If you seek an innovative vendor bid, provide an innovative RFP.


Many buyers of IT complain, with good reason, that many responses to RFP’s that they receive from vendors (in some cases, if they receive a response at all), lack innovation, deep insight and understanding of the real issues that their prospective client (rarely is the client a “partner”, but that is for another time) is facing.

From capioIT’s experience it is an issue across the industry, typically not restricted by industry or geography.

Clearly the core of the issue relates to typically generic RFP responses by vendors, or vendors crafting RFP responses to suit their own business objectives, not those of the client. However, the buyer of IT and Business services can drive a process to improve desired RFP response outcomes.

At a recent Sourcing Interests Group (SIG) panel I participated in, I reinforced the need from my experience to ensure that you must drive an innovative RFP process from day 1. At the outset, I am not validating undertaking a frivolous or marketing hyped approach or requirement, but for your organization to benefit from the fact that innovation breeds innovation.

Highlight more explicitly the way in which the business is changing to meet the current dynamic business environment, don’t just “mention” that the world is changing, highlight why you are changing the world. Provide proof points in a way the vendor may not have seen as to how you are providing innovative business led solutions.

You  must shift the response process, try to shake the vendor selection process up to ensure that innovation is in, and generic responses are out. That way, you have a much better chance of getting a choice of solution options that will provide the innovative solutions that your business requires. If that happens, everyone wins.

About capioIT - Phil Hassey

capioIT is an advisory firm focused on helping organisations to understand emerging technology in emerging markets. CEO Phil Hassey established the company in 2010
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3 Responses to If you seek an innovative vendor bid, provide an innovative RFP.

  1. Cristin Balog, Infosys (Australia & New Zealand) says:

    Well said.

    If you look at it, sourcing is just another dimension of leadership. You can approach it as a manager — do this task — or you can approach it as a leader — here are my challenges, show me what your approach would be, and feel free to answer questions I didn’t think to ask..

    It doesn’t always happen, but when a client really opens up the kimono and shares the ‘real’ business problemss, strategies, vulnerabilities and oppportunites, it disrupts a vanilla response process. As service providers, we become more energised, nuanced and sceptical of our own norms. This disruption unlocks value for the client and for us.

    Bring on the innovation-driven sourcing! Makes you look forward to jumping out of bed in the morning.

  2. Thanks Cristin,
    No-one will get anywhere without leadership and innovation both driving each other.

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