

    • Organize your thoughts/requirements

    • Mandatory Requirements

    • Legal and procurement policies

      • One envelope or two? Pricing separate

    • Current State

    • Proposed State

    • Vendor Background

    • Support Criteria

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Nielsen IT Consulting Inc.

  • Established in 1999

  • Independent Consultants

    • Professional Buyer

    • Specialize in Voice Services-IP Telephony/Wireless/Contact Centre/IVR………

    • We offer A to Z professionals services

      • Assessments to Project Execution.

  • Assessments lead to RFP/RFQ’s

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Current Market Conditions

  • In General - tough 10 years

    • Y2K /Internet Bubble Bust/ Slow adoption to VoIP-UC… Recession.

  • 1990-1999 strong sales-analogue to digital-voicemail

  • Recession:

    • US recession –Businesses are not purchasing new systems

    • US impact on Canada

    • Few private sector organizations are making significant investment in infrastructure improvements-unless EoL notification

      • Majority of work is public sector

      • Healthcare- Infrastructure Ontario Program

      • Summer 2010- Boost of Sales-HST 5% -13%

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Current Market Conditions

1990-1999 strong sales-analogue to digital-voicemail

2000-94,500 Employees World Wide

2001-60,000-Frank Dunn’s Staff reductions

2002- Stock dropped $124 share to $.47

Jan 14, 2009-filed protection from Creditors

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Current Market

  • Nortel Bankruptcy

    • Flurry of activity - do basic upgrades in order to get system to current release

      • Wait and see

      • No new applications - status quo

    • Vendors: Nortel practices for 15-20 years – take on new project offerings – Cisco, Mitel, Shortel

    • Avaya message has been confusing - Nov 3rd

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  • Many bids – mixed results

    • Sales have been slow – vendors are less picky

      • Traditional Nortel vendors are proposing new products with no experience or references

      • Open bids without prequalification will result in mixed responses

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The Perfect Storm

Slow Sales past decade

10-15 year old equipment

Dominant Player Gone-Nortel

UC is no longer a luxury – basic requirement

Shortage of resources

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What Can Go Wrong, Will Go Wrong!

  • Starts with a poorly prepared RFP/RFQ

  • Many RFP/RFQ’s are simply too open, too loose

    • Therefore, the responses are too broad and are hard to compare

    • Apples to oranges, not apples to apples

    • Impact, causes delay and create confusion with vendors and clients

  • Ontario College:

    • No quantities, no description of what they currently have.

    • Futures – Vendors are unclear what are real opportunities or simple inquiries.

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What Can Go Wrong, Will Go Wrong!

  • Many RFP/RFQ’s are simply too open, too loose (con’t)

    • Why?

      • Evident that author is inexperienced to process and technology/services they require

      • Public sector – outsources purchasing process to organization that is skilled commodity procurement not strategic acquisition

      • Result costly mistakes/disappointing results

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  • Have your thoughts organized.

    • Requirements/Pricing/Support…..

    • Demonstrates professionalism

    • Shows vendor respect

  • Hospital: 80-+ separate attachments/documents-extreme case

    • Everything should be in one document. Other doc’s such as “Submission, NDA, Network diagrams, etc.” should be embedded in the master document

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Current State:

  • Visio Voice Network Diagram – high level

  • Detailed inventory listed

    • Including inventory/telecom rooms

  • Visio Network diagram for data environment. Provide environment description – i.e. flat network, VLAN’s, QoS, PoS, etc

  • WLAN- high-level building diagram showing existing coverage and areas needing additional coverage

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Proposed Sate

  • Provide network diagram showing end state

    • With description

  • Be accurate with your quantities. i.e. price 50 UM licenses / 50 concurrent agents licenses/ 700 voicemail licences/ 16 port auto attendant

    • Include a growth factor – 5%

  • Be clear what is a future verses today’s needs.

  • Define short term and long term strategy/goals

    • i.e. Virtualization, Green Strategy

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Mandatory Requirements

  • Be very clear

    • Example: References: Must demonstrate experience in same technology and similar scope.

    • Unionized Staff

    • Identification of sub-contractors

    • Relationships between partners must be defined.

    • Insurances, etc.

    • Not following the proposed RFP format.

      Question: Do any of these items give cause for “non-compliant” bids?

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Procurement Policies

  • Sometimes you need to challenge current policies if it doesn’t make sense!

    • Commodities verses strategic acquisition

    • Latex?

    • Read through your procurement templates/wording.

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Procurement Policies

2. Internal Approval Process – required for project plan schedule.

  • Don’t get caught short here and expect the vendor to rush the project in order to achieve deadline. i.e. occupancy for new building

  • Be prepared for questions whose goals are to add clarification for senior management/steering committee

  • Communicate to senior management during the entire process in order to minimize delays

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Procurement Policies

3. Know your budget

  • What are you able to afford

  • Clearly define exact needs verses futures

  • Capital verses “lease”

  • Identify all cost – many elements not included in bid, such as construction cost/cabling, training budgets, etc.

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Procurement Policies

  • Single envelope verses two

    • Pricing is final envelop?

    • What if you simply can not afford it? What have you accomplished?

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Vendor Background

  • Do they have experience working in your vertical?

  • Do they have experience working on the application that they are proposing?

  • New to Canada – Investment?

  • Client base?

  • Sole source - or do they depend on partners?

    • What level of dependency?

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Be very clear on your needs

What level of support can you depend on your own internal resources. Tier 1 , Tier 2 or fully managed?

What are you prepared to pay for training?

How many staff can you afford to support your network? - Voice Application specialist.

Technician – on site 2 hours?

Or around the world 24/7?

What type of sparing model will you use?

Redundancy verses resiliency?

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Thank you!



MARK THE DATE! Jan 27, 2011

Toronto Marriott Bloor Yorkville

For IT/telecom/operations/administrative/finance managers and executives.

To discuss strategic, supplier, tactical, financial, technology issues.

To move forward in the right direction.