Fourth and final week: VEST and SME vendor review

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

A gathering of SMEs

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.

The Student and Academic SMEs gave their feedback to VEST on Tuesday

“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.”

The SME Technical Team spent most of Wednesday reporting its vendor feedback to VEST.

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.

The ctcLink VESTies have become besties the last couple months.
See Aug 9 post for names and titles. Not pictured: Tara Keen as she was busy tallying up the VEST vendor ratings.

“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.


About ctclinknews

ctcLink is a single, centralized system of online tools for student services and administrative functions for all 34 community and technical colleges in Washington. In the next several years, ctcLink will be implemented on every campus, providing online tools for everything from admissions to graduation. The first three ("FirstLink") colleges came online in August 2015. A wave of 8 more colleges (cleverly named "Wave 1") will switch over to the new ctcLink system in August 2016, followed by Wave 2 in 2017 and Wave 3 in 2018.
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