1 DATE: July 2, 2013 TO: FROM: RE: All Prospective Proposers Alicia Hopkins Senior Buyer, Information Technology Solicitation Data Strategy Assessment Q&A Addendum dated 07/02/13 The following amends the above referenced Solicitation documents. 1. Questions from Potential Proposing Firms: A. What are the Data Strategy or Master Data Management (MDM) tools currently being utilized? (ex: Hyperion, Cognos, etc) UMUC employs the following technical stack to support our business intelligence initiatives: Oracle Exadata, Oracle Data Integrator, Oracle Streams and SAP Business Objects 4.0 Suite. B. What Data Base platforms are being utilized? (ex: Oracle, SQL Server, etc.) UMUC leverages Oracle 11gR2 database in our data warehouse environments. C. From the Data Base platforms, what is the majority technology utilized? Please see UMUC s answers to questions A & B above. Page 1 of 9
2 D. Is there registration requirement(s)? Registration for submitting a response to this solicitation is not required. Proposal submission is open to all respondents. E. Does the $100,000 not to exceed limit include Travel cost? Yes. F. Will there be travel to more than one primary site? Yes. Consultants will be expected to attend meetings in both our Adelphi and Largo, Maryland campuses. Travel time between offices is 20 minutes. G. Will the consultants identified in our proposal need to be on-site at UMUC for the majority of the project? Will tele-commuting be permitted? Consultants are expected to be on-site for the project kick-off, stakeholder interviews, deliverable review meetings and for other specific milestones. Consultants can work remotely during project while working on deliverables or while not otherwise engaged with UMUC staff. Please indicate your desired onsite/off-site schedule in your proposal. H. How much importance will be given to the preference for experience performing similar work at state of Maryland higher education institutions? Paragraph 6.4 Past Experience is an evaluation factor used to measure how well the contractor performed same or similar services in the past. This factor is equally weighted to the factors listed in Section 6 of the Solicitation. Page 2 of 9
3 I. Is there a specific time window that this work is expected to be completed by? We look for the timeline to be defined in the project proposal. Our expectation is that this assessment can be completed in 3 months or less but will look for validation in the project proposals. J. There are a number of individuals and stakeholders that could be part of each of the departments listed in Can you please list the number of existing stakeholders that will represent PME, AA, and Business Operations for the analysis of the current state and ideal future state business strategy discussions? For the purposes of the proposal, please assume that there are 15 stakeholders that will represent UMUC in these discussions. K. It is mentioned that the roles to implement the proposed data strategy must map to the "four" key responsibilities. Can you please clarify what the "four" key responsibilities are? Data Governance, Performance Metrics, Analytics Roadmap and Privacy & Security. L. Please confirm that UMUC is looking only for the components and framework of a data governance program, and not the full detailed execution plan of a Data Governance Initiative at this time. UMUC is looking for a data governance program framework not a full detailed execution plan. The framework should be specific to UMUC and consider our unique organizational structure, our business strategy and top line drivers within the higher education industry. Page 3 of 9
4 M. Are there any specific state, federal, etc. laws and regulations that UMUC is required to comply with in regard to privacy and/or data security? Yes. Vendors should be familiar with The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). This is the piece of legislation that governs how the University handles student data. Please also review sections 6 and 7 on pages of the sample contract provided in the Solicitation. N. When UMUC mentions "prioritize", it is referring to a business priority which is based on business value alone. This priority would not include the level of effort to complete the work as that will not be defined at this stage. Can UMUC confirm this? Prioritization should first consider alignment to our business strategy but also provide commentary on the level of effort and complexity of the initiative. O. Is there a priority order of which departments should be the initial focus for this effort? UMUC is looking for an overall assessment so all departments need to be considered however departments focused on new student enrollment, retention and student success will be a specific area of focus. P. In [Section] [of UMUC Solicitation 91127,] UMUC asks for the consultancy to document the business strategy for each area. Has UMUC formulated these strategies, or is part of the project facilitating the strategy development process? Yes. UMUC has drafted strategic priorities for the next 2-4 years and that can be used as an input to this project. Consultants will not need to facilitate the strategy development process. Q. In [Section] [of UMUC Solicitation 91127], is the list of schools, units and functional areas comprehensive, or are there other areas in scope of the assessment? Page 4 of 9
5 The list is comprehensive. PME, Academic Affairs and Business Operations are the top line departments that represent the scope of this assessment. These departments each support multiple functional areas that will need to be reviewed. R. What metrics are already in place? How are they being used? There are many enrollment metrics that are in place today and supported by the data warehouse. In flight are initiatives to build out Marketing (conversion funnel), Retention, Financial and Learner Engagement metrics. These projects are in various states but a lion s share of the work will be completed by early fall In addition, there are many operational metrics pulled directly from the source systems. S. What are the underlying business applications from which UMUC will derive data/metrics? The primary systems are listed below: PeopleSoft Campus Solutions Student Information System PeopleSoft Financials General Ledger Goldmine to Salesforce (conversion) Customer Relationship Management (CRM) WebTycho to Desire2Learn (conversion) Learning Management System (LMS) In addition, there are external data that is used in reporting. Some examples are media data from our marketing agency and transfer data from the National Student Clearinghouse. Page 5 of 9
6 T. Is there a preferred platform for ongoing data aggregation, metrics management, reporting, dash boarding? UMUC intends to use its existing business intelligence platform for the foreseeable future (outlined in questions A. & B. above) unless a gap in capabilities is identified during this assessment. U. How does UMUC envision engaging stakeholders during this process? UMUC has leveraged face to face interviews and surveys to engage stakeholders for similar assessment projects but we look for best practices and your thoughts on how to most effectively engage stakeholders in your proposal. V. What is UMUC s expectation regarding the timeline for this project? Is there a date that project needs to be completed to support other efforts? Please see UMUC s answer to question I above. W. In Section 6.4 [of UMUC Solicitation 91127] Past Performance, the solicitation appears to require that the awarded firm needs to have performed similar work for other State of Maryland Higher Educational Programs. Can UMUC explain the rationale for this requirement? Will the state consider removing this requirement from the solicitation? Past performance is evaluated to determine how well a prospective vendor performs same or similar services. If the respondent is a new vendor with no past performance, this factor will receive a neutral rating, or not be scored at all. Because it is an important factor for us to evaluate, it cannot be removed. Page 6 of 9
7 X. Can UMUC elaborate on any preclusion from other opportunities that may arise from the performance of this data strategy assessment? There are no preclusions. Y. Section [of UMUC Solicitation 91127] Can you elaborate on UMUCenvisioned activities in order to document the UMUC business strategies for the PME, AA and Business Ops departments, as well as the state of any preexisting documentation? We seek additional information in order to better understand the needed level of effort. We agree that these business strategies should be critical inputs into the data strategy assessment and roadmap effort. Heavy documentation, facilitation, consensus building and other activities towards this area, in order to achieve signoff on documented business strategies, could consume time that should be devoted to the primary data strategy assessment and roadmap effort. UMUC has drafted strategic priorities for the next 2-4 years and that can be used as an input to this project. Consultants will not need to facilitate the strategy development process. Z. Section [of UMUC Solicitation 91127] Are there any organizational roles already defined around the security and privacy requirement for the three departments? If yes, to what degree? There is a security framework in place and administered by the Institutional Research team. Organization roles are loosely defined. As part of this assessment we look for recommendations to formalize these roles and extend the security framework to other departments. Page 7 of 9
8 AA. Section [of UMUC Solicitation 91127] Is there a data governance framework in existence today? If a framework already exists, are there UMUC-known issues or risks that require setting up a new or modified governance framework? There is no formal data governance program in place today. The Institutional Research team maintains tight control and definition around external metrics for mandatory Federal and State reporting. BB. Section [of UMUC Solicitation 91127] The deliverable described in this section appears to require deep understanding of UMUC business processes in order to assess the capability of the organization/departments to calculate and measure identified metrics. Please comment on the level of understanding required and UMUC s expectations on such capability assessments. UMUC expects the vendor to have previous experience in these types of assessments and to come up to speed quickly. A strong understanding of UMUC business processes and strategies are required and this should be built into your proposal. CC. Section [of UMUC Solicitation 91127] - Are there other efforts underway to modify any of the critical systems and applications being used by departments that would impact the current data being captured as well as the overall data strategy? Yes. We are currently undergoing system conversions to upgrade our CRM and LMS systems. See UMUC s answer in 1.S. Page 8 of 9
9 DD. Overall Solicitation Will there be follow on work for an outside consulting firm associated with the execution of the data strategy and roadmap? Not able to answer this at this time. Proposals must be submitted to: Alicia Hopkins Senior Buyer, Information Technology Arza Gardner Director, Technology Procurement Late proposals cannot be accepted. Page 9 of 9
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