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RFP Scoring for Cloud Vendors; Best Practices

RPF scoring for Cloud Vendors

RFP Scoring also called proposal scoring is the practice of assigning numerical values to the responses from vendors. The RFP scoring is based on the set of questions which are a blend of open-ended and closed ones and reflects the capability of the cloud vendor to meet the company expectations for the journey to the cloud. It is a SWOT analysis of the cloud vendor and helps compare different vendors on numerical parameters 

Different approaches for RFP Scoring

Simple Scoring

In this, each vendor is assessed on a set scale of one to five 

  1. Non-compliant (Answer not fit from a company perspective) 
  2. Minimal compliance (Vendor’s answer meets minimum compliance objectives of the company)
  3. Partial compliance (Acceptable answer)
  4. Mostly compliant (Vendors answer fits with the company objective)
  5. Fully compliant (Vendor’s answer accurately fits with the company objective)

RFP weighted scoring

Not all the questions in the RFP may carry equal importance for organizations. Sometimes it happens that the RFP is too extensive wherein the company asks even low priority questions for them. The weighted scoring helps you prioritize different questions or elements of your RFP based on the importance of those elements to your business. Here you customize the value of each question or section according to their importance to the organization. 

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Provide clear directions to the evaluators of RFP proposals

Even before the vendors’ proposals are screened or evaluated, you need to have a brainstorming session with the evaluating team apprising them of why the questions were formed, what business objectives or cloud journey objectives were to be addressed by the specific set of questions. Clear directions of the importance of each question, the capability of the vendor being assessed through the question must be provided to the evaluators. It is important to involve the stakeholders of the cloud project in brainstorming sessions and evaluations. That way the vendor selection will have approval from multiple stakeholders and would be more fitting for the entire organization’s objectives 

Write the scoring criteria before drafting the RFP questions

It is important to set the scoring criteria even before writing your RFP. That would help you in modifying the questions in a manner that they can be scored or weighted. 

Publish your scoring approach in the RFP

Your vendors must know how you are rating them or on what scale they are being assessed. The more a vendor knows about the weightage of the questions, the more they know about the importance of certain elements of the proposals to your business. For example, if compliance obligations are given more weightage, they can detail their certifications and compliance fulfilment for different organizations migrating to the cloud. 

Implement blind scoring before sending it to the evaluation board

Bling scoring implies that all the vendor information is removed from proposals before sending them for evaluation. This helps maintain impartiality and an unbiased approach to scoring 

Here is a sample scoring for cloud provider selection 

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