Ability Information Technology - systemselection

By: Ability Information Technology  06-Dec-2011
Keywords: Project Management, Specialist Advice, Driving Seat

S ystem Selection and Procurement

AIT provides specialist advice in the area of system selection and evaluation.The aim is to ensure that clients’ interests are protected at all times and that in doing so, they receive the maximum return on their investment. In selecting a system, AIT can provide assistance in the following areas: Preparing a Detailed Specification of Requirements
A detailed document is prepared in close co-operation with the Client, clearly defining all requirements based on thorough investigation into, and understanding of, the Client’s business. A System Specification is vital for three reasons:

  1. It forms the basis of any eventual contract with a computer vendor in that the proposed system must satisfy the functional requirements outlined within the document
  2. It forms a collectively agreed 'shopping list' of your requirements which is not constantly changed by suppliers leapfrogging each other, and hence puts you in the buying 'driving seat' and reduces selection timescales
  3. It helps to minimise the ‘expectations gap’. Users sometimes believe that a new system is a non-performer because their original expectations far exceed those which have actually been fulfilled. In many cases, as a direct consequence of not having produced a detailed Specification


Preparing a Request For Proposal (RFP)
The AIT Request for Proposal presents the Client’s requirements to selected Computer Vendors in a clear, concise and unambiguous fashion. This document will ultimately form part of the sales contract between the Client and Vendor and will consist in whole or in part of:

  • The System Specification
  • Transaction and Data Volumes
  • Hardware Requirements
  • Training Schedules
  • An Implementation Plan


Establishing Suitable Prospective Suppliers
The RFP is of little value if it is submitted to inappropriate suppliers. AIT ensures that, through detailed background research and from our previous knowledge and experience, a list of suitable, potential suppliers is identified in an effective manner. Vetting Supplier Responses
In responding to an RFP, what a computer vendor says and what he means may not always be the same thing. AIT analyses each supplier’s response or proposal to ensure that their claims of the system’s capabilities are accurate and, where necessary, expose any system limitations. Preparing a Shortlist of Recommended Suppliers
AIT have no formal links to other companies in the computer industry, and are totally objective and unbiased in our recommendations of suppliers. Arranging Demonstrations and User Visits
It is at this point that Hardware or Software weaknesses or unsuitability can sometimes best be discovered - but only if you know the right questions to ask, how to ask them, and more importantly, how to interpret the answers. Final Supplier Assessment
Even at this stage, perhaps having evaluated three or four systems, the final choice of supplier can be far from straightforward. Our experience gained from many years of direct involvement within the computer industry means that we are better able to recommend the final supplier based on a more informed and better understanding of how the industry operates - thus ensuring at all times the best interests of the client are served. Contract Negotiations
The Contract defines the Terms and Conditions under which the system is supplied including the cost and payment schedules. AIT ensures that the sales Contract precisely defines the expected performance of the proposed system and that the Client is, wherever possible, suitably protected should the system not perform satisfactorily. Pre-Implementation Planning
A detailed plan must be prepared well in advance of the system being implemented. To do this, all events associated with the Implementation must be identified, listed and scheduled in order to establish a workable plan of action. Project Management
Project Management is essential to ensure that the Implementation Plan is successfully executed and that it does not suffer any setbacks as a result of, for example; a lack of commitment, non-conformance to the planned tasks, or a wastage of resources. AIT has extensive practical experience of all aspects of Project Management and has assisted many Clients in achieving successful implementations. Ongoing Services
As a system grows in importance and sophistication, the information it processes increases in value to the organisation. In order to maintain the efficient and effective management of a system AIT provides further specialist advice on:

  • System Security and Risk Assessment
  • IT Strategy Review and Audit
  • Conversion and Upgrade Planning
  • Disaster Management and Contingency Planning

Keywords: Background Research, Computer Vendors, Driving Seat, Hardware Requirements, Project Management, Requirements Training, Specialist Advice,

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