RFI as rich asset

  • 17-Nov-2009

I was talking with one of our Web CMS Report subscribers today, someone who is leading a state government's effort to modernize its WCM system. The question arose as to how to keep vendors from giving softball answers to hardball questions when submitting a Request for Information. I proposed a simple expedient: Require screenshots.

If a product supports a certain type of functionality via a graphical user interface, the vendor should have no qualms about showing the UI in question, doing the operation in question. It's one thing to be told "Yes, our admin interface supports restricting a user's right to Copy or Move a file" (for example), but a picture, as they say, is worth a thousand workarounds.

What about when the vendor comes back with "This functionality is easily implemented via changes to a configuration file" (or via an API call)? Very well: In that case, let's see the relevant XML fragment (or code snippet) with the changes highlighted. Demand to see the relevant lines of code. Is that so much to ask?

Hey, the worst that could happen is that the vendor will skip past a few of your harder questions -- or complain that your RFI process is just too burdensome. In which case, you've already learned a great deal indeed.

Our customers say...

"The Web CMS Research is worth every penny!"

Gil Côté, Partner, Cancentric Solutions Inc. iStudio Canada Inc.

Other Web Content & Experience Management posts

Tech Selection Tip #3: Setting the Right Business Foundations

  • May 22, 2017

Take a clear approach to decision-making to keep the process moving and ensure that decisions reflect broader enterprise priorities. You also want to ensure you have an accurate picture of enterprise maturity and capabilities to incorporate new digital capabilities....

Updates to WCM Vendor Reviews

  • May 19, 2017

Major forces are buffeting the Web Content & Experience Management (WCM) marketplace, and key vendors and open source players are tacking in different directions in response. Some are expanding the scope of functionality, others are narrowing their focus, while others simply sail on like it's still the good old days....

Selection Tip #2 - Build the Right Team

  • May 16, 2017

The main point here is that people with different expertise and responsibilities should have input into the process, although a business leader ultimately drives the decision-making with significant IT input....