An RFP for an end-user network access control solution should be guided by knowledge of the types of laptops, handhelds and PCs that are already in use, combined with a thorough assessment of the capabilities of the existing network infrastructure. A solution should work with all end-user devices and fill in any security gaps that arent covered by installed network equipment. Here are some RFP questions that IT managers should ask to start the procurement process off on the right foot.
* How does your product work? Is it an enterprise security suite to control end-user device access to protected network resources? Can it handle the number and type of each end-user device in the network—for example, 10,000 laptop computers running Windows XP SP2?
* What are your subscription costs? Many of the end-user access control solutions eWEEK Labs has seen provide for either anti-virus or anti-spyware protection on a monthly subscription basis.
* What are your yearly maintenance costs for the software/ hardware that provides the primary access control functions?
* What costs are associated with implementation?
* Are ongoing training or professional services available? Can daily operation of the product be fine-tuned to an organizations unique needs?
* Is there a user group or user conference focused on the product? Is there an active online support forum? Look for paid, peer-oriented support options to help with best-use questions.
* Does the product integrate with other end-user device management tools? With what inventory and license management products does it integrate?
* Does the product integrate with user authorization, authentication and accounting systems already used in network access?
* Does it integrate with VPN technology? With SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) or IP Security-based tools already used to control network access?
* Must agents be installed on the end-user device? IT managers should understand that agents add maintenance costs to the solution.