SOURCE: SANpulse Technologies, Inc.

SANpulse Technologies, Inc.

April 05, 2011 08:00 ET

SANpulse Offers 10-Point RFP Checklist for Enterprises Planning Storage Technology Refresh Initiatives

Integrating These 10 Steps Into the Storage Migration Vendor Proposal Request Process Reduces Operational Risk and Leads to Time and Cost Savings

JERSEY CITY, NJ--(Marketwire - April 5, 2011) - Paving the path to the next generation data center with technology led solutions, SANpulse Technologies, Inc., today announced a 10-point checklist every enterprise should incorporate into their decision making process when considering vendors for a technology refresh or data center consolidation. With technology refreshes accelerating in 2011 and enterprise storage upgrades a major component of these initiatives, it is critical that these operations be planned and executed properly by selecting the appropriate partners, technologies and production-proven processes in accordance with business requirements.

Central to the success of any storage migration project is an operationally relevant Request for Proposal (RFP). Most importantly, an RFP written correctly is a tool that can be used to thoroughly evaluate potential partners, eventually settling on the vendor that will bring the right levels of expertise, efficiency, and cost-effectiveness to the project. And, from a vendor perspective, it provides a detailed view of the project to make it possible to deliver accurate project proposals and pricing estimates. A well-constructed RFP is a critical planning tool because it lays out important details of the project, providing the enterprise and its eventual partner(s) with a blueprint to reference through the various stages of project planning and execution.

"Vendors know that, whatever it says in the RFP is what they've got to do. So there's a set of rules that have to be followed and a set of documents that have to be addressed. That means that the vendors have to follow exactly what the documents ask of them, both in the proposal process and the project itself. If they don't follow the rules they're disqualified from the start," notes Michael Asner, consultant and author of Request for Proposal Handbook.

10-Point Storage Migration RFP Checklist
Here is a list of 10 steps that will lead to the perfect RFP for any organization's enterprise storage migration process.

  • Configure the right RFP team. The RFP should be a multi-faceted document incorporating technical, logistical, workflow and financial issues. So be sure the project technical leader is joined by the right business, financial and quality control experts, along with an experienced RFP writer, who may be a consultant.

  • Ask the right questions. Ask potential vendors for the information that will paint the clearest possible picture of their capabilities. Information will be needed on:

    • Capabilities
    • Capacity
    • Quality Assurance
    • Workflow Plan
    • Project Management
    • Detailed Cost Estimate
    • References
    • Recommendations for Project Improvement

  • Provide instructions for formatting responses, including sample text. This streamlines the proposal process for vendors and the evaluation process for the technology refresh team. In the document include a response structure and lay out the amount of information expected in a given area.

  • Choose the right potential partners. By choosing a list of data migration experts as recipients of the RFP, one can ensure from the outset that the organization will be partnering with the most experienced professionals.

  • Build in enough response time. Vendors need ample time (weeks, not days) to formulate accurate and comprehensive responses to an RFP request.

  • Use uniform evaluation criteria. Be sure to compare apples to apples. This begins by requiring the same data, in the same units of measure, from all potential vendors. (For example, ask for pricing per project stage or per hour.) Then, provide a project evaluation checklist for the team that will oversee the migration.

  • Be available to answer questions. Prospective partners will probably have questions about the RFP and evaluation. Appoint someone to field those questions and include their contact information in the RFP.

  • Narrow the field. Institute an evaluation process -- usually two or three steps -- for zeroing in on the best candidate. The process should lead to a list of two or three top candidates.

  • Build in a testing stage. Once two or three contenders have been identified, ask each to demonstrate product quality and expertise through a test-run -- a mini-migration process.

  • Communicate with all respondents about your decision. It is important to retain a solid relationship with all potential partners. While a company may not have been right for this project, they could have just the skills you need for the next.

"Migration partner procurement goes beyond just buying goods and services," said Marie Pierre Belanger, VP, project management, SANpulse Technologies, Inc. It provides the benefits of highlighting potential new models for service delivery, necessary licensing requirements for 3rd party data movers and other software required for the migration and the establishment of the migration event milestones and payment schedule."

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About SANpulse Technologies, Inc.
SANpulse, The Migration Expert, transforms the world's largest IT infrastructures and creates efficiencies to help reduce IT-related operational and capital expenses. Through technology led solutions, the company changes the landscape for large scale consolidations and migrations by providing infrastructure information insight that empowers proactive decisions. SANpulse solutions include SANlogics, Migration Practice and SANatomy. SANlogics, a modular proprietary software platform, supports enterprise migrations and related business requirements through discovery, analytics and auto-generation of executables. SANpulse is headquartered in Jersey City, NJ, with regional offices in London, U.K. and Pune, India. For more information, please visit www.SANpulse.com.

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