Welcome! Information on the 2014 Request for Bid for the Alabama Community College System & Alabama Higher Education Joint Purchase Agreement is provided below.
October 4, 2013:
The Joint Purchase Agreement Steering Committee is pleased to invite qualified vendors the opportunity to respond to this Request for Bid.
The JPA is intended for the use of public higher education institutions in the state of Alabama for technology-related purchasing of goods and services. The Committee (made up of IT professionals at participating public institutions of higher education in Alabama) may choose to renew it for up to 2 additional 1-year-periods.
The bid opening will be held on Thursday, November 21, 2013 at 4:00 PM CST in the Board Room at the Alabama Center for Postsecondary Education (135 South Union Street, Fifth Floor, Montgomery, Alabama).
The information for the current (March 1, 2012 - February 28, 2014) contract has been moved.
To add your company to the notification list or to submit a question, please email Joint Purchase Notification.
Answers to sumbitted questions about the RFB will be posted on this page. The last day to submit questions is November 13, 2014.
Questions and Responses
Question: As a “Service Only” company am I required to have an ISO-9001 certification?
Answer: No. Paragraph 3.1. states that “ISO 9001 certification is only required for vendors who are providing hardware.”
Question: Is this JPA primarily for large vendors like Cisco, HP, Dell, Barracuda, etc., or can smaller organizations and resellers who provide these and other unique solutions participate?
Answer: The intent is for any “qualified technology equipment suppliers, distributors, and/or manufacturers” (Paragraph 1.1) to reply. Resellers, especially those who offer value added services, fit into that definition as a supplier or distributor and are actively encouraged to submit a response.
Question: As an Alabama based business we would like to respond to this RFB and name resellers in the state to fulfill the orders. Our reading of section 3.4 would prohibit us from doing this, as orders for our equipment are placed through resellers. Would it be acceptable for us to partner with 1 or more resellers and have them respond? Based on paragraph 3 in Section 1.1 it appears this acceptable, but the definition of “Vendor” in section 1.4 appears to indicate only manufactures can respond.
Answer: The intent of the bid is for any “qualified technology equipment suppliers, distributors, and/or manufacturers” (Paragraph 1.1) to reply and is much broader than just manufacturers. If a company does direct sales, then the company may respond to the bid. If your company does not allow for direct sales, then having authorized resellers respond to the bid on the company’s behalf is allowable.
Question: Will you accept a bid for refurbished networking equipment for Bid #ACCS-2014-01?
Answer: No. Paragraph 3.21 states that all equipment must be “new, never previously used.”
Question: As a reseller only, I do not have ISO 9001 certification, but the manufacturer for which I resell does. Can I provide proof of the manufacturer’s ISO 9001 certification?
Answer: Yes. All hardware manufacturers of products that you resell should be ISO 9001 certified.
Question: Please provide clarification to Section 3.16. What type of internet website is required, will the site need to be a B2B site, for quoting and ordering as well as configuration validation?
Answer: At a minimum, the site should maintain the ESS with current prices, configuration assistance, product descriptions and product specifications. Providing additional features of the website are the within the purview of the responding vendor.
Question: Please provide clarification to Section 3.21. Who is responsible for ensuring proper hardware is ready to be installed, including cabling and connectors, does this mean install items are available upon request of the end user, or is this a requirement of any and all hardware purchased to be included as a bundle?
Answer: Each school may have different requirements when it comes to a particular purchase or project. In some cases, the school may wish to have installation and in some cases they may not. Professional services, such as installation, may be included as optional services in your response, but are not required.
Question: Please provide clarification to Section 3.25. In reference to operating system is this to mean each hardware purchased must be shipped with an operating system included in the hardware price, or does it mean that we will supply a list of all operating systems which can be ordered additional for the hardware purchased?
Answer: You may supply a list of all operating systems which can be ordered additionally for the hardware.
Question: As a manufacturer who does not sell to College customers directly, would we be able to respond, and then assign a dealer or multiple dealers to fulfill the shipping and billing to the college customer on our behalf? We, as the manufacturer, would manage the contract and selling price.
Answer: Section 3.43 allows for the use of “subcontractors” but states that the “procuring entity payments for products or services shall be made directly to the vendor.” This means that you would have to fulfill billing obligations. If your company does not allow for direct sales, then having authorized resellers respond to the bid on the company’s behalf is allowable.
Question: Section 1.1 - This clause states that any four year institution who wishes to join during the life of this contract may be added as an eligible entity. Does this include private educational institutions and/or entities?
Answer: No, only public institutions may join.
Question: Section 3.38 - For clarity, promotional pricing, special educational discounts, or large order negotiated prices are unique/specific to a particular procuring entity based upon meeting specific criteria. The Vendor is not obligated to give procuring entities any special pricing or promotions. Any additional discounts offered are specific to the customer/project, and are not automatically afforded to other procuring entities. Please confirm.
Answer: True, promotional pricing, special discounts, or large-order negotiated prices that may be less than the prices in the ESS do not override ESS prices for all subsequent purchases. The prices listed in the ESS are the prices for other procuring entities.
Question: Section 3.4 - This clause does not allow resellers to take orders or receive payments directly from the procuring entities. Please clarify if we can add authorized resellers on this contract who can take orders and payments directly.
Answer: Under this clause, you are not allowed to add authorized resellers who can take orders and payments directly. However, section 3.13 allows for a vendor to submit “specific alternate language to the terms and conditions” with the caveat that “the System may or may not accept the alternative language.”