[Koha] RFI/RFP for FOSS -Librarians and Service Providers

Lori Bowen Ayre lori.ayre at galecia.com
Sat Jun 11 12:43:04 NZST 2011

Hi Lee,

I was hoping someone who isn't a consultant would chime in on this thread
but since they didn't, I'll share my approach to this issue.  I generally
recommend that libraries evaluate the products' functionality separate from
the pricing.  You can determine the functional capabilities of the
proprietary products by issuing an RFP or an RFI or maybe even a
questionnaire but that won't necessarily work for the open source products
since there is no single sales and marketing department for Evergreen or
Koha and responding to those RFPs is just too onerous.

But you can get the information yourself.  Sometimes what I've done is help
the library with the process of identifying their needs and then doing most
of the evaluation of the OS products themselves. The goal is to end up with
a matrix of how each product matches up to the libraries need.  The matrix
is basically filled out by the libraries themselves based on  tehir own
testing of the open source product and by working with sales people from the
proprietary vendors.

Once you've evaluated the products and know which ones will meet your needs
functionly, then you issue an RFQ.  You are MUCH more likely to get
responses (from migration and support companies that service Koha and
Evergreen) to an RFQ than you are to an RFP that is boilerplate and designed
for proprietary systems and which ultimately makes the OS options look bad
because some key questions aren't even asked.

But some of those key questions SHOULD be asked in the RFQ  (e.g. cost of
migration of data to get started...and what about when you decide to leave
that vendor?, software license and maintenance cost of each module of
software and SIP server, hardware requirements, etc).

I hope this helps.  Would love to hear what you've come up with if this
message comes too late to be of use!


Lori Bowen Ayre // Library Technology Consultant
The Galecia Group // www.galecia.com
(707) 763-6869 // Lori.Ayre at galecia.com

<Lori.Ayre at galecia.com>Specializing in open source ILS solutions, RFID,
workflow optimization, and materials handling

On Wed, May 25, 2011 at 8:01 AM, Lee Phillips <
lphillips at buttepubliclibrary.info> wrote:

> Hello all from Montana,
> We have been having the craziest weather here and in the US in general.
> It is has been the longest winter for us that I can remember.
> Anyway, I am working on a white paper about equitable RFP and RFI
> (request for proposals or request for information) that are vendor
> neutral and gives FOSS library ware equal footing in the bidding
> process. In addition I have been contacted by the Montana Library
> Consortium (who currently uses Sirisi) to consult on their RFI for the
> shared catalog ILS for the same reason. Many of you who were at KohaCon
> 9 in TX. will remember the Montana State Library representative who
> attended(Mike Price) and he was less than kind in his reporting back to
> the state library.
> I have found RFP templates that I am currently modifying to create a
> format that is unbiased for FOSS and proprietary products.
> SO....if you have recently gone out for an RFP for your ILS and have
> information that I can incorporate into this white paper (and pass on
> the the Montana Shared Catalog) I would be grateful. Of course time is
> of the essence, so please send me what you have or point me to info that
> would be important to consider.
> Thank you for your time, as always it is a privilege and a pleasure to
> be part of the Koha Community.
> Sincerely
> Lee Phillips
> Director
> Butte Silver Bow Public Library
> Butte, Montana
> _______________________________________________
> Koha mailing list  http://koha-community.org
> Koha at lists.katipo.co.nz
> http://lists.katipo.co.nz/mailman/listinfo/koha
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