There are many factors to consider when shopping for business software and many companies struggle to effectivley and efficiently gather information, not to mention keep it organized. A request for proposal (RFP) can help you keep everything organized and compare enterprise content management software vendors and business applications. Writing up an RFP template can be tough, so we’ve given you a head start. Below we have outlined the major sections to include in our RFP template to ensure an apples-to-apples comparison that will help you select the best enterprise content management (ECM) solution for your business.
General software features are outlined in a related request for proposal (RFP) template providing an overview of the functional fit for the enterprise content management software by industry as well as an overview of the underlying technology, database, integration strategy, and ideal company size. Other general information is provided to help the ECM buyer to evaluate the general features included in the business application.
The RFP template includes more than 70 technology questions. These questions are broken out by category for deployment options, integration, data capture technology, application updates and major releases, and security and compliance concerns. Users
An overview of user licensing is provided in the RFP. Note that each enterprise content management software uses different terminology for users so clarification is provided to help the reader understand how the software is licensed for various users within the organization.
The RFP template provides a summary of the different types of files or documents supported in the application including specific nuances on how each file type is stored and retrieved.
This section of the RFP discusses various methods available for capturing files and documents such as scanning, inbound email and fax, and other methods. Data capture is critical for converting paper documents to digital files that can be easily located by searching for files using dates, tags (such as order number, product, customer number, and other criteria) or full-text search of all documents and files in the document repository database.
The creation of new documents from the ERP business software or other business applications is discussed in this section providing a comprehensive understanding of how the ECM software works with the core business systems in place within the company.
Automation & Workflow
The RFP includes a section dedicated to automation and workflow definition within the ECM business application. This section outlines key features related to the definition of workflow and the automated creation of alerts, notifications, or approval processes in the software.
Search & Retrieval
This section provides an overview of the search and retrieval options for locating and accessing documents and files stored in the ECM business application.
The last two sections in the RFP template include questions related to software implementation, project management, training, and support services. Project Management
The RFP includes a section for the vendor to outline their implementation methodology and project plans which are critical to larger implementations of ECM business applications.
Pricing & ROI
The RFP includes a section where vendors can provide software quotes including user and module license costs, maintenance and support costs, and professional service costs. This section is used to calculate a potential return on investment using the investment summary compared to expected efficiency gains and cost reductions defined in the RFP Introduction.
References & Resources
Potential vendors can provide customer references or links to case studies in the RFP template. They can also provide links to resources such as videos, brochures, white papers, and other information to help companies evaluate their business applications. Learn more about enterprise content management software selection and access our RFP template in our ECM Buyer’s Guide, click below to get your copy today.
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