Frequently Asked Questions: Communications Category

General FAQs

What types of communications services are included in the Request for Proposals (RFP)?

In order to create a best-in-class partnership, this RFP process will identify a potential communications provider that can support multiple services. Examples of services we are exploring include: a state-of-the-art primary voice services platform; cellular services and distributed antenna systems; wi-fi technology refresh; a campus phone store; Internet Protocol Television (IPTV); and Metro Ethernet Services to connect off-campus buildings to the campus.

The communications working group will determine specific services as they continue to work  through the RFP process.

Why is the university doing this now?

Information Services and Technology (IST)’s current purchasing model is based on a disaggregated approach. IST is seeking to maximize its purchasing power by collaborating with other campus entities to identify a comprehensive communications service partner that will provide long-term, mutually beneficial outcomes that extend beyond traditional transactional contracts.

By uniting efforts and taking a more strategic approach, IST and UPP can build stronger business relationships that leverage UC Berkeley’s collective size to provide additional benefits and services to the campus and deliver greater value to the potential partner.

Who is involved in reviewing RFPs?

Over 15 committee members have been involved, including faculty, staff and students drawn from: Information Services and Technology (IST), Graduate Assembly, Real Estate, College of Engineering, Student Technology Council, Department of Recreational Sports, Intercollegiate Athletics, Cal Alumni Association, Arts + Design, and the UC Berkeley Extension. This committee played an integral part of building the RFP and if a partner is selected, working group representatives will continue to provide input throughout the activation process and will assist in guiding these efforts to completion.

How has the communications working group ensured that the campus community’s concerns have been heard?

Working group members serve a variety of campus constituents, working with their respective groups and networks for feedback on potential partnerships during the RFP and negotiation process. Additionally, the ASUC Student Senate passed a bill that formalized student participation and feedback. This process allows for more student engagement and transparency.

What are the factors you will use to determine the appropriate vendor?

A key aspect of this proposal is ensuring that any agreement is aligned with our values as a public university and is sensitive to the concerns and needs of the campus community. Respondents to the RFP provide answers to a thorough set of qualifying questions that align with the values and mission of the university, as well as scoring criteria crafted by the working group as part of the RFP process.

The communications working group is using this criteria, in addition to extensive in-person and written interviews with respondents, to score the proposals based on categories such as: communications services; total revenue and cost; campus engagement and development; innovation; real estate; corporate social responsibility; student engagement and enhancements for the educational experience of UC Berkeley students, including scholarships, internships, recruiting, and mentoring; community benefits to students, faculty, staff and alumni; and additional considerations for other university partners and the UC System.

What does this mean for existing telecommunications suppliers across campus?

The university currently has contracts with many communications suppliers across campus. While a goal of this agreement is to streamline supplier management and the total number of suppliers, specific terms for any partnership with a preferred communications partner will be developed through the working group and UPP advisory committees.

Where will the campus see the presence of the preferred vendor?

The communications working group will continue to identify potential opportunities for a communications provider to integrate products and/or services that address the needs of the campus community. The campus is in the process of determining specific elements in collaboration with the communications working group, UPP Advisory committee and other campus partners.

Specific opportunities will be discussed, and carefully evaluated by the faculty, staff and students on the communications working group to ensure they are in the best interest of the campus community. During the RFP and negotiation process, the communications working group will work with the potential partner to finalize terms and contractual elements that will be formally presented to the UPP Advisory Committee. Recommended partnerships need to be approved by both the advisory and finance committees prior to a final announcement.

When will the university announce its decision?

The communications working group, which is comprised of students, faculty, and staff, began reviewing proposals and presentations received after the 90-day RFP proposal submission deadline of June 22, 2016. A second submission from potential partners was reviewed in January 2017. We expect the working group to have a decision made during the Fall of 2017.

To ensure a fair and competitive bidding process, members of the communications working group cannot meet with potential partners and/or discuss proposals with the public while the RFP process is underway.