Early fall brought a flutter of procurement activity to the general government landscape. With the majority of states operating under the June-July fiscal year, late summer brought new funding, which filled September and October with solicitation releases.
Autumn’s in-demand technology is clearly enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems, which are being procured across the nation, with active solicitations in Michigan, Florida, Illinois, and Hawaii.
September brought Hawaii’s highly anticipated statewide enterprise resource planning RFP, which has been quite active. Eleven addendums have been released, with the most recent announcing the solicitation being put on temporary hold after a primary project contact’s retirement. This solicitation has been in the works since early 2011 and looks like it will be 2014 before next steps are taken.
Another statewide ERP solicitation released this fall is Michigan’s procurement to replace the state’s existing financial system, known as MAIN. The state is seeking a vendor that will include hosting services, a disaster recovery site, and disaster recovery services as part of the overall effort.
On a county level, Miami-Dade County, Fla., released its enterprise resource planning implementation, integration and related services RFP in September. The county previously contracted with Oracle for an ERP system that only covered two departments – Water and Aviation. The county is expanding to a county-wide system with this procurement.
October brought an ERP system RFP release in Cook County, Illinois. This has been another highly anticipated procurement since an RFI release in February 2011. The county decided to separate the ERP system and the implementation into two separate solicitations. The system RFP is currently underway, and the implementation RFP will move forward once the county is satisfied with the software solution.
In non-ERP news, two notable statewide education RFPs were released. The Arizona Department of Education is seeking a new student information system, while Rhode Island is procuring a vendor to develop a K-12 scoring and reporting system for use with interim assessment data.
Further trending technologies include telephone systems and wireless solutions. A handful of telephone system RFPs were released, with heavy focus on Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP.) The bids spanned from state to county level, to school systems. This trend seems to be cyclical as phone systems become antiquated and the desire to implement systems compatible with existing infrastructure increases.
Wireless solutions are more of a growing trend in procurement. As more technology becomes available in wireless forms, government entities are jumping at the chance to increase efficiency and convenience. Last month saw a steady increase in solicitations for wireless communication systems and wireless infrastructure upgrades.
Vendors who can provide a robust ERP solution should be on the lookout for these and similar solicitations that may pop up through the end of the year. These systems are in high demand nationwide, and with funding for projects finally coming to fruition, vendors can expect solicitations across the states throughout the season.
The government shutdown last month may have been on a federal level, but it still affected state spending. Many states that receive government funding saw cash flows slowed or halted completely. This will directly affect projects that are funded by federal funds (such as Race to the Top) in such a way that we may see anticipated RFP releases pushed back a few months. Vendors should still expect solicitation releases before the holiday season is in full swing, but the larger, federally funded projects may be pushed to 2014.
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