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How to improve the RFP process

Chakra Devalla, CEO, tekVision | April 4, 2016
Getting it right the first time saves time and trouble. Three simple strategies to make the process more effective.

Many vendors will include a testimonial statement as part of the user case. Ask if you can contact the customer directly and ask a few questions.

Get independent proof upfront that the solution will actually work

One of the biggest oversights in many RFPs is lack of proof that the solution will actually work with your infrastructure. A solution can be the absolute best in the industry, but if it doesn’t work with your platform, then it is completely meaningless to you. Sadly, there are plenty of examples of companies that, after a lengthy RFP process, selected a solution that simply didn’t work.

The RFP is your best opportunity to get a vendor to validate interoperability and it only requires a simple question.

Ask the vendor to provide interoperability verification through an independent testing lab. Vendors will always say that their solution will work within your environment. Especially the sales team. Demand third-party verification from a trusted, independent lab.

Make sure the vendor verifies the correct versions. Not only the correct version of their solution, but on the correct version for technologies within your company. Each business has a unique blend of technology, often including some older versions of apps, servers and even hardware. To ensure interoperability, pay attention to what the vendor verifies.

Speaking of unique IT environments, factor in future plans. Your tech platforms are not static. If you are planning to migrate to a new server or move to a cloud-based PBX, then have the vendor verify interoperability for them through an independent lab.

The whole point of an RFP is to cut down the list of vendors for a solid short list of candidates. Streamlining the questions will save everyone time and lead to better answers. Use cases will give a more illustrative view on how the solution can benefit your organization. And an independent interoperability testing requirement will ensure the solution will actually work in your environment. These three strategies will help you make the right decision faster and avoid major pitfalls.


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