Request for Proposal (RFP) For It Services & Support

Organization: International Treatment Preparedness Coalition
Closing date: 31 May 2022
  1. Purpose

ITPC is conducting a competitive search for proposals from qualified IT-focused companies or individual contractors to provide a full range of IT support services for the organisation. The vendor will provide the necessary technical services that will enable ITPC to:

· Ensure the efficient operation of computer systems and data processing networks for all staff, whether located in the home office, working from international locations, or telecommuting.

· Minimize spending and maximize the return on investment for expenditures on technology support.

· Enhance the quality of IT support service for ITPC IT users.

· Enhance the security of ITPC computer system infrastructure.

The ideal vendor will resolve operating system, application, software and other IT related issues in accordance with standard and acceptable maintenance and IT support benchmarks. The successful vendor will be expected to implement and maintain a help desk service that efficiently and consistently responds to the needs of ITPC staff, ensuring that there is no significant computer downtime during working hours for staff based in different time zones currently (Africa, United States, and Europe). The ideal vendor will have the capacity to provide remote support as needed. The vendor is expected to report on the status of IT issues and communicate effectively with ITPC staff.

It is the intent of this RFP to secure competitive proposals for the provision IT services across the countries of ITPC operations. ITPC contemplates awarding a vendor a fixed priced contract for one year with an option for two additional years of service, contingent upon satisfactory performance during the first year.

2. About ITPC

ITPC is a worldwide network of community activists united by our vision of a longer, healthier, more productive life for people living with HIV. ITPC’s mission is to enable communities in need to access HIV treatment. ITPC was formed in 2003 at a historic meeting of 125 HIV treatment activists, mostly from the global south, that took place in Cape Town, South Africa. In 2016, ITPC registered as a not-for-profit organisation incorporated under the Companies Act of South Africa. For more information about us, please visit https://www.itpcglobal.org

3. Current IT Environment at ITPC

Currently, ITPC does not have a dedicated in-house or outsourced IT function. There are two primary departments at ITPC: Programs, Finance. These departments use different applications, hosted by different service providers. Data back-ups, active directory, networks and internet connectivity are also managed by different service providers.

4. Background

The ITPC home office is in Johannesburg, South Africa, though most work remotely. ITPC currently has 19 employees, 10 in South Africa, 8 in other African or European countries and one in the United states. The majority of staff are on the South Africa time zone, or within one hour of it. The exception is our US-based staff member who is on Pacific Standard Time.

5. SCOPE OF WORK

The appointed service provider must provide services for the entire IT Function. The appointed IT service provider will maintain all IT systems at ITPC in accordance with best international standards and ITPC IT policies. ITPC is looking for a service provider that will offer a consistently high level of IT customer service, maintenance, and support. ITPC expects the service provider proposal to define, in detail, the approach to be used to service and improve existing computer system infrastructure and meet future needs in a cost-effective manner. Each proposal should take into consideration the following key requirement areas (See i to x of this section); and each service provider must be equipped to meet each requirement area.

i. Initial Assessment

Compile/update inventory of all information technology related assets, assess system architecture and current processes and make recommendations for improved organization-wide IT system performance. A report of this initial assessment will be submitted by November 1, of each year while the contract is in force. This is to allow for necessary budget planning for the upcoming year.

ii. Windows Desktop/Laptop and Mac Application Support

Perform basic support functions including installing software for all staff as required, laptop set-up, printers and peripherals for staff based in South Africa, office automation software; diagnose and correct desktop/laptop/Mac application problems, configure Macs, laptops and desktops for standard applications and identify and correct end user hardware problems; identify and correct user hardware problems for staff based in South Africa; perform advanced troubleshooting as needed; maintain an up-to-date inventory of all computer related hardware to make available to ITPC Operations staff upon request; and implementation of HELP Desk support to be utilized as needed. Assist designated staff with software and hardware purchases. Assist in development of IT and software/hardware policies and procedures as needed.

iii. Server and Workstation Administrative Services

Manage computer systems and networks to include complex applications, databases, messaging, web and other cloud servers and associated hardware, software, communications, operating systems necessary to maintain the quality, security, performance, availability, recoverability, and reliability of the system.

Ensure that scheduled preventive maintenance for IT equipment is properly and promptly performed; and ensure maintenance of records for all HELP Desk tickets for both onsite visits and telephone/remote support. Keep maintenance records on all computer equipment; and ensure quality assurance and backup plans and procedures are being followed. Provide configuration management, including changes, upgrades, patches, etc. are maintained. Provide support for software products relating to servers and workstations. Provide a timely response to the user(s) for repair and maintenance. Develop operations, administrative, and quality assurance back-up plans and procedural documentation. Help ensure management of user logins and security and ensure said information is properly documented. Help set upnew users, induction and edit or remove existing users on server/application etc. The vendor will provide server performance and capacity management services with reporting when specified thresholds are reached in addition to configuration management, including changes, upgrades, patches, etc. Provide implementation, training, and support of a shared document platform to ITPC staff. Provide support to specialized software products used by ITPC as it relates to the server(s) and associated hardware. Coordinate related repair and maintenance work with contracted repair vendors and ensure repairs are conducted in a timely fashion.

iv. Email, Security and Backup Efforts

Maintenance of ITPC email accounts using the ITPC domain, adding, changing, and/or deleting employee accounts as requested. Lists serve management and support. Maintenance of virus/malware detection and spam reduction programs on ITPC server, email and all ITPC Windows desktops and laptops as well as Macs. Perform security audits as requested including notification of suspected breaches of security to ITPC’s designated staff as required. Configure ITPC system to enable remote access in a secure environment and provide remote access administration as requested by designated ITPC personnel.

v. Records and data management

Provide assistance in records and data key word searches through active and archived e-mail and network files of current and former employees. Preserve original metadata of e-mails and network files while saving contents to electronic files. Vendor must be knowledgeable in South African and International Public Record Laws including POPIA and GDPR.

vi. End User Training

Provide training for various technologies as needed.

vii. Help Desk Support

End user support must be timely, friendly, and professional. Ideally, urgent, and emergency support should be available 24/7/365. Routine support must be available Monday – Friday from 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. South Africa time.

viii. Strategic Planning

Engineering, planning, and design services for system enhancements, including installations and upgrades of new or existing systems. Examples include server upgrades, storage system upgrades, redesign of back-up systems, etc. Provide technical leadership for server technology issues. Make recommendations for future purchasing and technology needs. Install new servers, software and hardware and transfer data when acquired. Strategic planning, design, and installation/upgrade.

ix. Other General Requirements

In addition to the requirements outlined in sections i-vii of this RFP, the successful service provider will reflect a demonstrated ability to respond to staff requirements in the following areas:

· a strong understanding of the equipment and software needs of an international organization staff working remotely in different time zones and whose staff travel to different parts of the world and sometimes in developing countries, which have limited connectivity and under-developed computer technology.

· a strong understanding of possible software and app integration options to boost efficiency and cost-effectiveness e.g. possible Salesforce/Slack, Zoom/Outlook plugins

· An ability to research and identify software solutions that meet the needs of ITPC staff (e.g., online sharing, webinar system, etc).

· Provide technical guidance and support for videoconferencing platforms (for example Zoom, Teams & Skype).

· Identification and resolution of redundancies in ITPC current computer system environment

· Provide expert input as ITPC develops an IT manual for new and existing staff summarising best practices

· Effective communication with staff to keep them updated on the progress of troubleshooting issues.

x. Not Included

The contract to be awarded does not obligate ITPC to purchase computer equipment, hardware devices, licenses, software etc. from the successful vendor. Replacement parts are not part of this contract. The scope also does not include computer equipment and networks not owned by ITPC.

6. PERIOD OF PERFORMANCE

ITPC-Global is looking to start the contract on 1 June/July 2022. ITPC contemplates the award of a firm fixed-priced contract for one base year with an option for two additional years of service contingent upon performance during the first year.

7. OTHER CONSIDERATIONS

The vendor should document their experience related to IT Services in the International non-profit vertical market.

How to apply:

1. RFP SUBMISSION REQUIREMENTS

a) Cover Letter – to contain the following:

· Company/Individual name, address, and telephone number.

· Briefly state your understanding of the services to be performed and make a positive commitment to provide the services as specified. Summarize your proposal and your firm’s qualifications.

· Statement indicating the proposal and cost schedule will be valid and binding for ninety days following the proposal due date and will become part of the contract that is negotiated with ITPC.

b) Background Information – to contain the following:

· Length of time in business providing similar services.

· Total number of clients and clients with similar IT operations

· Total number of non-profit clients

· Staff Resources – Identify names of principals and key personnel who will provide the information technology services. Summarize the experience and technological expertise of these staff. Describe the role and responsibilities that each of these individuals will have. The local availability of staff that will be providing these services will be an important consideration.

c) Statement of Work: Describe how your company proposes to provide the services listed in the scope of services by addressing each section i-vii above including your scope of services along with proposal for providing on-going support.

d) Pricing

· The proposal must contain a fee schedule that includes the total fees on an annual basis, and monthly retainer of hourly rates for the proposed services.

· Describe how your services are priced and any specific pricing you can provide.

· Define any additional charges.

· Describe the extent, limits, and deductibles of your business insurance; and any additional warranties that you will provide.

e) Conflict of Interest

· State whether you or your company or any individual within your company represents any clients or interests that may create an actual or potential conflict in the performance of services for ITPC. Please include any additional information as an attachment.

· Please include a statement to the effect that, at the time your company is selected by ITPC, if any facts are known or come to light which create an actual or potential conflict that information will be fully disclosed in writing to ITPC. Also, please describe your company’s policies or procedures for avoiding ethical or conflicts of interest violations.

f) References: Please provide a minimum of three references, preferably other non-profit organizations of like size and scope to ITPC. Provide the name, title, address, and telephone number for each reference. Please provide information referencing the actual services provided, customer size (number of users), and the length of tenure providing services to this client.

2. CRITERIA FOR SELECTION

The evaluation of each response to this RFP will be based on the requirements set out in the solicitation and any addenda thereto. At the sole discretion of ITPC, the top proposals may be selected for follow-up questions or to provide an oral presentation.

The following weighting and points will be assigned to the proposal for evaluation purposes:

Experience of the expert / company – including bios of the experts providing support:

· Demonstrated ability to provide high quality help desk support to ITPC staff

· Demonstrated ability to plan and implement IT support program at an ITPC size and scope.

· Assist ITPC in achieving cost-efficiencies for its IT support needs.

· Maintain continuity in personnel assigned to ITPC.

· Ability to pro-actively anticipate IT needs for the institution

50%

50 points

Clarity of proposal and plan

10%

10 points

Price for services & deliverables: Provide competitively priced IT support

30%

30 points

References

10%

10 points

TOTAL

100 POINTS

ITPC reserves the right to award the contract to the organization or consultant whose proposal is deemed to be in the best interest of ITPC. ITPC will not award a contract to any bidder where there is a lack of business integrity.

3. TERMS AND CONDITIONS

  1. The Request for Proposal is not and shall not be considered an offer by ITPC.

  2. All responses must be received on or before the date and time indicated on the RFP.

  3. All unresponsive offers will be rejected.

  4. All proposals will be considered binding offers. Prices proposed must be valid for entire period provided by respondent.

  5. All awards will be subject to ITPC contractual terms and conditions and contingent on the availability of donor funding.

  6. ITPC reserves the right to accept or reject any proposal or cancel the solicitation process at any time and shall have no liability to the proposing organizations submitting proposals for such rejection or cancellation of the request for proposals.

  7. ITPC reserves the right to accept all or part of the proposal when award is provided.

  8. All information provided by ITPC in this RFP is offered in good faith. Individual items are subject to change at any time, and all bidders will be provided with notification of any changes. ITPC is not responsible or liable for any use of the information submitted by bidders or for any claims asserted therefrom.

  9. ITPC reserves the right to require any bidder to enter into a non-disclosure agreement.

  10. The bidders are solely obligated to pay for any costs, of any kind whatsoever, which may be incurred by bidder or any third parties, in connection with the Response. All responses and supporting documentation shall become the property of ITPC, subject to claims of confidentiality in respect of the response and supporting documentation, which have been clearly marked confidential by the bidder.

  11. Bidders are required to identify and disclose any actual or potential conflict of interest.

4. SCHEDULE OF EVENTS

  1. Questions regarding this request may be addressed in writing to and sent to finance@itpcglobal.org and must be received no later than 5pm SAT 15 May 2022.

  2. 31 May 2022: Proposals in response to the RFP should be addressed to the finance@itpcglobal.org and must be received no later than 5pm SAT.

  3. June/July, 2022: anticipated Contract Start Date

Note: Please note that this is a re-advertisement. Do not re-apply if you have already submitted a proposal.

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