Ask Your Tech Provider the Right Questions

Ask Your Tech Provider the Right Questions

by Elaine Orler on

Here we are, rounding third. So far, we’ve tackled why you should take the plunge and how to structure your project.

Now it’s time to get down to business by starting with the next logical step: the request for information, or RFI, process. It’s important to note that this can look different at various organizations. To kick things off, engage your procurement team to identify which selection process steps are mandatory and which are optional.

If the RFI step isn’t deemed necessary, carefully consider how you approach solution providers, as they will typically distribute a lengthy list of requirements. Attempt to circumvent this by asking the provider if they can meet your specific need. However, there is a gap in this model because of the inability of the provider to get a clear picture on what capabilities you are researching, so the default answer is almost always “yes.” In turn, this might not provide your organization with the information necessary to shortlist vendors for demos and the request for proposal, or RFP, process.

Rather, rethink how you deliver the RFI — make it essay-based questions, rather than a grid. Create 20 questions that get to the core of what you want to accomplish, and review the answers to identify those providers that understand and align with your goals. An example of an essay-based question is:

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