CrossNodes Checklist: Gauging Potential Disaster Impact - Page 2

 By Elizabeth Ferrarini
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What information should you have ready for the bidding vendor?
To bid for your business, vendors will need to know as much as possible about your network environment. Be prepared to provide them with the following information:

  • Project time frame and budget.
  • Scope of the project. Will it include international components or only US-based?
  • How you view the BIA process.
  • Resources you have to conduct a BIA.
  • The number of employees using the software.
  • How the company expects the BIA software to assist.
  • How you might need to tailor the software.
  • What platforms and / or systems the software will be running on.

What questions should you ask potential vendors?

  • What's the unique about your product?
  • How long has your company been making BIA software?
  • Will the software coach me through the process?
  • Was the software purchased from another company or created in-house?
  • How often are upgrades made? How are customers notified?
  • How were the questions inherent to the software created? Can they be modified and/or added to?
  • How experienced is the technical support staff? How many staff members are there?
  • Does the software offer database technology, word processing, or both?
  • Is the system tied to specific word processor or database programs?
  • What types of security features are available?
  • How is training offered?
  • How flexible is the program to tailor?
  • What are the printing options?

What questions should you ask the vendor's references?

  • Why did you choose this particular vendor? What other vendors did you consider?
  • What did your selection process entail?
  • How long have you been using the software, and how has it helped you to do your job?
  • Is the software easy to follow or to navigate around?
  • Could you easily tailor the product?
  • Describe your experiences with the vendor's support staff? What did you need them for?
  • How quickly does the vendor respond to problems that occur?
  • How was the training program? Did it address all necessary topics?
  • Have you used consulting services as a supplement to the software? If so, how was the experience?
  • Has the software enabled or hindered the process? In what way(s)?
  • Could do use the product for everything you wanted to do?
  • Did employees have difficulty learning to use the software?
  • Did the reports print as you had expected?
  • Could you separate and / or sort information in the methods that you wanted? Have you been happy with updates and upgrades to the software?
  • Do you find the security features adequate?

This article was originally published on Nov 14, 2001
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