chapter  8

Writing a Request for Proposal (RFP)

WithHoward Marks

Preparing a Request For Proposal (RFP) or less formal Request for Quotation (RFQ) can be an important early step in the process of acquiring a new server or, more commonly, multiple servers sometimes referred to as a server farm. Using an RFP to make a large, important purchase like a server farm has many benefits. The RFP process also forces vendors to provide information that may be more important than simply price and delivery such as warranty service terms, vendor financials, customer references, and support options. The response to an RFQ is typically a one-page quotation showing the price and delivery terms for the items selected. The response to an RFP is a multipage proposal that includes vendor information, support details, and possibly recommendations for alternate configurations. This chapter specifies exactly how one want to receive the proposals/responses. It summarizes the milestones of the process and explains how confidential one want the data contained in the RFP to be.