Yates' column: Love me tender

Hey boss, it's about time we upgraded this network! You want me to design it? No way! I'm only getting $200K a year. I'm certainly not going to put my neck on the block by designing a new network that might not work. I'll go to tender!

The vendors can all spend $400K of their money, then I'll pick the one I was always going to buy. If the whole thing turns out to be a crock of shit, I can say it wasn't my fault. I went to tender!

Is there really any value left in the entire tender process when it comes to IT purchasing? This tender thing was invented by the government to stop public servants being open to bribes and cosy relationships.

Most of the tendering was to build a new facility or a new submarine or something very expensive.

However, those projects are usually already designed by the buyer -- they just want people to tell them how much it will cost to actually build it.

In the world of IT the private sector is well and truly on the bandwagon with the public sector when it comes to tender warfare. And hardly ever do we see vendors just being asked to provide the price of the building blocks to suit the new design.

Nowadays senior IT executives seem willing to abrogate their responsibility to actually know what they require, by asking the vendors to tender the whole project.

No wonder that a lot of vendors are squealing about the expense, particularly when only one of them can win.

Isn't it about time that IT users relearned their design skills and started an open process of negotiating with the known vendors who can offer the needed products?

Do you really think that there is a network vendor that nobody has ever heard of that is going to magically appear if you go to tender? And what is the chance of you actually buying anything from them, given that your project is big enough to consider a tender in the first place? Zero.

You're going to be buying from the big boys, so why don't you sit down with them and nut out who has the best price performance and buy the stuff.

Then have the courage to install it to your own design and earn your salary. For a change.

Love me tender, yes I do, and I always will. With apologies to the King. Yates@idg.com.au is where you'll find me.

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