Overwhelmed by the RFP Process? Simplify Your Life with Our Sourcewell Contract

Work for a government, education, or nonprofit agency? You can choose between two options when you’re ready to purchase a communications system — both of which will satisfy your bid requirements:

  1. Request for Proposal (RFP)
  2. Sourcewell Contract Purchasing

Why Do Bid Requirements Exist?

Every publicly funded agency must put projects up for bid to provide companies with equal opportunity to win the agency’s business in a standardized format to ensure fairness. Agencies must also use the bidding process to document how they spend the funds they’re being given. The most common method for doing this has traditionally been an RFP. But depending on your needs, Mitel’s Sourcewell cooperative purchasing contract may be a better alternative.

Though the traditional RFP process was designed with good intentions, it can present some purchasing challenges for government, education, and nonprofit agencies.

First, RFPs can limit the quality of responses you receive (not necessarily the quantity). Responding to RFPs is time-consuming, so it can cause the following:

  • Best agencies choose not to respond.
  • Businesses only respond if they see a significant benefit and/or a high chance of winning the bid.
  • Those that do respond put little energy into their proposal.

Second, and more importantly, this process is very time-consuming for agencies going out to bid. In a standard RFP process, each agency will typically go through the following steps:

  1. Identify potential providers
  2. Develop equipment and service specifications
  3. Create and advertise RFP
  4. Receive responses to RFP
  5. Evaluate proposals
  6. Award lowest bid
  7. Offer a protest period
  8. Have equipment delivered and installed
  9. Review and maintain the contract throughout its term

At a minimum, the RFP process takes three to six months but usually takes six to nine months from RFP build to installation. And even after all that, the way the RFP process is designed means there is no way to guarantee you will get the products or services that best suit your needs. Factors like cheap hardware and contract structuring barely related to your core needs may skew the final decision.

The Sourcewell Alternative

Sourcewell contracts eliminate these RFP challenges. They take the burden of RFPs off government, education, and nonprofit agencies. Sourcewell is a government agency that conducts its own rigorous RFP process and awards a vendor a national contract. Since the RFP work is already done, agencies can purchase communication technology outright through a Sourcewell contract, saving months, words, and uncertainty.

If you’re interested in a Mitel communication system, you’re in luck — Sourcewell has awarded Mitel a communications solutions vendor contract.

The purchasing process and timeline are significantly reduced using Sourcewell cooperative contracts. Instead of the time-consuming, nine-step process listed above, you only need to complete four steps:

  1. Become a member of Sourcewell (if you aren’t already)
  2. Get in contact with TCI to determine your specific phone system needs
  3. Indicate that you want Sourcewell pricing for procurement
  4. Coordinate with TCI for design, installation, and implementation.

Reach out today. We’ll step you through your options. Contact TCI at (703) 321-3030 or

Attn. Nonprofits… 4 Things to Prioritize in Your Communications Solution

Nonprofits are built on connections from donors to community members, board members to beneficiaries, and staff to clients.

Whether large or small, saving the environment or helping those in need, a nonprofit’s everyday operations hinge on its ability to link staff, volunteers, and the community. It’s vital to have seamless communication at every level to ensure mission success.

TCI supports leading associations and nonprofits across the DC region.

We recognize nonprofits have unique needs, and their communication solutions should reflect that. Here are 4 key requirements that should go into nonprofit communications systems…

1. Budget-friendly

Many nonprofits operate on shoestring budgets, dedicating their limited resources to those most in need. Cost efficiency is high on the list of priorities, so they’re looking to get the highest return on whatever they invest in their organization.

Often, nonprofits can only afford to update one operation element at a time. They may have the funds to update their phone system but still rely on their existing computers or vice versa.

Nonprofits also require multipurpose, budget-friendly solutions. Integrated technology that combines several functions in one easy-to-use package gives staff more tools to work with and less hassle.

2. Reliable

Nonprofits are often busiest in times of crisis. Whether they offer food and shelter after an emergency or provide guidance for those navigating financial difficulties, representatives must be a calming presence when their clients need them the most.

Nothing is more frustrating than waiting in a call center queue for hours only to have the line cut out or bounced from agent to agent while your case is processed. With clients and donors often revealing sensitive information, they also want to be reassured their data is safe.

Often, nonprofits serve an expanded client base with only their original, limited resources. This can lead to a frustrating disconnect between donors, workers, and the people they serve. Nonprofit staff and the people they help deserve the best communications systems so everyone can get the help they need.

3. Flexible

The people who run nonprofits often wear many hats: the executive director may double as the face of public relations; the finance manager might also hand out donations and plan events; the head of marketing could very well be the IT guru. Everyone pitches in and does what they need for the sake of the organization’s mission.

These multitasking heroes need their communications solutions to be as modern and flexible as they are. Whether they’re coordinating fundraising events from their office or conducting research in the field, they must be able to connect seamlessly no matter where they’re based.

Modern collaboration apps put teamwork in the palm of your hand – or on your mobile phone, laptop, desk phone, or tablet. With the ability to instant message, video chat, share documents, and route calls, nonprofit staff can deliver better client experiences and increase productivity.

4. Easy to Use

The average schedule in a nonprofit is packed. With their days devoted to service, staff doesn’t always have the time for complicated training or inefficient interfaces.

TCI’s Commitment to Nonprofits

Like nonprofit organizations, TCI is dedicated to improving the local communities we serve through technology that supports connections and collaboration. Our locally supported solutions support nonprofits so they can focus on fulfilling their essential missions.

Are You Exploiting Sourcewell’s Discounts for Telecom Solutions? Learn more

TCI’s affordable communications solutions can improve connections between your staff, donors, and clients. Contact us today at (703) 321-3030 or