Posted by: cmani2010 | April 9, 2009

Responding to RFP’s with the Sun software stack – Part 1

One of the things that keep happening in the life of a person in Software sales and technical pre-sales(like myself), is answering the RFP’s for various customers. This is specially true for Government and Public sector companies and also in some of the larger private sector projects. I will be compiling a list of handy blogs for the various Sun software products and how/where to look for various information when answering RFP’s.

There are three IMPORTANT things that are part of the RFP process :

  1. RFP – Answering the RFP. This is the most important part, as in a lot of situations, a specific vendor will have influenced the RFP. Its important to highlight to the customer, why those RFP questions are biased, and ask for changes. For example, there were RFP’s for application servers, which specified that application server’s should comply to .Net and ECMA standards. Obviously, this is totally biased against the Java/J2EE based application servers. One of things that I have learnt the hard way, is to ensure that the matrix we fill in, with the RFP responses, should also have links to actual documentation or articles or comments. Fortunately for Sun, there is a ton of information at docs.sun.com, bigadmin, blogs.sun.com and developers.sun.com
  2. Solution architecture document : The key thing in the solution architecture, will be any third party software components and the sizing to fit in with their non-functional requirements. We do have access to some Sun internal data, but a ton of information exists in the internet as sizing guides and also in the various benchmarks published externally. The sizing should meet the key availability requirements specified by the RFP. If third party software is required, we need to do due diligence about the requirements of the third party software.
  3. References – Most customers ask for references. We do have a lot of publicly referenceable customers available at http://www.sun.com/customers plus a a very large customer list that can be quoted in a private fashion.

We, in India, have been having some terrific wins recently by positioning Sun software, in some very large deals (both revenue and in size/complexity). Sun software being largely open source and always standards based, has been a great combination in these difficult economic times
I will be touching upon solutions, Enterprise architectures and responding to RFPs for Glassfish app server, Glassfish web space portal, Identity and Communication suite’s in subsequent posts.

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