ctcLink VEST (Vendor Evaluation and Scoring Team) and SME (Subject Matter Experts) teams spent all week discussing, evaluating and ranking the three ctcLink vendor finalists based on their demonstrations the last three weeks at Bellevue College.
First, all the SME teams met at SBCTC Bellevue Monday to debrief and rate the vendors in each team’s specific area of expertise. The teams were Student
Financials, Student & Academic, HR/Payroll, Finance and Technical. The Technical Team split their review into two areas: Technology/Hosting and Implementation Approach/Project Team.
“The most refreshing part of this process was seeing the excitement of the SMEs during the product demonstrations,” said VEST member Silvia Barajas. “They all got a glimpse of our future state and were very enthusiastic about it.”
The next two days were spent with each SME team presenting their views, ratings and recommendations to the VEST members, followed by questions from VEST members and lots of discussion so VEST could clearly understand each team’s concerns and preferences.
“We just can’t thank the SMEs enough for all the hours and days they have committed to this process,” said VEST member Janet Gullickson. “Hearing from the experts who will be using the new system and know what features will enhance the students’ experience has been invaluable.”
Yesterday, VEST took the two days of SME feedback under consideration and spent all day in formal deliberations. By early evening, the team agreed on a recommendation, which will be moved forward to the Washington State’s Chief Information Officer and to the SBCTC Board for approval. The vendor or vendors that SBCTC will enter into negotiations with will be made public as we go through that approval process.
“Thank you all for the month of August,” Barbara Martin told the VEST members as they wrapped up the fourth week of the vendor evaluation process. “This has been a huge commitment on your part and you’ve provided extraordinary input into the process.”
And in the end…there were cupcakes.