Sample RFP for online communities: social networking

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Use this handy template to jump start your search for an online private community.

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Sample RFP for online communities: social networking

  1. 1. [NAME]Online Client CommunityRequest for ProposalResponse from: [NAME] Confidential Page 1 of 20
  2. 2. Table of Contents1. Introduction [NAME] ..............................................................................................................32. Project Overview ......................................................................................................................4 2.1. Scope of Work ................................................................................................................................. 4 2.2. Statement of Need ............................................................................................................................ 43. How to Respond to this RFP ...................................................................................................6 3.1. Important Dates................................................................................................................................ 6 3.2. Questions About the RFP................................................................................................................. 6 3.3. Instructions....................................................................................................................................... 7 3.4. Cost of Proposal Preparation ........................................................................................................... 74. Terms Used in this Document .................................................................................................85. Requirements and Questions ..................................................................................................9 5.1. About Your Company ...................................................................................................................... 9 5.2. Hosting and Security ........................................................................................................................ 9 5.3. Branding........................................................................................................................................... 9 5.4. Access Management and Usage Guidelines .................................................................................. 10 5.5. Administrator Group Management ................................................................................................ 10 5.6. Network Group Management ........................................................................................................ 10 5.7. Member Profile Administration ..................................................................................................... 11 5.8. Member Profile Self-Management ................................................................................................ 11 5.9. Content Management ..................................................................................................................... 11 5.10. Subscription Management ............................................................................................................. 12 5.11. Member Communication ............................................................................................................... 12 5.12. Forums ........................................................................................................................................... 13 5.13. Groups............................................................................................................................................ 14 5.14. Blogs .............................................................................................................................................. 15 5.15. Libraries ......................................................................................................................................... 15 5.16. Calendar ......................................................................................................................................... 15 5.17. Search............................................................................................................................................. 16 5.18. Accessibility................................................................................................................................... 17 5.19. About Hosting, Security and Disaster Recovery ........................................................................... 17 5.20. About Support and Upgrades ......................................................................................................... 18 5.21. About Deployment, Training and Account Management .............................................................. 18 5.22. Costs [Omitted] .............................................................................................................................. 196. Appendix .................................................................................................................................20 [NAME] Confidential Page 2 of 20
  3. 3. 1. Introduction [NAME] [NAME] Confidential Page 3 of 20
  4. 4. 2. Project Overview2.1. Scope of Work[ADD]2.2. Statement of NeedWe would like to provide our clients with online tools that enable and encourage interaction not only with[NAME] but with one another. We want to create a single online destination for our clients that will supporttheir use of [NAME] products and services as well as create a strong sense of community. We refer to thisonline destination site as the “[NAME] Client Community” (aka “Community”).PurposeThe Community has several primary functions:  Facilitate ongoing support and product information sharing. Enable members to assist each other in using [NAME]’s products. Enable [NAME] to effectively share information with members.  Serve as a gathering place for networking and relationship building. Enable members to meet and develop relationships with their peers at other organizations, participate in multiple groups, and form their own groups.  Support a distributed community of practice. Enable members to share best practices and experiences about strategies and tactics for online marketing, fundraising and constituent relationship management. Enable [NAME] to effectively share information with members.ObjectivesThe objectives for our Community are to:  Improve client satisfaction, reduce support costs and improve responsiveness. Provide a client-to-client support system and more client self-service options.  Encourage on-going dialogue, collaboration and sharing. Create a positive forum for sharing ideas and information, meeting others, and having a “voice” within the community at large. Create a meaningful way to continue the dialogue and collaboration in between [NAME] offline events and conference calls.  Improve the online client experience. Create a single online destination that is interactive and intuitive and meets our clients’ needs.  Improve client loyalty and evangelism. Enable members to form positive relationships with us and one another. Enhance our relationships with our clients.  Strengthen brand. Solidify [NAME]’s brand as a thought leader and an ally in client success.  Improve client communications. Provide a clear information dissemination point.  Gain insight into client needs. Allow [NAME] to observe conversations clients are having about [NAME] products and services and to proactively solicit input via surveys and polls.Based upon a preliminary review, we have selected your company to receive this formal Request forProposal (RFP). We are looking for the following general capabilities from a software-as-a-service vendor:  “Social network” capabilities for group management  Member profile self-management [NAME] Confidential Page 4 of 20
  5. 5.  Discussion board Groups functionality Blogs Wikis Libraries Email Listservs Calendar [NAME] Confidential Page 5 of 20
  6. 6. 3. How to Respond to this RFPThe purpose of this document is to solicit proposals for supplying an online community solution to[NAME]. You must enter an answer to all requirements and open questions within section 5 of thisdocument or your response may be considered incomplete.3.1. Important DatesAll deliverables must be received by 5:00pm Eastern on the date indicated below. You must email yourresponses to: [NAME] Phase Description TimelinePhase 1 Selection Schedule RFP Response Due to [NAME]: ______________, 2011 Notify Selected Organization: ______________, 2011 Contract Finalization: ______________, 2011 Project Kickoff: ______________, 20011 Final Product Delivery: ______________, 2011 Send Responses via Email to: [Email address]. Please direct all questions about the RFP to [NAME] via phone at [PHONE].Phase 2  Design and plan Community Website _________, 2011  Implement:  Groups functionality  Forums  Blogs  Wikis  Libraries  Email Listservs  CalendarPhase 3  Beta Launch of Community Website _________, 2011[NAME] reserves the right to modify these dates as conditions warrant. [NAME] also reserves the right toreject a vendor for any reason at any time in the evaluation process.3.2. Questions About the RFPWe want to provide you with all of the information you need in order for you to present the most completeresponse to this RFP as possible. If you have any questions about the RFP or the project itself, you maycontact the following people:[OMITTED] [NAME] Confidential Page 6 of 20
  7. 7. 3.3. Instructions1. Respondents must submit a soft (electronic) copy of the completed proposal (MS Word or .PDF format) as a single document. You must enter an answer to all requirements and open questions in section 5 or in the Appendix provided at the end of this document, or your response may be considered incomplete. Please also enter your company and contact information on the cover page of this document. Respondents must also submit a signed Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA). Please print and sign the NDA provided and fax it back to the attention of [OMITTED].2. Respondents must also include a copy of their standard software and services agreement as part of their response.3. Respondents may be requested to provide a formal presentation of their proposal and/or a demonstration at [NAME]’s offices or remotely, as needed. Scenarios for the demonstration will be provided when this event is scheduled.4. For any of the sections below with “Requirements” in the title, please use the following key for your responses: SF Standard Functionality – currently available “out of the box” or can be configured by administrator. AE Application Enhancement – to be included in a future release. In the Comment section, provide the expected delivery date. CM Customization or Configuration by Vendor – requirement can be met on proposed solution with development by Vendor. In the Comment section provide an estimate of the level of effort and cost needed by Vendor. rd 3P 3 Party Support – requirement can be met by third party vendor with a service/solution that is wholly integrated with Vendors. Use the Comment section to describe the third party vendor’s offering, terms and fees. NA Not Available and not planned for any future releases. Note that some items listed in the “requirements” sections are actually open questions, and the column for the key above is grayed out. Please place your answers in the Comments sections or use the Appendix section of this document.3.4. Cost of Proposal PreparationAny costs incurred by your company in preparing and providing a response to this RFP are solely theresponsibility of your organization. In addition, should you be asked to provide an onsite demonstration ofyour software, the costs associated with that process will similarly be the sole responsibility of yourorganization. [NAME] Confidential Page 7 of 20
  8. 8. 4. Terms Used in this DocumentThe following terms are used in the Requirements section of this document.Term DefinitionDiscussion A collection of multiple forums, threads and postsBoardForum Top-level categorization for threads, may also have sub-forumsThread A series of messages on a particular topicPost A single message within a threadAdministrator An [NAME] employee with oversight for forum structure, groups, content and processes for the discussion boardModerator An individual with a subset of Administrator permissions that manages only the content in some or all of the forums or groupsMember An individual with permission to manage only their own content in some or all of the forums. Administrators and moderators are also referred to as members. [NAME] Confidential Page 8 of 20
  9. 9. 5. Requirements and Questions5.1. About Your Company5.1.1. Provide a brief overview of your company, including when founded, number of employees by business unit, nature of business, and number of clients.5.1.2. Provide a summary of your company’s short-term and long-term goals and strategic vision.5.1.3. What do you consider being your competitive differentiators against your competitors?5.1.4. Where is your company headquartered? Where are the office(s) located that will be providing sales, deployment and support for the System?5.1.5. How many active clients do you have? How many of those clients have fully implemented systems that are similar in scope to that which you recommend for [NAME]? How many are integrating with [NAME of CRM/AMS System]?5.1.6. How many of your active clients have been clients for more than 2 years? What form of ownership (e.g. corporation, private) exists for your company?5.1.7. Is your company currently involved in any litigation with a client or other entity? Within the past three years? If yes, briefly describe.5.2. Hosting and Security SF/AE/CM/ Comments 3P/NA5.2.1. System must be hosted, i.e., provided as “software-as-a-service”5.2.2. Ability for members to access permitted content within any application (including Vendor’s) in the [NAME] Community with a single sign-on. Please use the comments section to describe at a high level how this would be implemented.5.2.3. Will we “own” the information hosted on our community site? In the event we move off of your System, how is the migration of data handled?5.3. Branding SF/AE/CM/ Comments 3P/NA5.3.1. Ability to create Web page header and footer employing custom HTML, including CSS, JS, images, etc.5.3.2. Ability to use custom images or plain text for any buttons employed in member-viewed user interface5.3.3. Ability to use CSS to customize [NAME] Confidential Page 9 of 20
  10. 10. elements such as fonts, colors, borders, link behaviors, etc.5.4. Access Management and Usage Guidelines SF/AE/CM/ Comments 3P/NA5.4.1. Ability for individual to request membership by completing a customizable online form5.4.2. Ability for System to allow either open registration or require a community passcode.5.4.3. Ability for System to automatically send confirmation email containing login credentials5.4.4. Ability to create and require members to “accept” a Terms of Use statement when they first attempt to access the Community5.4.5. Ability to create an FAQ list, Guidelines, Privacy Policy and other documentation for members5.5. Administrator Group Management SF/AE/CM/ Comments 3P/NA5.5.1. Ability to create a “default” group into which all new members are initially placed5.5.2. Ability to create groups into which members can be manually assigned5.5.3. Ability to create private and public groups5.5.4. Ability to assign permissions by group5.5.5. Ability for members to be included in one or more groups5.6. Network Group Management5.6.1. Ability for Administrators and Moderators to send mass emails or “personal messages” (PMs) to all members of a group for which they have permission to do so5.6.2. Ability for members to view list of all Semi-Public and Public groups, with the capability to request to join or immediately join the group5.6.3. System shall include capability for a Group Moderator to extend an invitation to a Private group to a member and for the member to accept or decline that invitation [NAME] Confidential Page 10 of 20
  11. 11. 5.7. Member Profile Administration SF/AE/CM/ Comments 3P/NA5.7.1. Ability to customize fields in member profile5.7.2. Ability to decide which profile fields are required or not to save profile5.7.3. Ability to edit any value in a member profile5.7.4. Ability for administrator or System to automatically generate unique member display names, e.g., [First Name] [Last Initial], rather than allowing member to select display name5.7.5. Ability to search member database against any value in profile5.7.6. Ability for administrator to allow members to determine if a profile field value should be visible to other members, e.g., Email Address5.8. Member Profile Self-Management SF/AE/CM/ Comments 3P/NA5.8.1. Ability for member to create and manage their own profile5.8.2. Ability to include a photo as part of the profile.5.8.3. Ability to change member password5.8.4. Ability to mask last name and email addresses from other members5.8.5. System shall display a list of all emails send by member.5.8.6. System shall display a list of all Groups of which member is a member, including permissions attributed to each group. Ability for member to remove self from a Group.5.8.7. System shall automatically create a member homepage that displays select profile data, photo, list of all Groups of which member is a member, etc. A5.8.8. System to permit member to add tags, and to create a tag cloud automatically5.9. Community Directory SF/AE/CM/ Comments 3P/NA5.9.1. Member profiles shall automatically be added to Community Directory5.9.2. Community Directory tag cloud rolls up all individual profile tag clouds [NAME] Confidential Page 11 of 20
  12. 12. 5.9.3. Community directory shall be searchable by last name, key word and/or tag cloud5.9.4. Search result reflects specifically where in profile search term was found.5.10. Content Management SF/AE/CM/ Comments 3P/NA5.10.1. System shall include WYSIWYG and HTML editor for content creation/editing5.10.2. WYSIWYG shall include a spell check5.10.3. Ability to switch between entering content via WYSIWYG editor and source HTML5.10.4. System shall provide multi-lingual content support5.10.5. Ability to translate content into other languages5.10.6. Ability to create links to any other internal or external Web pages5.10.7. Ability to create links to email addresses5.10.8. Ability to upload and/or embed multiple images (e.g., GIF).5.10.9. Ability to upload and attach multiple documents and files (e.g., PDF, WMV, DOC)5.10.10. Ability to perform global search-and- replace for keywords or phrases5.10.11. Ability to edit style sheets directly5.11. Subscription Management SF/AE/CM/ Comments 3P/NA5.11.1. Ability to subscribe to any discussion board forum, thread, or blog5.12. Member Communication SF/AE/CM/ Comments 3P/NA5.12.1.1. Ability for members to send each other “personal messages”, or PMs5.12.1.2. Ability for member to access PM mailbox to read new, saved and sent PMs5.12.1.3. Ability for member to delete PMs5.12.1.4. Ability for member to create a list of members that are blocked from sending s/he PMs5.12.1.5. Ability for administrator to view any member’s PM mailbox and messages5.12.1.6. Ability for administrator to send mass [NAME] Confidential Page 12 of 20
  13. 13. email or mass PM to all members5.12.1.7. Ability for administrator to display messages on the login page, site homepage, member personal pages, application homepages (e.g., discussion board), group home pages, or any forms. Ability to set auto-publish and auto-removal dates for messages.5.13. Forums5.13.1. Forum Management SF/AE/CM/ Comments 3P/NA5.13.1.1. Ability to view, create, edit, archive, delete, or move infinite and infinitely- nested forums (based on group permissions)5.13.1.2. Ability to arrange forums and sub- forums in a desired order5.13.1.3. Ability to assign one, some, or all groups to a forum, such that a member of that group has the permissions of that group with respect to that forum5.13.1.4. Ability to restrict forum access by password5.13.1.5. Ability to assign and display one or more moderators per forum5.13.1.6. Ability to set maximum number of threads in a forum, and once met, automatically paginate5.13.1.7. Ability to create a private forum5.13.1.8. Ability for members to see forums/threads that have new posts since their last visit5.13.1.9. Extensive administrative control tools5.13.2. Thread/Post Management SF/AE/CM/ Comments 3P/NA5.13.2.1. Ability to view, create, edit, archive, delete, copy/move, lock/unlock, or stick/unstick threads (based on permissions)5.13.2.2. Ability to create, edit, or delete posts (based on permissions)5.13.2.3. Ability to stick/unstick a post so that it appears at the beginning of a thread (based on permissions)5.13.3. Member Tools SF/AE/CM/ Comments 3P/NA5.13.3.1. Quick reply tool with minimal [NAME] Confidential Page 13 of 20
  14. 14. WYSIWYG editor5.13.3.2. Detailed reply tool with extensive WYSIWYG editor, smilies, and the ability to attach documents to a post5.13.3.3. Simple search5.13.3.4. Advanced search including ability to search by forum, keyword, person who posted, date of posting, etc.5.13.3.5. Ability to subscribe to forum or thread via RSS feed or email5.13.3.6. Ability to add a poll to a thread5.14. Groups SF/AE/CM/ Comments 3P/NA5.14.1. Ability for members to create unlimited groups5.14.2. Ability for administrators to create groups.5.14.3. Ability of administrator to configure community so that members cannot create groups5.14.4. Each group shall have its own:  Homepage  Participant List  Email Listserv  Blog  Wiki  Library5.14.5. Each group’s privacy and access settings shall be configurable by moderator5.14.6. Privacy and access settings shall permit moderator to determine who can view each group feature, who can edit each group feature, whether moderator has to pre-approve emails before they’re delivered, and whether or not to archive emails5.14.7. A group can be made private so that its existence is not visible to members other than invited members of the group5.14.8. Each group shall be capable of having one or more moderators5.14.9. Search shall permit finding groups by name or description5.14.10. Email listserv shall permit member to use multiple email addresses5.14.11. Email listserv shall permit member to select delivery mechanism on a group- by-group basis: a) sent to selected email address immediately or b) as a daily digest; or, c) view on web. [NAME] Confidential Page 14 of 20
  15. 15. 5.15. Blogs SF/AE/CM/ Comments 3P/NA5.15.1. System shall include standard blog capabilities, including ability for members to leave comments for blog entries, WYSIWYG editor for blogs, ability to link to blog, and to create categories and assign specific blog to a category.5.16. Libraries SF/AE/CM/ Comments 3P/NA5.16.1. System shall include a community library and libraries for each group5.16.2. System shall permit upload of all types of electronic files5.16.3. System shall permit upload of hyperlinks5.16.4. Ratings and commenting are available for all library items5.16.5. Members with access to a library can add folders and folders can be nested5.16.6. Down to how many levels can folders be nested?5.16.7. Upload functionality shall permit one- step designation of a content item to reside in multiple, specific libraries.5.16.8. Items in library shall be marked with member who uploaded the item and the date of upload5.17. Calendar SF/AE/CM/ Comments 3P/NA5.17.1. System shall include a calendar at the community and at the group level5.17.2. Calendar shall be capable of displaying Google calendars and providing links to subscribe to or download calendars5.17.3. Calendar shall permit search for events containing keywords5.17.4. Calendar shall permit generation of a variety of RSS feeds to provide events to other websites5.17.5. Event creation interface shall include WYSIWYG editor, spell check and ability to upload/embed images and [NAME] Confidential Page 15 of 20
  16. 16. other media.5.18. Search SF/AE/CM/ Comments 3P/NA5.18.1. Ability to select which objects to search against, e.g., only member directory, or only one or more selected forums5.18.2. System shall search within entire object, including title, body, and metadata5.18.3. System shall filter search engine results based on group permissions of searcher5.18.4. Search results shall indicate where within the element searched the search term was found. [NAME] Confidential Page 16 of 20
  17. 17. 5.19. Accessibility5.19.1. Does your end-user interface meet accessibility standards?5.19.2. Does your administrative interface meet S accessibility standards?5.20. About Hosting, Security and Disaster Recovery5.20.1. Can we maintain the "[NAME].com" domain for the hosted services, and use our DNS as that authoritative source?5.20.2. Where is the System hosted? Please provide exact data center locations and the names of your data center/Internet providers.5.20.3. What operating system(s) is the System running on?5.20.4. What database and application server(s) is the System running on?5.20.5. Is any information in the database automatically archived? If so, after what timeframe? How does this impact reporting?5.20.6. Does the System use any standard architectures or applications? If so, which ones?5.20.7. What is the average latency period between activity data collection and the ability to report on that data?5.20.8. What is the guaranteed service uptime and response time? Does that include maintenance windows? How much notice do you give prior to maintenance downtime?5.20.9. How do you handle outages, planned or unplanned? How are these events communicated to clients?5.20.10. What is the backup/recovery schedule for our data? In the event of data loss or corruption, how long will a restore of our data take from request to completion?5.20.11. Can we obtain a copy of the backups electronically?5.20.12. What is the escalation procedure in case of emergency?5.20.13. How does the System scale to allow more users hitting the site than originally envisioned?5.20.14. How does the System scale to allow the site to have more content than originally envisioned?5.20.15. Do all clients share the same database, storage and/or server resources? If so, how do you prevent one client from consuming more than their share of the resources and impacting other clients?5.20.16. Does the System allow for https and SSL transactions?5.20.17. How are user logins and user profile information kept secure in your product? What other [NAME] Confidential Page 17 of 20
  18. 18. security measures do you have in place to protect our service and its data?5.20.18. Describe the default security model (users, groups, roles, policies/privileges, etc.) used by the System. What types of actions can be restricted among users?5.21. About Support and Upgrades5.21.1. What personnel and qualifications do we need to support and administer the System? On average, how long does it take for an administrator to be able to independently administer the System? How many full-time/part-time administrators do your clients have that have implementations similar to [NAME]?5.21.2. Describe your support structure (available support options, support center hours, fees, response times, SLAs, etc.). Indicate which option you would recommend for [NAME]’s needs.5.21.3. Is in-context help available within the System application? Are complete manuals available? If so, in what format?5.21.4. Describe your support models (process, resources, timeline, fees) for bug fixes and enhancement requests.5.21.5. What is the current release number of the System? When was it released? When is the next major upgrade planned for the System? Briefly, what will be new?5.21.6. Describe how upgrades are managed. How do you communicate new features and how far in advance on the upgrade? How much System downtime is typically involved? How often do upgrades occur? Can we delay an upgrade for any reason? What happens if an upgrade causes a breakage to a customization? Are there additional costs for upgrades or upgrade training?5.21.7. Do you communicate known bugs to clients? If so, how?5.21.8. Describe any pre- or post-deployment consulting services you would recommend for [NAME]. Include any associated fees.5.22. About Deployment, Training and Account Management5.22.1. Describe the expected deployment process for [NAME]. What are the major milestones and anticipated timeline? What staff will be provided by your company? Will you provide a dedicated project manager? What staff will be required from [NAME] and what percentage of their time will be required?5.22.2. What training do you provide that you recommend for [NAME]? Where is the training typically held? What costs are associated with training?5.22.3. Describe how your company manages client accounts post-deployment. Provide a detailed description of the role of an account manager.5.22.4. Do you provide clients with benchmark data from other clients’ programs? If so, how is this offered?5.22.5. From your experiences working with other clients, we would like you to provide information in the following areas:  Best practices for launching and maintaining a successful community (design, usability, communications, user engagement, moderating, etc.) [NAME] Confidential Page 18 of 20
  19. 19.  How to grow the community and encourage more participation (contests, recognition, ratings, engaging client moderators, etc.)  How to staff our community appropriately (administrators, moderators, observers, etc.)  How to determine the overall investment in staff and budget we should expect to make in our first year and each year following.5.23. Costs [Omitted] [NAME] Confidential Page 19 of 20
  20. 20. 6. AppendixPlease use this space to add any additional materials needed to complete your response. [NAME] Confidential Page 20 of 20

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