RFQ: Information Technology Assessment

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I.  INTRODUCTION

Michigan Virtual™ is requesting Quotes for a review and analysis of our technology operations. This audit would consider our organizational goals, job positions, skill sets, and processes and make recommendations for optimization. Not to be included in the work are our technology platforms, software and hardware, and IT security. By releasing this RFQ, Michigan Virtual makes no guarantee of any awards of work to any respondents now or in the future.

II.    BACKGROUND OF MICHIGAN VIRTUAL

Michigan Virtual is a 501(c)(3) organization located in Lansing, Michigan, and was established by the State of Michigan in 1998 to expand the use of learning technologies with a focus to serve Michigan’s K-12 community with quality online instructional services. Today, Michigan Virtual operates the Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute®, the Professional Learning Portal, and the Learning Services Student Learning Portal. The organization employs over 450 workers, with over half of these employees part time instructors for our Student Learning Services unit.

III.    DESCRIPTION OF THE REQUEST

Michigan Virtual is seeking the services of an experienced firm for the examination and evaluation of our information technology operations, including related organization structure, skill sets, related policies, and practices. Given our strategic goals and the evolving marketplace, the desired outcome of this work is a detailed evaluation and analysis that supports these goals. The final report will include prioritized and detailed recommendations for optimizing to achieve these goals. It will address the information technology organizational structure including job positions for increased role clarity, necessary talent and skillsets, existing gaps, recommend reporting structures, identify gaps in policies and procedures, and how to close the gaps. Benchmark comparisons are to be included.

Currently, the primary IT functions occur in three units, Infrastructure (4 FTE), Technology Integrations (6 FTE), and Learning Applications (7 FTE). A fourth Unit, Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute – Research (4 FTE plus the instructional Product Design unit – 11 FTE) might repurpose, develop or introduce new technologies for emerging markets. Most units do not report directly to the same leadership. 
Michigan Virtual is looking for services from a company with experience serving similar sized and similar functioning non-profits and that is able to provide in their quote two (2) (redacted) reports from similar engagements. Educational experience is a plus.

IV. DELIVERABLES

The expected deliverables for the services and timeline are defined as: Work with Michigan Virtual to collect pertinent information related to the IT functions, processes, and operations including interviews, job descriptions, processes, and documentation. Comparison to similar organizations.

  1. Review of skill sets, current positions, reporting structures, and technology practices and procedures.
  2. Analyze the information in the light of similar organizations and strategic goal achievement / alignment. 
  3. Prepare a report by July 1, 2022 outlining findings, prioritized recommendations, best practice guidelines, and prioritized implementation plan.
  4. Present to Michigan Virtual key findings and recommendations.

V. QUOTE INSTRUCTIONS

A. QUOTE CONTENT AND FORMAT
In order to simplify the evaluation process and obtain maximum comparability, Michigan Virtual requires that all responses to the RFQ be organized in the manner and format described below. Any relevant supplemental information should be included as attachments.

  1. Business Information. Describe your business including legal business name, the year the business was organized, legal status (corporation, partnership, sole proprietorship, etc.), and the state of incorporation. Detail your (organization’s) experience with not-for-profits related to our request.
  2. Qualifications and Deliverables Review. Define how you satisfy the experience requirements in the proposal and provide pricing by the hour and the estimated hours for each deliverable. 
  3. Requirements Definition Process. Briefly outline the process you will use to complete the project and deliver the final report.
  4. Key Service Providers. Identify the individuals who will provide services, if awarded the work, and provide biographies. Include full contact information of each consultant and subject matter expert (SME).
  5. Client References. Provide the names and contact information for a minimum of three similarly sized clients for reference purposes and obtain permission for us to contact them.
  6. Nondisclosure Agreement (NDA). All entities wishing to submit a response to this RFQ are required to sign and submit Michigan Virtual’s Nondisclosure Agreement along with their Quote in response to this RFQ. The NDA was included in the email granting access to the RFQ and is posted at https://michiganvirtual.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/2020-21-Non-Disclosure-Agreement.pdf

B. SELECTION CRITERIA

The following factors will be considered by Michigan Virtual in making the Award.

  • Preference given to Michigan-based businesses.
  • Fit between the Consultant and or SMEs skills and experience and Michigan Virtual’s needs.
  • Consultant/SMEs ability to meet the defined timeline and understanding of the work services to be performed.
  • Quality of references.
  • Completeness of the Quote.
  • Value delivered in proportion to fees proposed.

Michigan Virtual reserves the right to make the Award to the entity of its choosing, reflective of our understanding of needs, the audiences served and results desired rather than solely based on pricing or other combinations of factors. Further, this RFQ does not obligate Michigan Virtual to award any contract. We reserve the right to cancel the RFQ at our discretion.

C. RFQ QUESTIONS, DUE DATES, CONTACT

Here are key dates to be aware of for this RFQ process.  It is not uncommon for dates to change.  Participating vendors will be notified of changes during the process. 

DateItem
Thursday, February 24, 2022RFQ distributed
Wednesday, March 2, 2022, at Noon ESTWritten Vendor questions submitted to Michigan Virtual
Monday, March 7, 2022Michigan Virtual responds to Vendor questions
Monday, March 14, 2022, at Noon ESTWritten Quotes due to Michigan Virtual
Thursday, March 24, 2022Virtual interviews for advancing consultants conclude
Monday, March 28, 2022Asynchronous reference checks conclude
Friday, April 1, 2022Begin contract negotiations with finalist

Please direct all correspondence and questions related to this RFQ and the required elements as indicated below. 

  1. Emailed questions are due by Wednesday, March 2, 2022 at Noon EST. Responses to all submitted questions will be e-mailed to vendors on March 7, 2022.
  2. One (1) electronic copy of your Quote sent by email to the contacts below no later than Monday, March 14, 2022 at Noon EST and one (1) printed and signed hardcopy of your Quote delivered to the office. Note: The emailed Quote will count for meeting delivery requirements.

The single point of contact for RFQ #02242022: 

Julie Force
Process/Project Manager II
[email protected]
Michigan Virtual
920 Municipal Way
Lansing, MI 48917

Michigan Virtual reserves the right to not consider late or incomplete Quotes. Amendments to Quotes will be included in our review only when they are received by the above deadline.

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About Michigan Virtual

Michigan Virtual™ (formally known as Michigan Virtual University®) provides online courses for Michigan students, professional development for educators and is the parent organization of the Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute®. As a nonprofit organization with more than 20 years of experience, Michigan Virtual is Michigan’s leading voice in online education. Visit us at michiganvirtual.org.

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Limited Course Capacity

We’re sorry to inform you that we have reached capacity for several of our Semester 1 and Trimester 1 courses. You’ll notice when attempting to enroll students in our Student Learning Portal that some courses are unavailable. While we are no longer accepting new enrollments for these courses at this time, many courses continue to remain open for enrollment.

With many students across the state 100% remote, demand for our online courses is greater than ever before. Because every course we offer is taught by a Michigan-certified teacher, this high volume of enrollments has created capacity issues for our teachers who provide each and every student with individual feedback.

While the Michigan Virtual team anticipated and planned for significant increases in student enrollments this Fall, the increased demand we’ve experienced has been unprecedented. As a result, we are taking steps to hire even more part-and full-time teachers to support larger numbers of student enrollments for Semester 2 as well as for Trimester 2 and 3. 

For schools that still need online learning options this year, please fill out the form at the bottom of our virtual pathways page to meet with someone to discuss other solutions. While some of our teacher-led courses are full, we may still have the capacity to help you in upcoming terms or can discuss timing to implement a whole-school or collaborative program in which local teachers from your school/district use our online course content to teach students. We also have free course content and resources available for you to use.

We know this is an incredibly stressful time for all, and we’re sorry if the courses you’re looking for are unavailable. We never want to turn away a student who wants to learn from us. Our top concern, however, is student success, and we have a policy to not take on additional enrollments if we cannot guarantee that all students will have a quality online learning experience. 

We appreciate your patience and understanding as we navigate the unusually high volume of enrollments we are receiving.