VMware Convenience Pricing Program – 2015 RFP

The Quilt has a successful history of leveraging the collective purchasing power of its membership and authorized member institutions to purchase advanced networking technology and services at a lower cost. In August of 2015, The Quilt will issue a Request for Proposal (RFP) to select a distribution partner to provide VMware solutions and AirWatch by VMware solutions to our Quilt community using a consortium-based purchasing mechanism.

VMware is a global leader in cloud infrastructure and business mobility. The goal of this RFP effort is to identify a distribution partner, which, through its status as a distribution partner for VMware, will provide world class customer support and is willing and able to partner in the delivery of VMware solutions for the publicly-missioned institutions that are supported by our community of research and education networks throughout the United States. The intent of this RFP is to identify and contract with a VMware Distribution Partner which recognizes the wealth of opportunities that exist through constructive partnerships with The Quilt and the research and education networking community.

We will look to our distribution partner to provide pricing discounts appropriate to the type of trusted relationships and scale of institutions our Quilt members serve across the country. We expect sound, reliable, and responsive administrative capabilities.

VMware Distribution Partner RFP Calendar

Event Date
RFP Release August 19, 2015
Non-Binding Letter of Intent to Respond Due August 26, 2015
Written Questions and Response Window Ends September 9, 2015
Due Date for RFP Submission to Quilt (11:59 pm ET) September 25, 2015
Distribution Partner Selected to be Authorized Quilt Provider (AQP) for VMware and AirWatch by VMware October 23, 2015
Master Services Agreement Signed December 11, 2015

2015 VMware RFP Documents

The two components of the RFP are available below as of August 19, 2015:

  1. VMware Distribution Partner RFP Overview Document (MS Doc)
  2. RFP Essay Document (MS Doc)

Where & When to Submit your RFP Response and Quilt RFP Contacts

The Letter of Intent and Questions should be sent electronically by the dates listed above. Please e-mail to Steve Kankus at quiltvmwarerfp@thequilt.net.

Item #2 along with any materials requested in these documents must be completed and returned to the Quilt by September 25, 2015 by 11:59 pm Eastern Time. All RFP submissions are to be uploaded by the Distribution Partner to an individual and secure Partner Page maintained by The Quilt through its Basecamp hub. Access information and submission hub use instructions will be forwarded under separate cover to individual respondents upon receipt of a non-binding Letter of Intent to Respond. If you did not receive the hub instructions or your password information, please contact Jennifer Griffin at griffin@thequilt.net.

RFP Documents must be in a .pdf or Microsoft Office software format. This is the only format in which RFP documents will be accepted.

If you have any questions regarding the documents or RFP process, please contact Steve Kankus at quiltvmwarerfp@thequilt.net or 315-413-0345 x5234.

Summary of The Quilt’s VMWare RFP Questions and Answers

Q:  Can you provide a list of current RON’s & resellers who are Quilt members. We know where to find them on your website, we would like confirmation that the list posted is up-to-date.

A:  The list of RONs and their member institutions available on the Quilt website is current.

Resellers are not eligible to become members of the Quilt. It is the intention of the Quilt that RONs participating in the Quilt VMware program will work with each other and the Quilt to identify suitable resellers to participate in and promote the program.

Q:  The RON’s would like to be compensated for administrative costs related to investments they will make to implement, support & promote the success of the program. How will the RON’s bring added value that the AQP & reseller are not already providing?

A:  The RONs take great pride in the relationships they maintain with their member institutions, relationships that are built on trust, transparency, and an expectation of technical expertise. The RONs typically have greater and more immediate access to decision-makers among their members than any reseller. They also have multiple means of reaching these members, including Board and member meetings, routine member communications, and engagements initiated by membership staff. The RONs see the Quilt VMware program as a significant value add for their members. Thus they intend to leverage these relationships to communicate the availability of the program and to promote its employment by their members.

Q:  What are the requirements for the quarterly incentive rebate?

A:  The Quilt is interested in hearing creative proposals from the prospective distributors. However, it is the Quilt’s expectation that the Quilt member AQP will dedicate some portion of the revenue generated from the program to offset the RONs operating expenses. It seems most obvious that there needs to be some way of distributing these funds to the each individual participating RON, probably as an incentive payment based upon sales directly attributable to the RON.

Q:  What are you seeking in “pre-sales” design?

A:  This section is referring to pre-sales engineering and solution design for members. Some of the distributors the Quit interviewed prior to issuance of the RFP suggested that this is a service they will provide to participating member institutions. It seems clear that in some cases the resellers will provide this capability or at very least will augment or extend the capability of the distributor. In the latter case, it is the Quilt’s expectation that the distributor will provide service to the resellers.

Q:  Quantity & volume for trainings? Any specific requirements?

A:  None at this time. The distributor may elect to propose discount levels based on pre-purchase of training tokens.

Q:  If AQP cannot adhere to all pricing guidelines outlined in RFP request based off guidelines previously set for a particular AQB reseller, will the Quilt still accept a response to this RFP? IE: The AQP has already set vendor level pricing for a reseller who falls into the list of Quilt providers. For various reasons this pricing could be set for a determined amount of time for a particular reseller. This pricing could be greater than or less than the pricing we offer the Quilt.

A:  The Quilt and its members have not yet identified resellers for this program. It seems unlikely that a vendor offering the products and services at a price higher than agreed to in the RFP by the AQP would be selected by any RON as a program reseller.

Q:  We would like to address changes to the MSA prior to the formal RFP if possible. Can you provide a cut-off date in which we can provide MSA changes?

A:  Any proposed changes to the MSA should be submitted with the RFP response.

Q:  Will the identity of the questioners be published on the Quilt website?

A:  The Quilt intends to preserve the anonymity of the institutions’ submitting questions. Vendor names will not be associated with the questions or answers.

Q:  Please provide an estimate of the anticipated annual dollar volume running through the contract.

A:  The Quilt is not in the position to estimate the total revenue that may proceed from this agreement. However, you may be able to estimate this by examination of the list of institutions likely to participate as identified in the Quilt RON member list. 

Q:  We submitted our letter of intent under a subsidiary letterhead.  Will that create any issue when submitting the proposal through The Quilt Basecamp Hub website under the parent company?

A:  If you make a clear connection in your proposal to the LOI, this should not be an issue.

Q:  Please clarify the roles of the RONs, Resellers, and AQBs and who sells the VMWare products to whom.

A:  One role of the RONs is to identify and capitalize on opportunities to aggregate the demand of their member institutions. Specially, with regard to this program, the role of the RONs will be to generate demand for the VMware products by raising member awareness about the products capabilities but also about the nature and effect of this discount program. The RONs intend to actively market this offering to their members, promoting participation and the value of membership in the RONs.

The resellers will serve much the same role they typically play relative to a distributor and end customer: providing pre-sales and post-sales technical design services to help customers identify and implement appropriate products and services to help them achieve their institutional objectives. We intend that the resellers will amplify the RONs efforts to promote participation in this program.

The AQBs, the institutional members of the RONs, are the end user/customers of the VMware products.

Q:  Who does the AQP sell to?

A:  AQP is simply our designation for the distributor in this relationship. We imagine that end-user customers (AQBs) will purchase from the resellers at the published discount that is provided by the distributor to the Quilt’s members under the terms of the MSA. We understand that in the standard process the purchase flows through the reseller, but that the distributor manages fulfillment. We expect (but do not require) that this process continues under the MSA. The Quilt is open to considering alternatives the bidder may propose.

Q:  Do we include a price list with discounts at the individual line item level or discount “table” with the percentage discount off MSRP by product category? If a price list, is there a template?

A:  You may either state the discount levels and which product/service categories the discounts apply to or provide a price list with product name, SKU, retail price, percentage discount and discounted price. The Quilt wishes certainty in either case. For sake of clarification, the Quilt desires a program that is easy to implement and maintain, and the Quilt prefers that all VMware products and services are included.

Q:  Do we submit cumulative discount percentages in our proposal or just our standard discount off MSRP?

A:  The Quilt wishes to see the initial discount plus the additional discounts that can be obtained as new sales volume thresholds are reached.

Q:  Are license terms (re: End User license Agreement) at the contract or order level. If contract level, should we include licensing terms in our proposal?

A:  It is our intention that the end-users will accept the standard EULA associated with each product. The Quilt does not intend to negotiate special terms in the EULAs.

Q:  Would discounts granted to RONs as part of the incentive payment program count as “superior” pricing in violation of section 1.F?

A:  The incentive discounts should be based upon the aggregate sales volume achieved by the entire program and applied to the program. Thus, any AQB (i.e. any member of any RON) would be able to avail themselves of the new price when it becomes available. This is equitable and acceptable. What is not acceptable is providing one RON’s members with pricing lower than the currently available/published pricing.