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Texas leverages technology and planning to foster fair competitions while eyeing best value

The Texas Department of Information Resources (DIR) recently accepted 26 responses to a Request for Information (RFI) issued for their TexasOnline Re-Procurement project. That is a wealth of information for DIR to weigh in the design of the TexasOnline RFO anticipated for release in March 2008.

Perhaps more impressive is the success DIR saw with the use of webcasts and text chats during the RFI process. Three such meetings were held and one was a webcast whereby participants could see John Miri, Denny Ross and Allan Martin in a room accepting and answering questions submitted online. 154 companies were represented in the July 19 webcast. John Miri, the Director of E-Government and Web Resources, had the following to say about the TexasOnline RFI:

"Our innovative online events really increased vendor competition, and we're well on our way to delivering new services to Texans at even better prices. While the number and diversity of firms is outstanding, the most interesting thing is that 47% of online participants were company executives. These were CEOs, company presidents, and senior executives – and I am excited that people at that level see our project as a flagship opportunity."

Here are the state's major statistics from the July 19th interactive procurement webcast:

  • 183 individual viewers representing 154 companies participated in the Web-cast.
  • 47% of viewers were company executives
  • 67% of vendors represented were from outside of the City of Austin including participants from Canada and India

DIR estimates that vendors collectively saved $108,000 in travel costs for the online event. Additionally, by shifting from an in person meeting to online, the carbon footprint of such an event almost disappears. Another opportunity for green purchasing!

GovWin's take:

  • Look for more and more states to open the procurement process through transparent planning and use of the RFI process in attempts to enable more vendors and ultimately achieve best value for the state

  • Look for leverage of communications technology through remote Pre-Proposal Conferences to further expand and level the S&L Government market

[SD1]Link to opportunity

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