Sample VOIP RFP

 
 
By eweek  |  Posted 2002-10-24 Email Print this article Print
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

To be complete, vendor response must have: cover page, equipment list, price list, ongoing costs, product literature.

1. Cover Page.
    A. Company name.
    B. Proposal authors.
    C. Date, company address and URL as it should appear in print.
    D. Primary contact with phone number and e-mail address.
2. Equipment list with version/model numbers and design description.
    A. An itemized list of major equipment (gateways, systems, cards/components, handsets) for each site¹
    B. An itemized list of software for each site.
    C. An itemized list of services for each site.
    D. A summary of your solution and what specific features it supports that puts it ahead of the competition.
    E. Address all the requirements listed below in the Details section.
3. Price list of required products and services.
    A. An itemized list of major equipment for each site.
    B. An itemized list of software for each site.
    C. An itemized list of services for each site. Ongoing maintenance costs.
    D. Summarize on one page the total cost of the entire project.
4. Ongoing costs. Summarize the likely ongoing subscription and service costs needed to maintain the system over a period of three years. 5. Product literature and documentation. Include product literature that describes the features and benefits of your equipment, software and services. Also include technical documentation for major components. THE SCENARIO

An imaginary company called Industry Inc. has the following requirements for a new business telephone system that it intends to roll out in two phases. The first phase starts immediately. The second phase has a completion target of one year from now (mid-2003). Industry Inc.s data network is a separate but related issue in the build-out of the VOIP network. Industry Inc. is not wedded to the idea of having the same vendor supply both the data and voice network equipment. Do not include data networking equipment in the proposal unless it is required to support the VoIP implementation.
  • Phase 1  1,500 Ethernet-connected handsets
    For this part of the response, you may only reference shipping products and software.
  • Phase 2  (one year later) 10,000 Ethernet-connected handsets
    You may reference products that are not currently available BUT ARE EXPECTED TO BE AVAILABLE in the next year. You must provide approximate shipping dates for each product. DETAILS

    We understand that each customer is different and that these differences can have a profound impact on equipment, services and cost of an implementation. Therefore, please provide as much context to your responses as possible. Put another way, it is better for you to over-explain your response, giving the benefits and drawbacks of various choices an IT manager could make. 1. Architecture
    Describe the overall architecture of the system. Provide diagrams that illustrate all of the major network components, their roles and interactions with each other. Where applicable, indicate the OS that the server software runs on. Show all PBX servers, gateways and handsets, as well as any other relevant equipment. Use diagrams to show how your products connect to the PSTN (Public Switched Telephone Network).
  • Provide a separate diagram for Phase 1 and Phase 2.
  • You should refer to these diagrams in later sections. 2. Telephone handsets
    Telephone handsets should be line-powered. Locally powered handsets will be considered, but are definitely the second and less preferred choice. Provide the part number and price (list price only for volumes describe in each phase of the project.)
  • Phase 1. 1,476 Basic Handsets, 20 Executive Handsets, 2 Operator Consoles, 2 Conference Handsets
    • World Headquarters: 250 handsets, 75 lines, inbound/outbound calling, voice mail, unified messaging, all lines with Direct Inward Dialing (DID), conference calling for 2 simultaneous groups of 15 participants.
    • Call Center #1: 1,120 handsets (1,120 human agents on duty), 1,000 lines inbound-only, 120 lines inbound/outbound, 20 of the in/outbound lines must be DID lines, announce that call may be recorded, give anticipated hold time, menu options to route call (specify if voice commands can be used, for example "say or press 1 now") inside the call center.
    • Factory #1: 100 handsets, 30 inbound/outbound lines, all DID, all voice mail.
    • Branch Office: 20 handsets, 10 lines inbound/outbound lines, all DID, all voice mail.
    • 5 Private residences: 1 handset, 1 inbound/outbound lines, DID, voice mail.
    • 5 Salespeople who use soft phones via a hotel high-speed Internet connection.
  • Phase 2. 9892 Basic Handsets, 80 Executive Handsets, 8 Operator Consoles, 20 Conference Handsets
    • World Headquarters: 1,000 handsets, 200 lines with all other specifications as in Phase 1 except increase conference calling to 10 simultaneous groups with up to 20 participants per group.
    • Call Center #1: 2,500 handsets (2,500 human agents on duty), 2,000 lines inbound only, 500 lines inbound/outbound, 100 of the in/outbound lines must be DID lines and all other specifications listed for Phase 1.
    • Call Center #2: 1,500 handsets (1,500 human agents on duty), 1,250 lines inbound only, 250 lines inbound/outbound, 50 of the in/outbound lines must be DID lines and all other specifications listed in Phase 1.
    • Factory #1: 600 handsets, 200 inbound/outbound lines, all DID, all voice mail.
    • Factory #2: 400 handsets, 135 inbound/outbound lines, all DID, all voice mail.
    • Factory #3: 200 handsets, 65 inbound/outbound lines, all DID, all voice mail.
    • 142 Branch Offices: 20 handsets, 10 lines inbound/outbound lines, all DID, all voice mail. (1 Branch Office has 10 handsets and 5 lines to make the number of total handsets 10,000.)
    • 50 Private Residences: 1 handset, 1 inbound/outbound lines, DID, voice mail.
    • 100 Salespeople who use soft phones via a hotel high-speed Internet connection.

  • What power standards (or developing standards) or protocols do you adhere to? For example, 802.3af.
  • Additional Features. What features, other than those detailed above, distinguish your handsets?
  • Suppliers. List third-party handsets that are compatible with your system. Be specific; more is better. 3. Call Processor Functionality
  • How many systems using which cards are necessary to support IP 1,500 handsets?
  • Describe how the system can be scaled up to 10,000 handsets.
  • Describe phone how phone management is distributed across the respective servers. Specifically:
    • Under what circumstances do you recommend concentrating all voice mail at a central location?
    • Under what circumstances do you recommend distributing voice mail to branch offices/remote factories?
    • Given that Industry Inc. wishes to consolidate as much telephone specific administration to the headquarters office, describe what services MUST be administered locally.

  • Do you provide Automatic Route Selection/Least Cost Routing?
  • Detail the pre- and post-sales traffic analysis tools including traffic reports and services that assist IT staff in designing:
    • Fail over routing plans
    • Determining factors such as BHCA (Busy Hour Call Attempts), BHCC (Busy Hour Call Completions), CPS (Calls per second).
    • Capacity planning for future growth

  • What parameters can be taken into account when sampling traffic load to determine offered and carried load?
  • How many classes of service do you provide for Toll Restriction?
  • Can your equipment provide classes of service based on a PIN number?
  • Can you restrict individual numbers from being called?
  • If call quality on the IP network degrades, what options are available to put calls through on the traditional telephone network? 4. Access to PSTN
  • Describe the equipment necessary to provide digital access for 150 outgoing lines to the Public Switched Telephone Network in the case that 1,500 IP handsets are in use.
  • Describe the equipment necessary to provide digital access for 750 lines to the Public Switched Telephone Network in the case that 10,000 IP handsets are in use. Describe the equipment necessary to provide digital access for 150 incoming lines for DID service in the case that 1,500 IP handsets are in use. Describe the equipment necessary to provide digital access for 750 incoming lines for DID service in the case that 10,000 IP handsets are in use.
  • Explain how the Call Processor is integrated with the PBX.
  • Can multiple PBX servers equally share multiple Call Processors?
  • Can individual trunk groups transparently span multiple Call Processors? 5. Integrated Messaging--Integrated messaging allows an e-mail client to retrieve voice mail, faxes and paged messages from a voice mail system. Integrated messaging can also mean that voice mail can retrieve e-mail and other text-based information from the system using text-to-voice technology.
  • Use a diagram to demonstrate the connection of your voice mail system to an e-mail system. Explain what is necessary for the e-mail client and server software to retrieve voice mail messages. Also explain, if applicable, how your voice mail system can retrieve e-mail text.
  • List the e-mail systems that integrate with your product.
  • How does your voice mail system generate subject lines for the e-mail system? 6. Telecommuting
  • Describe any features oriented to telecommuting or traveling employee that enable them to have an "in the office" telephone experience from home or a hotel room with Internet access.
  • How are these services secured? 7. Network bandwidth and protocol support
  • Provide the amount of peak bandwidth necessary per phone per call between the handset and Call Processor.
  • List and detail any networking services that must be implemented, such as DHCP, DNS etc.
  • List and detail the QoS standards supported by the handsets, Call Processor, gateways, network switches, other network equipment and other end nodes, where applicable, that ensure end-to-end voice service priority. Explain how the components implement QoS standards such as 802.1p, DiffServ, ToS, RSVP. 8. Call Accounting Features--Describe, or show an example of the following features:
  • SMDR (Station Message Detail Recording)
  • Busy reports on outbound trunk groups
  • Busy reports on incoming trunk groups
  • Usage reports base upon PIN or account numbers
  • Other reporting capabilities 9. Voice Mail Integration--List the features that allow voice mail vendors to integrate with your platform. List any voice mail vendors that have a special relationship with your platform. 10. APIs and Partnerships--List APIs and third-party products and services that are currently available for your VoIP telephone system. 11. Work in any office--Describe how your system allows employees to work in any available office (sometimes called "hoteling"). 12. Standards--List all significant standards that are currently supported by your VoIP telephone system. Describe the ability of your VoIP telephone system to support SIP (Session Internet Protocol), MGCP (Media Gateway Control Protocol) and related MEGACO, other significant protocols and standards. 13. Desk dialing--Describe the integration between desktop office productivity applications such as Word/Outlook and the telephone system so that employees (who are not in a call center) can dial numbers from a contact manager index.
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