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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

Setting the Stage for A Successful Project

(The Art of Buying)

RFP/RFQ Building Blocks

Presented by: Emily Nielsen, President


  • 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
nielsen it consulting inc
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
current market conditions
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%
current market conditions5
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

current market
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
  • 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
the perfect storm
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

what can go wrong will go wrong
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.
what can go wrong will go wrong10
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



  • 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
current state
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
proposed sate
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
mandatory requirements
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?

procurement policies
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.
procurement policies16
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
procurement policies17
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.
procurement policies18
Procurement Policies
  • Single envelope verses two
    • Pricing is final envelop?
    • What if you simply can not afford it? What have you accomplished?
vendor background
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?

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?

thank you
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.