26 Feb 10 ALA Received 47 CMS RFP Proposals

We received 47 responses for our December 15, 2009 request for a content migration and CMS system. The proposals are quite varied in their approaches and their pricing. They are already generating much discussion, as we consider the costs of enterprise systems versus opensource solutions, boutique agencies versus offshoring companies, companies that expect us to handle all the migration tasks ourselves versus companies that would like to provide a level of support that would make our jobs redundant. (Given the high price of that level of service, I’m not too worried about having to update my resume.)

Ultimately we need to take the time to make the best long-term decision for ALA’s varied constituencies and their needs, positioning us so that we will be ready and capable of evolving from social networking to the semantic web when the time comes. We expect our work process and deadlines to proceed as follows:

  1. Confidentiality agreements are being prepared for the members of the Website Advisory Committee CMS Selection Task Force (members and staff) and the Web Editorial Board (staff), who will be assisting us in reviewing the proposals.
  2. ITTS principals will be reading through all of the proposals and support materials over the next 2-4 weeks to select their short lists.
  3. ITTS principals will agree upon a short list of potential vendors by March 21. On or before that time, all of the RFPs and our recommendations will be shared with our two stakeholder groups for their input, and to note any ideas and gather questions we should ask vendors.
  4. Vendors will be asked if they want to host a webinar for staff and interested members of WAC and WEB, to present their products. The demonstration portion for content editors should show common tasks, such as how to edit, create, upload, add an image, and make a link. The section for content managers should show how to alter the site structure, page layouts, and design elements.
  5. Staff and members who attend webinars will be asked to fill out survey forms rating the products.
  6. Once ITTS has received input from WAC and WEB, vendors who have not made the cut will be notified.
  7. On or about May 1, Vendors who have made the shortlist will be notified and asked for any additional information generated by our internal discussions. ITTS may add or otherwise modify elements of the original request, and ask for new estimates. We will also release the results of our aps inventory if we have not already done so, to assist vendors in further refining the timing and pricing of their proposals. If a vendor’s original proposal did not include pricing for a 3 to 5 day discovery phase to take place at ALA, we will request that they add it.
  8. Vendors on the shortlist will be asked to host a minimum 1-hour webinar demonstration of their product’s capabilities for our content editors and managers, to be scheduled at an agreed upon time during business hours. ┬áThe stakeholders reviewing the demonstrations will be asked to provide feedback.
  9. On or about June 1, after we have received responses to our requests for additional information, we will check references, take into account our stakeholders’ feedback, and select 2-3 vendors to engage in a discovery process at ALA that should lead to firmed up, accurate pricing. It is imperative that this project remain within pricing bounds.
  10. Following the discovery process, ALA may require a proof of concept test from one or more vendors.
  11. Final selection will be made following the discovery and proof of concept phases. We would like this to take place on or before August 1, to allow time for the lawyers to fuss over the contract.
  12. Ideally, work would begin September 1, 2010.

I assure you that every proposal is being read in full, and that we are considering the costs and benefits carefully. Members who have concerns can share them with me at lgruenberg at

Louise Gruenberg

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