White Paper: Writing an RFP for IT Infrastructure Service Vendors
As the concept of IT Infrastructure as a Service (ITIaaS) gains in popularity throughout the business world, some may be struggling to determine how best to find and integrate this new type of technology vendor into their operations. The term “IT Infrastructure as a Service” covers a wide range of technology services and originated with the Cloud computing subscription model that introduced “pay as you use” technology purchasing to the masses. Similarly, ITIaaS has grown as new vendors offer all forms of IT infrastructure in streamlined subscriptions, such as hardware as a service, licenses as a service, and more.
However, although this new approach to foundational business technology has been embraced, the traditional way of finding a technology vendor—through the Request for Proposal (RFP) process—has not evolved to address the unique characteristics and capabilities of this fledgling industry. A new understanding of the complexity and advantages of the IT infrastructure service model is required to truly gauge which vendors would be best equipped to meet not just the current needs of your business, but support it long into the future with resilient, flexible, and powerful technology solutions.
In this comprehensive White Paper, exclusively from TenFour, we provide in-depth advice and recommendations for the kinds of questions any business should be asking as they search for subscription-based vendors to support their IT infrastructure. Whether you’re looking for Cloud services, hardware services, software licenses, communications and collaborations, we recommend every business be informed on how best to prepare an RFP that will remove pretenders and bring true outcome-based value providers to the fore.
Your Problem Statement
As your first chance to outline your business’s challenges, the “problem statement” section of your RFP acts as a premise for the entire document and gives vendors a basic starting point for the answers they’ll provide. By providing a straightforward statement, vendors are better able to describe their solution and its value. This also allows potential bidders to weed themselves out quickly if your opportunity isn’t a fit for them.
The problem statement should put a clear scope around the technology solution you’re expecting to receive and clarify the ITIaaS delivery model by which you want to receive it. A more robust statement also gives bidders the opportunity to demonstrate how their solution may exceed or improve on the scope of your project in a way that may work better for them and be more valuable to you. Since you’re not going to find commodity services in the ITIaaS space, it’s vital you can see how different bidders’ services compare.
In the example below, Sample #1 is superior to Sample #2 because it provides a more thorough and useful starting point for the vendor. ITIaaS can mean different things to different people, so it’s crucial you put enough meat on the bone in the problem statement.
Sample #1 (Good): “Sample Company is seeking to deliver indoor WiFi as a service for its 300 store locations. The WiFi solution must be provided as a fully turn-key, unit-priced, monthly recurring service, and deliver on the technology requirements identified in Section #6. The solution will be fully installed and managed throughout its lifecycle by the bidder. Sample Company must have a portal through which it can access and use system management metrics. Additionally, the solution must be consumable as a service that can be billed individually to each store and is purchased entirely as a monthly recurring charge with no one-time fees or additional charges.”
Sample #2 (Bad): “Sample Company is seeking indoor WiFi for 300 store locations. The solution must deliver on the technology requirements identified in Section #6 and be provided in an Information Technology Infrastructure as a Service (ITIaaS) format.”