Request for Proposal for Micses maintenance, Support, and Enhancement

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Pre-Solicitation Meeting

Request for Proposal for MiCSES Maintenance, Support, and Enhancement

May 29, 2003

Ken Theis, Deputy Director, Department of Information Technology

Virginia Hambric, MiCSES Communications Coordinator, DIT

Geoff Ruonavaara, MiCSES Application Maintenance Manager, DIT

Sharon Pickett, Deputy Director, DMB Acquisition Services

Irene Pena, Buyer, DMB Acquisition Services

Melissa Castro, Buyer, DMB Acquisition Services

Introduction by Sharon Pickett:

The purpose of this meeting is for the State to share with prospective bidders our high level plan for a Request for Proposal (RFP) for maintenance, support, and enhancement of the Michigan Child Support Enforcement System (MiCSES). The State expects the MiCSES to meet federal certification requirements by September 30, 2003. We intend to award a Contract for the maintenance and support of the certified system. The Contract will also include provisions for enhancing the certified system to address user business needs, new state and federal requirements and to incorporate new technology as appropriate. We are interested in questions and feedback from our vendor community that will help us strengthen our Request for Proposal.

Overview of the MiCSES Project and RFP by Ken Theis:
Our intent with this project is to obtain federal certification by September 30, 2003 for both FSA88 and PRWORA. I am going to give you a little background on where I see this project today and where it will be in the next 4-5 months, and also how this impacts the RFP as we move forward.
As you may know next Monday, June 2, 2003 we go live with Region I, that adds 26 counties to our MiCSES application. And then in July we roll out with Region 2, August with Region 3, September 1st with Region 4 and at the end of September Region 5. June 16, 2003 the Federal Office of Child Support will be conducting their final functional review, which we intend to pass. We will also be completing our financial test desk in this time frame. The week of August 11, 2003, the Federal Office will make site visits to Wayne, Genesee and Oakland counties. That is the last part of our certification process.
If you take a look at what is in front of us I think it is important to note the major tasks to be performed by the Contractor within the RFP. We highlight seven (7) key areas. I think it is important to note that obviously federal certification is our absolutely key objective by September. But we have a very large amount of work in front of us. One of my major messages today is to tell you that certification for this technical organization is the start; it is not the end. We have a lot of work to get done in the next 2 –3 years with this application. With a timeline of this speed we have worked very closely with the stakeholders and they have given us some extreme latitude in pushing back some of the system enhancements and upgrades. As our current team will tell you, we have a very large backlog of system improvements/enhancements that need to be made. I would tell you that as we go through these seven different tasks very quickly, the next several years are going to be very challenging for this organization to meet the needs of the Office of Child Support. We highlight seven (7) major tasks in the RFP to be done by our vendors:

  1. Project Initiation/Transition. Transitioning from the current organization that is in place to the new organization.

  2. Project Management. The State intends to provide its Release Management and Project Management methodologies with the expectation that the vendor will adhere to these methodologies.

  3. Application Development and Maintenance. This is pretty straightforward. It is not strictly maintenance. We are looking at a minimum of four releases that would be scheduled per year. Included in these releases would be application fixes as well as enhancements as we go forward.

  4. Integration Testing. This includes everything including string testing, integration testing and all the way to end user testing.

  5. System Architecture. Maintaining our technical environment.

  6. Infrastructure Support. Includes our configuration management area.

  7. Customer Services. This talks to many different areas including our Help Desk, Site Support, Training, and Intranet support and development.

The bottom line is that we have a lot to get done and we want to establish an organization that will allow us to move this program forward. As I stated earlier we have a tremendous amount of work, the current team has done a tremendous job, but ultimately our vision of this technical organization is to ensure that we provide the support necessary to the Office of Child Support. The Office of Child Support has the objective of being recognized as the national lead organization in Child Support and we need a technical organization to help them achieve that objective.

Questions and Answers:

  • Paul Aubrecht, Ajilon: Looking at your 7 major tasks, excluding Task #1, please discuss how you are organized functionally to provide these services today, what groups are doing these tasks today – DBA groups, LAN groups that type of thing– and the number of people that are doing those activities. How do you envision the organization being structured, number of people it will take, and what will the organization look like?

  • Virginia Hambric: Right now we are not prepared to get into detail on the number of people in the organization. We do intend to provide organization charts with the RFP. Briefly I can let you know that Project Management is currently composed of a combination of State staff, Project Control Office, and the Contractor and that we envision this same structure for the future. The remaining tasks largely are performed by functional teams: Application Maintenance and Development Team, Testing Team, our System Architecture is mostly incorporated within our Infrastructure team today, and Customer Services encompasses the Help Desk, Site Support, Training and also our Intranet service.

  • Cora Foley, Maximus: In regard to Task #1, Project Initiation/Transition, you want an easy transition period between the current vendor and support team you hope to bring on board. Are the responsibilities for that transition detailed in the contract with the current vendor? How do you make sure that everyone plays “well”?

  • Irene Pena: We do have some transition language in the current Contract with the current vendor. At the time it is determined we need to transition to a new vendor, we will work out the final details of that with the incumbent vendor.

  • Brian Goluska, UdayCorp: Why are you doing this? If you are finally going to be successful after all these years why change vendors at this time?

  • Ken Theis: For a couple of reasons. #1, given the budget constraints the State is currently facing, it is due diligence that needs to be done. And #2, because of the duration of this project, the number of years it has been in place again drives the need to do that. We need to provide a single prime Contractor that can provide the overall deliverables and be held to a level of accountability as we move forward.

  • Brian Goluska Follow-up: Irene makes it seem as if there is one vendor and Virginia makes it seem as if there are many. How many actual contractors are there and how many state employees and how many single individual contractors are there?

  • Irene Pena: We have one prime contractor that also has subcontractors working underneath it as well as probably 8 other contracts with different companies that also have employees on this project as part of the implementation and development. I don’t know how many total people that are involved in the 8 or 9 contracts that we have.

  • Ken Theis: The number of people depends on the project and the duration. It could be as low as 150 or as high as 450 depending on where we are with this project.

  • Chris Reaume, Covansys: Regarding Task #7, when you get into user training and the internet part, you had mentioned that this is something that the State may want to continue with but that you may want others to bid on that; separate pricing and how you are going to do that. Could you please talk a little more about how you are actually going to do that, things like you are not looking to do a dual award here. I’m assuming that whoever gets the award actually gets those too. Also, how much lead time if you are going to decide 12/31/03 that you can’t do it and the vendor must ramp up to do it.

  • Virginia Hambric: I will be candid in that it is our plan is to increase the number of State staff on this project. Customer Services were areas that we looked at in terms of increasing State staff. At this time point in time we have not finalized our organization charts nor do we have approval to establish these State positions. But it is our intent to do that. I believe it is fair to say it is a very aggressive time schedule for us to establish those positions within State government, post those positions, interview, select and train those people in order to be on-baord and functioning approximately January 1 or February 1 of 2004. It is a very aggressive schedule and for those of you who work with State government I think you will agree with that statement. In the event that we cannot accomplish that aggressive goal, we would like for responders to the RFP to provide their staffing plans for those functions with separate pricing. And the thinking behind that, quite honestly, is to provide a safety net for those functions if the State is unable to staff it with State resources.

  • Ken Theis: Obviously we would like to know that today before the RFP goes out, but realistically that is the option we are going with.

  • Chris Reaume Follow-Up: If you do invoke that option, is there going to be a time frame in which you would invoke that? i.e. a 6 month period vs a 1 month period or 12 month. This will have a lot to do with how we staff it or what the pricing is going to be for it. You may find yourself with a higher overall cost because you bid it that way as opposed to overall working it into 1 bid.

  • Virginia Hambric: Thank you for those comments. We’ll take it under advisement as we develop the RFP.

  • Tom Choate, Keane: This question is for Ken and/or the panel. Can you break out the workload by percentages? Example: Project Management – what percentage of overall work? 10%, 15%, 20% in relation to application maintenance and development?

  • Ken Theis: We haven’t broken it out that way

  • Tom Choate Follow-up: I would assume that the crux of the workload is in the application maintenance and development, but any other areas that you think of?

  • Ken Theis: This is a valid point and we will take it under consideration as it relates to helping better appreciate the overall percentage of workload in that balance.

  • Cora Foley, Maximus: Adding on to what Tom Choate indicated regarding actually determining what the percentages of work are related to each other. It may be something to think about in terms of structuring criteria in assessing the award.

  • Ken Theis: We will take that under advisement.

  • Kamlesh Shah, Indusa: How much is the budget for this?

  • Irene Pena: We don’t usually share the budget figures when we go out for bid on a project. We can give you information if you want to request it through Acquisition Services on the current Contract costs, but we can not give you what we feel our budget is for this one. You can request that under FOIA.

  • Brian Goluska: Instead of everyone submitting FOIA requests, I suggest that you include this information in the RFP. In terms of costs for management vs development, etc.

  • Irene Pena: Clarification. You cannot FOIA our current budget. You can FOIA any information on the current Contract. I don’t think that we could just freely put the current budget information out there. We will have to talk to the Attorney General.

  • Ken Theis: This information may not be as valuable as thought in light of the fact that this project is moving from a Development and Implementation project to a strictly Maintenance and Operations Project.

  • Cora Foley, Maximus: What involvement has the State had with System Architecture design or are you just inheriting a system?

  • Ken Theis: The State has been very involved and has a very good handle on this. We have done an infrastructure analysis that tells us where we have done this well and where we need to relook at some other things. We know what still needs to be looked at, if anything.

  • Yogesh Saxena, IBM: Have you determined the number of FTEs or skills that would be desired?

  • Virginia Hambric: We do not intend to provide an estimate of FTEs needed. We intend to sufficiently describe each task so that the bidder will be able to propose adequate staff.

  • Sharon Russell, Covansys: Will you release the backlog of maintenance issues?

  • Virginia Hambric: We intend to provide some metrics (system statistics) in the RFP.

  • Steve Eroskey, HP: Is this going to be a fixed price or time and material or a little bit of both?

  • Irene Pena: We are still trying to determine that. We haven’t really finalized that piece of it yet. We are still trying to figure out which way we want to go.

  • Paul Priggon, Ajilon: You mentioned that there was a large backlog of work and a demand for it. In the RFP will you quantify timeframe for this work to be completed?

  • Virginia Hambric: We do have a standard work approval process and we will provide information on what that process is. We will also provide information on the backlog of work. We do envision regular maintenance releases to address bug fixes and also enhancement or new functionality releases. We intend to specify the timeframe for releases.

  • Cora Foley, Maximus: Do you presently have a development methodology that you are adhering to that will predict where you are going with this maintenance?

  • Virginia Hambric: We do have a system development methodology and standards. We will provide those in appendices or they will be available on site.

  • Cora Foley Follow-Up: What about software development tools?

  • Virginia Hambric: We will provide a listing of required development tools as well as testing tools and Project Management Tools.

  • Chris Reaume, Covansys: What is the format that will be used to evaluate the proposals?

  • Irene Pena: We are in the process of finalizing the details of the selection criteria. A couple of thoughts we have had that we wanted to get your feedback on were to have some mandatory minimums to meet in order to be considered. A couple of those are: minimum of three years experience in child support systems and a minimum of three references on projects that you have done (preferably recent) that were $10 million/year in budget or above, plus projects that included 1,000 users. We wanted to see how much push back we would get from the vendor community with these. Do you think that these would be too restrictive? If we do the mandatories, it would be like a step 1 of a 3-step process where we would list some mandatory requirements; two of which I just spoke of. We would include a statement saying that in order to be considered for award of this contract you must show evidence of meeting these mandatories. A lot of times when we do mandatories we include financial stability, we ask for agreement on indemnification, and insurance. If you have shown proof of all of the mandatories you would be put into the second step which would be the evaluation of your technical proposal. I am sure it will be in the major categories that we usually use, company capabilities or project work plan or qualified personnel. Once you pass the technical then of course the pricing. We would only be evaluating pricing on the proposals that passed technical.

  • Judy Jordan, Protech: California’s experience in including the number of users as a criteria shows that it could be a limiting factor and could potentially discourage bids. Size of the project may be something to consider in the second round of assessments.

  • Gary Schlitt, IBM: What is the State's position on proposals that are offshore or off-site vs on-site?

  • Irene Pena: During a conversation with FIA staff it was stated that Contractor personnel definitely need to be on-site.

  • Ken Theis: DIT is currently working on its offshore policy. We hope to have that statement verified through DIT and the Executive office prior to the RFP hitting the ground. It is our hope that Michigan’s offshore policy will be clearly stated in the RFP.

  • Ganesh Reddy: Is this going to be an on-site or off-site project?

  • Ken Theis: The intent is that it would be an on-site staffing project. However, DIT and the Executive office will issue official policy for this.

  • Steve Eroskey: Will you be providing the workstations and tools for the on-site people?

  • Virginia Hambric: Our current thinking is that Contractor staff would be co-located with State staff. The State would provide PCs, the infrastructure to perform the work, and tools that the State already owns.

  • Paul Aubrecht, Ajilon: May want to clearly define Site Support

  • Virginia Hambric: When we use the word “on-site” we are referring to Child Support System offices on Long Blvd. Site Support or Customer Support would be the site that our customers are actually in.

  • Paul Aubrecht, Ajilon: When you talk about the Site Support ramping down is there anything in there for a vendor to bid on?

  • Virginia Hambric: It would be to continue the on-site support for a period of at least 1 year, and then to provide a plan for decreasing that support over the next 2 years.

  • Paul Aubarecht Follow-Up: Then you are saying that a vendor would take over site support?

  • Virginia Hambric: Yes, and provide the same level of support that is in place today for approximately 1 year.

  • Jodi Marrah, 180 Associates: Who would be paying for travel expenses of Site Support staff?

  • Irene Pena: I don’t think we want to say right now what we will or won’t pay. This is something we will take into consideration when we see the proposals.

  • Judy Jordan, Protech: Are the backlogs categorized as to complexity? Are there definitions as to complexity or number of hours, etc for these items?

  • Geoff Ruonavaara: Currently everything is analyzed for complexity and number of hours. The Work Approval Process identifies the urgency of the fix.

  • Ken Theis: The Work Approval Process is something that was put in place by DIT and FIA. The decisions on what is put into a release are made by the Office of Child Support (FIA). The expectation is that the Work Approval Process that is in place today will continue to allow the Office of Child Support to decide where to make it investments.

  • Pam Owens, Unisys: What is the current level of support that the on-sites provide? Why continue for a year?

  • Virginia Hambric: I can’t say right now the number. I do know that there is a schedule for Site Support staff to visit each office at least once a month or every six weeks. Our reasoning for continuing for one year is that many offices will be recent converts to the system and we think that a certain level of site support is needed for them to learn the new system. We are also thinking that over time we will provide an increased level of support through our Help Desk services and will provide an increased level of user training. The need for on site support will diminish over time if we beef up those other areas of support.

  • Pam Owens (follow-up) So is it more training support than it is technical support?

  • Virginia Hambric: It is on-site problem solving. It is one-on-one training. It is working on screens that a user may not understand. Helping them log calls with the Help Desk if they have not already done so. It is a broad spectrum of support issues that is provided to the users.

  • Pam Owens (follow-up): Would there be any expectations for developing any procedures for on-site support. System procedures related to training?

  • Geoff Ruonavaara: Yes.

  • Jan Leonard, HP: Can you give me some more information on the Project Management methodology?

  • Ken Theis: The Project Management methodology that we are using is Release Management. I used this at GM and applied it here. It is based on industry standard project management. It is packaging up a number of releases during the year. It does follow the State’s standard of PMI.

  • Coleen Hamman, CommTek: Will we have access to user evaluations and reports from various departments? Status reports on customer support site visits? What problems there may be, other issues?

  • Virginia Hambric: I think that is something that we can certainly take under advisement.

  • Sharon Russell, Covansys: On the Help Desk support it would be very helpful to define what is level 1 & 2. And if you could judge what your call volume would be.

  • Virginia Hambric: We will provide that information in the RFP.

  • Bob Krump, RCM Technologies: Is the State planning on continuing the development of CBT or will that be a piece of the RFP?

  • Virginia Hambric: More discussion is needed among our group, and it will be addressed in the RFP.

  • Sharon Russell, Covansys: User Acceptance Test? What is the intent of this?

  • Virginia Hambric: Our current thinking is that we would require the Contractor to participate fully in the UAT process. Initially to create and develop UAT test scripts. It is unlikely that the State staff who would execute the scripts would have the knowledge needed to exercise the application. So we would expect the Contractor to be fully involved in that. We would expect the State users (FOC, PAs Support Specialists) to be very much involved in User Acceptance Testing.

  • Ken Theis: The State Technical Director and OCS Directors will sign off on UAT.

  • Jeff Ball, Maximus: Will training be provided for the 2nd and 3rd tier support staff for the vendor during transition?

  • Virginia Hambric: The acquisition of skills for the 2nd and 3rd tier support staff should be covered in that 90-day period. Again we would expect a work plan to accomplish this from bidders.

  • Jeff Ball, Maximus: Is the bid going to be requiring the vendor to just staff the Help Desk or is it going to be putting together the infrastructure; hardware/software?

  • Virginia Hambric: We intend for the State to manage the Help Desk and provide the first tier. Help Desk infrastructure already exists. We require the use of the tool REMEDY to log calls. And it is with that tool that the 2nd and 3rd tier would provide further detailed support. It is our intention to provide more detail in the RFP.

  • Coleen Hamman, CommTek: Are there any metrics for the Help Desk? Are there time frames when calls need to be answered, call-back provided? Performance metrics?

  • Virginia Hambric: We will provide whatever metrics we currently collect in the RFP.

  • Paul Albrecht, Ajilon: Are there Service Level Agreements in place for the Help Desk?

  • Virginia Hambric: We will have to take that under advisement. I couldn’t specifically say what kind of Service Level agreements there are in place at this time.

  • Cora Foley, Maximus: Do you intend to have the vendor provide a certain level of quality or do you intend for a third party to provide quality assurance activities on this contract?

  • Ken Theis: We are not anticipating having a QA vendor. We are anticipating having clearly defined metrics from a State perspective and a Contractor perspective on what is acceptable and what is not. And making sure that we have the reporting mechanisms in place early on in this transition to ensure that those objectives are achieved.

  • Brian Goluska, Uday Corporation: Is the system being rolled out going to make the platform and software across the state uniform?

  • Ken Theis: Yes.

  • Brian Goluska Follow-Up: Then what part does CorVision have in it?

  • Ken Theis: There will actually be a small part of the Corvision application and it is called Central Financials that we plan to integrate into the new application as we move forward post certification.

  • Brian Goluska Follow-Up: Is this CorVision part central only or is it out in all the counties?

  • Geoff Ruonavaara: Central Only.

  • Virginia Hambric: There are two parts that are CorVision; one is Central Financials and the other is the IV-A/IV-D interface. These are pieces of the overall statewide system.

  • Brian Goluska, Uday Corporation: Would you consider scoring the bid on a point system and then using point system vs. price?

  • Sharon Pickett: It is nothing that we would decide at this time. Typically our awards are based on a number of factors.

  • Are there any minority set-asides?

  • Sharon Pickett: No.

  • Tom Choate, Keane: Do you see where these dates may be moved out?

  • Sharon Pickett: We are on a very tight timeline, but we consider the dates to be firm.

  • Tom Choate, Keane: Are there any negative ramifications if you don’t meet this September 30 deadline?

  • Ken: Yes, $147.5 million penalty to the State.

  • Cora Foley, Maximus: Will any vendors be precluded from bidding on this? Is there a pre-qualifications list that they need to be on in order to bid?

  • Irene Pena: There is no pre-qualification on this one. However, if there is a mandatory pre-bid meeting, only those vendors represented at that meeting will be allowed to bid.

  • Brian Goluska, Uday Corporation: Can companies partner to meet your mandatory minimums?

  • Irene Pena: Only the qualifications of the prime contractor will be considered for the mandatory minimum requirements.

  • Would you consider a bridge contract that would allow work to start while the contract is being finalized? Maybe even something for the transition period?

  • Irene Pena: We would have to see what we could do about that.

  • Paul Aubrecht, Ajilon: What are your expectations with respect to transitioning current staff?

  • Ken Theis: The overall objective is to provide the best management team and staffing team that is available in the vendor community, whether that is in Michigan or other states. The bottom line is we have a large amount of very talented people that have worked on the project for a long time. We are looking for an extremely strong management team to take hold of this organization, to move it forward and provide the overall support necessary for the Office of Child Support (FIA).

  • Pam Owens, Unisys: Expand on the minimum requirement experience of child support. Could this include other areas of Human Services?

  • Irene Pena: The MiCSES project staff felt that the other human services were not similar to child support system.

  • Virginia Hambric: Experience required is in a federally certified Child Support System.

  • Ken Glassford, Accenture: I ask the State to consider companies that have been through a transition in this kind of timeframe as another critical element of success. And another element to consider is if the duration of the contract is over a 3-year period that the vendor be able to show their ability to improve over time.

  • Virginia Hambric: We will take those suggestions under advisement.

  • Dennis Nickels, Deloitte: In addition to normal terms and conditions are you currently considering other terms and conditions;,like liquidated damages?

  • Irene Pena: Yes. There are other terms that are not in our traditional boilerplate. Liquidated damages will be spelled out in the RFP.

Closing Comments by Sharon Pickett:

The release of the RFP is scheduled for July 7th. Proposals are due August 13th with vendor selection and Contract award by the end of September. It has to go before the Administrative Board for approval, which is scheduled for October 21st, and at that time we will finalize the Contract. We are still debating the best way to do due diligence on this project and a mandatory pre-bid meeting may be required.

Sharon Pickett closed the meeting by thanking everyone for coming and providing their input.

Cora Foley


517-373-9133 800-352-3758

Joe Perry

Northrop Grumman


Sharon Russell



Paul Priggon

Bearing Point


Beverly Cobb



Gary W. Kinneer



Steven Trudell

Courtland Software Services Inc


Jeanette Wareham

HTC Global Services Inc


Karl Meier

Professional Technical Development


Ganesh V. Reddy

HTC Global Services Inc


Cindie Auge’

Compuware Corporation


Scott Wiseman

TEK Systems

517-281-1133 616-974-1928

Rick Golden

Oracle Corporation


Sue Zakrewski

Oracle Corporation

313-550-3708 (?)

Pam McCabe Burkhart



Yogesh Saxena



Steve Eroskey

Hewlett Packard


Paul Q. Aubrecht

Ajilon Consulting


Kamlesh Shah

Indusa Technical Corp

630-871-7600 x 311

Jeff Ball



Joseph Mamlin



Chris Reaume



Brian Goluska



Douglas Coon

Technology Partnership Group


Faiyaz Shikari

Unisys Corp


Michele Lorenz



Coleen Hamman

Communication Technology Corporation (CommTek)


Nancy Starling-Ross

Policy Studies Inc


David “Scott” McKenzie



Andrew M. Glassberg



Frank Carchedi

Oracle Corporation


Dennis Nickels

Deloitte Consulting


Ellen Speckman-Randall

Michigan County Social Services Association


John Scott

Analysts International


Thomas F. Choate

Keane Inc


Jennifer Hogan

Professional Technical Development


Jan M. Leonard

Hewlett Packard


Brad LeFevre

TEK Systems


Judy Jordan

Protech Solutions


Harvey Chute

Northrop Grumman


Raj Srinivasan

Triadata Systems


Uday Shukla



John Grubmuller



Pam Owens



Jeffrey J. Arbour

Unisys Corporation


Jodi Marrah

180 Associates Inc


Greg Kinney

Policy Studies Inc


Mark Jasonowicz



Renee Owings

Compuware Corporation


Frank Denryter

Data-Core Systems Inc


D. Gary Schlitt



David J. Cox

TEK Systems


Brian Smith

Compuware Corporation


John E. Evans

Compuware Corporation

630-285-8560, ext 1342

Tom Patrick



Carrie Vestrand

RCM Technologies

248-350-3300 ext 237

Robert O. Kaump, Jr.

RCM Technologies

248-350-3300 ext 226

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