You’re likely here for 1 of 2 reasons:
- You’re frustrated with your organization’s competitive solicitations process and requirements (and potentially looking for alternative solutions).
- You’ve heard of Sourcewell and want to know more.
If you can relate to either of these, you are in the right place. I work closely with Sourcewell and use their cooperative contract with Mitel often. So for this article, I've invited Dave Duhn, the Mitel Vendor Contact Administrator at Sourcewell, to answer some of the questions I get asked all the time.
Check it out:
Q: Why Should Schools, Government Agencies And Nonprofit Organizations Become Sourcewell Members?
A: While there are a number of reasons to become a member of Sourcewell, one of the best is to take advantage of the cooperative contracts that exist to meet your needs. Our contracts cover a wide range of products and services; here are just a few to give you an idea:
- Energy Solutions
- Food & Food Service
- Professional and Financing Services
- See All Here
Additionally, Sourcewell does all the legwork of the RFP process, selects a world-class vendor and secures contract volume pricing, all in an effort to help you overcome budget and purchasing challenges.
Sourcewell truly exists to provide valuable services to our members: to make your lives easier. We ask our members for their input on the contracts and services we provide, as we’re always researching new opportunities and ways to improve.
Q: How Did Sourcewell Decide Mitel Was The Best Telecommunication Manufacturer For Its Members?
A: Great question. I’m going to back up a little, because I think it is important for you to know that Sourcewell has a 12-step procurement process (8 of those steps happen prior to selecting a vendor) when selecting a manufacturer with whom to develop a cooperative contract. So prior to selecting Mitel, we went through the following steps:
- Identified a Need
- Researched solutions available in the Marketplace
- Requested permission from the Sourcewell Board of Directors
- Drafted a Solicitation, Public Advertisement and Notice
- Conducted a Pre-Proposal Conference Followed by Receipt of Responses
- Evaluated Proposers’ Responses
- Reviewed Evaluation Results
- Provided Recommendations to the Sourcewell Board
- Awarded Mitel the Contract
So, after requesting RFPs from all of the major manufacturers and analyzing the 7 proposals we received, our proposal evaluation committee issued this statement regarding their selection of Mitel:
Mitel Business Systems, Inc. offered a large sales and service force with 400 dealers with 800 branches. They also offered a strong reputation within the industry. They provided competitive pricing. They offered a large variety of unified communications systems, VoIP PBX Systems, call control solutions, mobile phones, broadband and voice over IP among other products.
For these reasons the Sourcewell Proposal Review Committee recommends award of Sourcewell #040314 to Mitel Business Systems, Inc.
Q: What Value Do You Believe Mitel Offers Sourcewell Members?
A: As just mentioned, Mitel won the contract based on product quality, customer service, pricing and overall market leadership. Their focus on delivering flexibility and simplicity in unified communication solutions and applications for organizations of all sizes made their proposal stand out.
Mike Hajek, our Director of Business Development and Marketing said, "Mitel is recognized for its innovative secure solutions and commitment to open standards. These are key elements of what our members need in their unified communication solutions."
Q: What Did Mitel Have To Do To Be Considered For The Sourcewell Contract?
A: Mitel had to submit a response to the RFP we published. Then, we analyzed each (7 in total) and rated them on the following point scale:
- Conformance to Terms/Conditions to Include Documentation – 50
- Pricing – 400
- Financial Industry and Marketplace Successes – 75
- Proposer's Ability to Sell/Service Contract Nationally – 100
- Proposer's Marketing Plan – 50
- Value Added Attributes – 75
- Warranty Coverages and Information – 50
- Selection and Variety of Products and Services Offered – 200
Mitel had the highest scoring competitive solicitations, with a total of 907 points, out of 1,000.
Q: If I Want To Proceed With A Sourcewell Cooperative Contract, Do I Contact Sourcewell Or Mitel?
A: Actually, if you have a preferred technology provider, your rep there is the best party to contact first. With Mitel technology solutions, you will need a Mitel dealer to design and implement your telecommunication solution.
If you aren’t currently partnered with a technology provider and Mitel dealer, Marco can help you get in touch with a reliable dealer in your region.
From there, your provider/dealer will help you take advantage of Sourcewell’s cooperative contract #040314-MBS.