Friday, February 20, 2009


Do software vendors lie when responding to RFPs...

CIO Magazine outlines the challenges of getting software vendors and IT consultancies to not fib when responding to RFPs, I figured I would provide a few tips...

If you work for a insultancy and are on the bench, regardless of your knowledge of a particular technology or approach, you are usually assigned the duty to respond to RFPs. After all, they are paying your salary and therefore want you to be productive. So, clients expect an RFP will be answered by those in the know or at least reviewed but perception is far from reality.

So, how come clients aren't asking for the BIOs of those who are actually creating the meat of the response and comparing it with the proposed team members and the bios within? I bet they would learn a lot as to the randomness of responses received. When I was a consultant in the early days of my career, I also found another problem in that I was beat down pretty early in the game by boilerplate senseless questions that are asked solely for process reasons. When do you think the last time I saw an RFP that was going to be sent to Microsoft where one of the questions was do they support the Windows platform. When receiving idiotic, boneheaded, braindead questions, my creative juices start to flow and I dream up fluid bullshit vs thinking about an answer than would have been insightful and informative.

I vividly remember my sixth grade English teacher whom taught us how to turn every question into an answer. This politician tactician tactic works like a charm as when folks hear their own voice echoed, it seems to bring a smile to them which reminds me of blowing smoke up something. Seriously, wouldn't you get better answers if your questions were more boolean? For example, Hey Microsoft! can you run Windows 2008 Server on an IBM PC/JR vs Microsoft, please outline all the devices that your operating system can run on?

So, what ever happened to actually proving out working software? I know it is so freakin difficult to prove out anything in modern corporate environments as your infrastructure team is most certainly guaranteed to be an impediment. Let's acknowledge that to complete something as simple as installing Hello World in a modern process-oriented enterprise can easily take six months, doesn't mean that you outsource responsible decision-making and can use documentation as a substitute for working software...

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