Information Technology Procurement
focusEDU is fiercely independent of any software or hardware vendors, ensuring our clients of neutral, objective assessment processes and independent and objective advice without product bias. Our staff of experienced IT professionals have facilitated rigorous vendor selection projects throughout the U.S. and Canada using a process consistent with best practices. The information technology procurement consulting process recommends:
- Survey all constituent groups on system needs.
- Articulate clear functional requirements, accommodating to important subgroups of the overall institutional constituent groups.
- Articulate clear technical requirements in collaboration with enterprise and local IT and networking groups.
- Clarify the basis for decision making and the institutional process.
- Proactively provide clear and frequent communications about the implementation group’s activities, distributed to the institutional community via postings in the existing systems, the institutional portal, e-mail distribution, and face-to-face updates to leadership and governance groups.
- Research viable vendor candidates; inform the research by reviewing systems in place at both peer and aspirant institutions.
- Equitably manage and control all communications with the RFP respondents.
- Separate non-financial from financial responses.
- Orchestrate vendor demonstrations and presentations, both on-site (day and evening) and via Web conferencing, recorded for those who could not attend. Ensure apple-to-apple comparisons between candidate systems.
- Tailor evaluation surveys for each local interest group.
- Provide hands-on (sandbox) access to the finalist systems, tailored for each constituent group, and for selected departments.
Contract negotiations with selected finalists for information technology procurement consulting should address any additional costs to:
- Integrate with the institution’s central directory service for authentication.
- Enable fall-through to local authentication if enterprise authentication fails (allowing local accounts to be created),
- Integrate data with other enterprise and departmental information systems.
- Support access to a test server that can accommodate a clone of the production system for the purpose of acceptance testing for new versions of the software.
- Add disk storage to accommodate growth in the implementation of the system.
- Enable an exit strategy to guarantee access to intellectual property for at least a year in the event of a change in solution at the end of the contract period.
focusEDU’s expert staff is experienced in conducing inclusive cross-functional technology procurement processes that result in responsive and successful implementation and sustainable operations.