Vendor Selection for Amber Infrastructure Limited

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Amber Infrastructure, an international fund and asset management company with offices in London, Germany, California, New York and Australia wanted to upgrade its accounting system and wider file server infrastructure. The existing solution was housed in servers in a UK data center that were accessible but nearing end-of-life. Three incumbent suppliers were providing aspects of the current solution and there had been service issues so it was important to strike the right balance and give overall responsibility to the most appropriate provider. Our team was engaged to provide subject matter expertise and governance for the selection process that had to provide a defensible, objective recommendation. The new solution had to deliver on flexibility, improved performance, user experience and all aspects of security and resilience. The decision also had the potential to signal a move to Cloud computing although there was trepidation within the organization.

Selection Process

The first project meeting changed the complexion of the process with one of the incumbents, with more of an IT support focus, being discounted. That left a Cloud solution against a colocated option. The colocated option, essentially a like for like replacement, was being offered by a Cloud computing heavyweight. Our consultants advised that they should be invited to propose a Cloud solution for balance.

We worked with the Amber team to prepare a weighted set of selection criteria that we built into a live spreadsheet. This remained flexible as we always try to let each vendor play to its strengths so that no key differentiators are missed. The vendors were then invited to present live to a panel of consultants and client representatives. While our team completed the post-presentation review, the vendors were invited to make their final bid submissions including commercial details.

On receipt of the RFP submissions, our consultants met with the Amber team in a plenary session to assess whether a decision could be made based on the information received. There was a consensus that one of the Cloud offerings stood out. It had presented the most immediate improvements, the most compelling vision of project delivery and a relevant roadmap for future innovation. The vendor in question had consistently responded to Amber’s needs and concerns, including those around security and continuity, and also had a more comprehensive service solution to suit a geographically distributed client organization. It should be noted that the selected option was not the cheapest but it was the most “fit for purpose” and represented the best value.

Project Conclusion

By providing objective, external expertise. JP Reis can help companies reach defensible decisions that follow the most applicable technology strategies. In this case, despite concerns about security with the Cloud offerings, our analysis showed conclusively that they were the more secure options in this scenario.
We provided Amber with a copy of the selection analysis, along with meeting notes and a timeline of decision making, to support a formal written recommendation report which was also provided in an abridged presentation style format. The Project Sponsor, Daniel Brook thanked the JP Reis team for its efforts and said we had been a pleasure to work with.

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