Last week, our UI solution Request for Proposal (RFP) officially hit the streets! The RFP is our formal invitation to vendors to describe in depth how their solution meets our needs and facilitates modernizing our UI systems and processes. The request includes a detailed description of the unemployment insurance program and services, details our preferences for a new system, including the refined business and technical requirements, and asks the vendors to describe their solution along with how they recommend implementing their solution.
The RFP pulls together information going all the way back to our feasibility study. The 1,565 business requirements and 198 technical requirements included were developed and refined as a result of the inventory of the 103 systems that are currently supported by our technical staff, the active contributions of many of you to document your daily work with the As-Is document creation and high-level process maps, requirements gathering sessions, feedback and suggestions gathered from employers and through customer satisfaction surveys, work sessions with our close partner agencies, the meticulous efforts of each of the workgroups, and the dedicated work of the modernization team. To all of you who have contributed in these many ways, thank you!
The RFP will be “open” for the next 60 days. When it closes in October, we’ll begin a staged evaluation process that we expect will last into the first of the year. The committee evaluating the vendor proposals has representation from modernization, IT, ABS, research, and UI leadership. Additionally, the committee will be supported by advisors throughout the agency on specific areas of the proposal. They will be assessing in detail the vendor’s ability to satisfy our business and technical requirements, their approach to implementation including training and testing, their staff experience, and their alignment with the program’s guiding principles and preferences. The vendors will be asked to demonstrate for us everything from basic functionality to how they would handle some of our most unique-to-Oregon scenarios, their technical discipline, and staff competency and leadership. (If you’d like to learn more about the evaluation process visit the modernization page on EDweb). Once they’ve selected a vendor, we’ll begin negotiating their contract, and we’re hoping they will begin work by the fall of next year.
The release of the RFP takes us a significant step further in the UI project. These next few months could be likened to being at the top of a roller coaster hill. We’ve spent the past couple of years click-click-clicking up the hill, and now we’re at the very top, with the slight pause and the view and anticipation of the future. In a very short time, we’ll be heading down the other side, rapidly gaining momentum, and moving quickly toward the effort of doing the project rather than planning the project. These are exciting times, and we have a lot of work ahead!
I want to express my appreciation to the program team and everyone who has contributed over the course of the last couple of years to get us to this day. Thank you! And, I invite everyone to continue to look for opportunities to participate. We need your input, experience, wisdom, and enthusiasm to build the awesome future we envision!