In order to help leverage the collective buying power of Quilt participants, The Quilt develops business agreements with vendors who have a comprehensive network delivery infrastructure and are able to partner with The Quilt community in the delivery and development of research and education networks throughout the United States. These types of agreements are divided into two categories:
- Selected Vendor Partners, for vendors who have been designated through the Quilt’s RFP process. AT&T and Qwest have been The Quilt’s Selected Vendor Partners since the initial RFP in 2003. Quilt participants today spend much more than $7M annually on maintenance for over $800m of installed Cisco hardware and more than $2M annually on maintenance for over $20m of installed Juniper hardware. The Quilt projects that this number will remain constant or increase in the years ahead.
- Vendor Affiliates, for vendors not selected through an RFP process but who provide products or services of interest to a majority of The Quilt community and are interested in a two-way information exchange with Quilt participants. Collectively, these vendors meet Quilt member requirements for discounted purchasing, RFP process requirements and account support. The Quilt seeks vendor partners who not only are able to provide the best value, but also are at the forefront of technology and are willing to work closely with Quilt members to develop and expand that technology beyond a standard provider-customer relationship.
Information on participating in The Quilt’s Vendor Affiliates Program
- An advocate within The Quilt, specifically someone associated with a Quilt participant who can articulate to the group the benefits associated with an informal relationship with the specific vendor.
- A brief description of the products, services, or technologies of specific interest to Quilt participants. Where appropriate, overlap between geographic services coverage with the geographic coverage of Quilt participants should be indicated.
Steps to participate:
- Work through existing contacts among Quilt Participants to find and identify an advocate.
- Work with The Quilt advocate to develop a short summary of the specific areas of value and interest between the interested vendor and The Quilt.
- The Quilt advocate will then share this information with The Quilt Steering Committee and technical representatives. This information will typically be reviewed on a monthly basis, during the Quilt’s monthly conference call.
- Contact The Quilt’s President and CEO, Jen Leasure for additional information regarding this process.