RFP stands for “Request For Proposal” and allows multiple vendors to suggest a specific solution to your specific challenges in a well-documented and repeatable format.
Good responses to a file transfer RFP will answer your questions about:
- Vendors’ ability to execute (e.g., experience, expertise)
- Vendors’ position in the industry (e.g., innovator, total solution, value-priced)
- Products’ ability to meet needs off the shelf, degree of product customisation and/or use of professional services or third-party technology to complete solution
- Vendor’s ongoing commitment to products used to provide the solution
- Time to deploy solution, with specific milestones if the project is longer than three months
- Cost to deploy solution, including internal costs
- Risk of deploying solution (e.g., backout considerations, integration milestones, etc.)
BEST PRACTICE: Use of the RFP format will allow you to get a good answer back fast from potential file transfer vendors by forcing you to describe your specific challenges up front and signaling to vendors that you probably have the focus and funding to proceed.