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RFP for WATRAs Website Redesign

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					    West Africa Telecommunications Regulators Assembly

    Assemblée des Régulateurs de Télécommunications de
                  l’Afrique de l’Ouest




                           Request for Proposal

To support the West Africa Telecommunications Regulators Assembly (WATRA)

                        Website Redesign Project




                                 Contact:

                                 WATRA
                         No. 10, Zambezi Crescent
                             WAEC Building
                             Maitama, Abuja
                                 NIGERIA
                          Tel: +234-9-6733329




                             November 2008
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INTRODUCTION

The West African Telecommunications Regulators’ Assembly (WATRA) is seeking to engage a contractor to
carry out the design and development of a new web site to replace its existing site. WATRA has developed
this RFP to facilitate the evaluation and selection of vendors and to clarify its needs.


BACKGROUND

WATRA is an association based in Abuja, Nigeria. WATRA was formally established in November 2002 on
ratification and signing of its Constitution by its seven founding member states. The membership has since
grown to 14 members. WATRA membership consists of the established independent National Regulatory
Authorities (NRAs) and departments for the regulation of telecommunications services established by
governments of member states in the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) sub-region
and Mauritania.

WATRA, recognizing the poor state of telecommunications development in the West African sub-region and
the critical role of telecommunications in the socio-economic development and growth of nations worldwide,
reached a consensus to establish a forum, which will facilitate the harmonization process towards an integrated
telecoms market in West Africa, provide an avenue to share experiences and information, proffer solutions to
common problems and chart a way forward for the development and advancement of telecommunications in
West Africa.


PROJECT OVERVIEW

Increasingly, the web site is the first impression people have of an organization. Does it look professional? Is it
up to date? Is it aesthetically pleasing? A web site can serve a range of functions; in its most basic form, it acts
as a “c alling card” presence that reflects and describes the organization as it exists outside cyberspace. With
recent advances in Internet practices and technologies, however, websites are increasingly being utilized as a
tool of information exchange, contributing to the communication functions of online, geographically dispersed
communities of interest. As such, an effective website can make significant contributions toward the
fulfillment of an organization’s information and strategic objectives.

WATRA seeks a vendor/contractor to design a unique, compelling and world-class website that utilizes state-
of-the-art technology and which conveys the organization’s identity, mission and objectives and which
facilitates the exchange of information among the organization’s members as well as the general public .

The website will:

    •   Serve as the front door to WATRA conveying the mission, goals and image of the organization;
    •   Appropriately reflect and enhance WATRA’s status as the premier source of information and
        communications technology (ICT) information in the West Africa sub-region;
    •   Serve as the central information source for telecommunications regulators, operators, consumers and
        other stakeholders in the West African sub-region and beyond;
    •   Be powered by a flexible and scalable content management system for easy administration;
    •   Serve as an aesthetically pleasing and informative “first point of contact” for online users, especially
        WATRA’s members and West Africa-oriented industry stakeholders.



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This RFP requests services for:
    • Site design
    • Advanced maintenance of the site
    • Training of WATRA staff on updating the site
    • Hosting the site


Service 1: Site Design

The site look and feel should be consistent with existing WATRA design guidelines and concepts. It is
anticipated that the vendor will want to review websites of other telecommunications and technology
associations in order as a means of comparison and in determining the design and technology state of the art.

The site should comply with industry “best practices” and use the most current design and programming
techniques.

The navigation structure should be intuitive and accessible to the site’s multiple audiences; and the design
should be uncluttered and be readily understood.

The site should offer detailed search capabilities and appropriate links to the WATRA website which offers
related information. Users should be able to search for .pdf documents, and documents in MS Word, Excel,
.ppt, or in Corel formats in addition to HTML and database searches.

Design of the site should be flexible and forward-looking enough to accommodate future changes in the types
of information presented.

The site must be able to accommodate a subject-matter document library that can be accessed by the general
public and updated by the WATRA staff.

Public access to all of the features on the website is not dependent on specific browser type – that is, the web
interface is browser agnostic and works with commonly used browsers found on Windows, Linux and Mac
computer operating systems (IE x, Firefox, Opera, Chrome, etc.)


Additionally, objectives for the WATRA web site are as follows:
   • The site will convey a professional image that will reflect positively on WATRA;
   • The design will be consistent with WATRA marketing materials, logos, and design
        guidelines;
   • The site structure and navigation will be user-friendly, allowing content to be
        found quickly and intuitively;
   • The site will be optimized to ensure fast page loading times and high search
        engine rankings;
   • Pages and features will be compatible with limited bandwidth access by the user community
   • The site will be scalable and customizable ‘on-the-fly’ to allow for the addition of
        new content without the need to modify the underlying code;
   • The site will be easy to maintain and update by WATRA staff via a secure web-based
        administration area.



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Site features should also include:

    •   Ability to track visitor counts and other key demographic information
    •   Tracking of how frequently individual pages are visited
    •   A “members” section that can be accessed securely
    •   Ability to add e-commerce functionality
    •   An expandable document library that can be updated, organized and searched in a number of intuitive
        and user-friendly ways;
    •   Each page of the site should print without truncating information at the right margin
    •   Each page should load quickly and without frustrating the user
    •   Certain pages should have “news” or “news flash” sections, readily identifiable
    •   Calendar feature
    •   Indexing of new releases; archive section
    •   “Contact us” section
    •   Support users filling out forms online

    The website will possess the following characteristics:

    •   Professional graphics and design;
    •   Use of CSS templates, allowing ease of layout and style changes;
    •   Adherence to usability standards and practices;
    •   Content updatable via Web forms;
    •   Database-driven for quick searching and sorting;
    •   Easy management of digital images, PDFs, and other files;
    •   Capable of handling large data sets (e.g., customer data, technical documentation);
    •   RSS feeds of content such as news and announcements can be ‘pushed’ to users and
        other web sites.
    •    Search engine-friendly URLs improve search engine rankings.
    •    Sign-up for email alerts and/or newsletters.
    •    Real-time, web-based site traffic log analysis.


As part of the design process, it is anticipated that the selected vendor will:
    • Assess WATRA’s current site design templates
    • Define the information to be provided through the site, and define an appropriate information structure
    • Define the sections and subsections of the recommended new site
    • Define the page hierarchy and navigation
    • Identify desired links to outside sites
    • Prepare storyboard depictions of main pages
    • Prepare flow diagrams for all sections
    • Define image needs, working with WATRA staff and appointed representatives
    • Provide consistent design templates
    • Define the site map
    • Create an image for the site
    • Ensure that the site complies with WWW Consortium’s Web Content Accessibility Guidelines
    • Ensure that all publicly-visible portions of the website should be printer-friendly
    • Ensure that forms should be available and supported
    • Ensure that coding language should not be obscure or known by only a few people

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These tasks will be carried out in close consultation and collaboration with WATRA staff.


Aesthetics
    • Graphics or imagery provide a dynamic and vibrant element to the design; the color scheme will be
         pleasing to the eye
    • The design will use imagery to convey a sense of excitement, authority, and vibrancy.
    • The design will use colors that complement the graphics and imagery while remaining consistent with
         existing WATRA marketing materials and design concepts. The colors will be visually pleasing
         without distracting from the content.


Content Organization
   • Content will be organized in an intuitive, user-friendly manner; for example, the design will use drop-
        down menus from the main category navigation near the top to display subcategories. This way, the
        user can find any category or subcategory from any page on the site.
   • Site search capability will be integrated with the site.
   • In terms of navigation, user interface should clearly define location within the site hierarchy, using
        breadcrumbs of another similar navigation aid.
   • The WATRA site will be easy to update, and content can be archived on the site so users can still find
        it.

Languages
   • Website information will be in English and French versions, and users will have control over the
       default rendering language for the entire website, as well as that of individual pages.

Service 2: Maintenance

WATRA’s site must be accessible 24x7x365 to all users. As such, vendors will submit as part of their
proposal a detailed maintenance plan. At a minimum, it is anticipated that the vendor will respond within 24
hours on any service call of a routine nature, and 4 hours for emergency service.

Service 3: Training

The vendor shall provide a comprehensive training module to WATRA staff at the following levels:

    •   Initial walkthrough of site functionality and content
    •   Minor troubleshooting
    •   Procedures for weekly updates of the site content
    •   How to request major changes in the site organization or content

It is WATRA’s intent that the staff will be able to update news items, external links, documents and reports,
attach external links, create news banners, and the like with minimal or no need for external support.


Service 4: Site hosting

WATRA reserves the right to select its web domain and host its site with the webhost of its choosing. The
vendor is requested to provide a listing of fees for independent hosting, if such services are available.
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WATRA will retain the rights to reserve domains in all cases and will retain exclusive control and ownership
over its web domain registration.

The site hosting package should include:
    • At least 100 email address boxes
    • Monthly of on-demand metrics on page views and other measures of demand
    • Secure environment
    • File storage

    Respondents proposing to host the county website must not be on any email or website “blacklists” as a
    source of unwanted solicitations or objectionable content




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PROJECT APPROACH

The site will provide a wealth of information in a user-friendly manner and will employ a robust content
management system which makes it easy to administer.

The vendor will use a collaborative process throughout the project cycle to ensure that our web solution meets
WATRA’s needs and expectations.

Prior to design and development, WATRA will review all proposed content for the site, special features, target
audience and technology requirements.

The vendor will then recommend a preliminary site organization blueprint and top-level functionality.
Examples of such functionality are a member management system for restricted-access content, a module to
manage press releases or other files, ecommerce and a dynamic, searchable resource library.

The vendor will also conduct extensive research on similar organizations and identify other best-
of-breed web sites. During the planning phase the vendor will review these sites and make recommendations
on specific technologies and functions that would best meet the project objectives.

The design and development process will be driven by the objectives of improving content organization and
navigation, ensuring ease of use, adding content management features, adding useful functionality such as
integrated site search engine and improving search engine rankings.


ADDITIONAL PROVISIONS

WATRA will retain all rights to domain names associated with the site or redirecting the site.

WATRA retains all rights to content and unique design generated for the site.



VENDOR PRICING PROPOSALS

In addition to providing a qualitative proposal responsive to the above concepts and criteria, the vendor’s
detailed pricing quotes should at minimum include the following distinct elements:

    •   Initial evaluation and conceptual design, including working with WATRA staff to define requirements
    •   Draft design and approval of design
    •   Site coding, testing and debugging
    •   Transfer of documents from existing WATRA website
    •   Training of WATRA staff in site function and in site updates, especially as it pertains to the use of the
        site as a means of multiparty communication
    •   Hardware and/or software costs
    •   Hosting fees
    •   Tech support fees

(NOTE: In their cost proposals, vendors should separate out hosting and content management system and
other site management tools)


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PROJECT DELIVERABLES

    •   A website that serves as the central information resource for WATRA members
    •   Web site/database and email hosting.
    •   Current website assessment report
    •   Web page section/subsection definitions
    •   Page hierarchy and navigation map
    •   Storyboard of pages (main page and second layer) and flow
    •   Mock-ups (at least rough drawings) of all web pages flow
    •   Final form version of graphics and images
    •   Design of web page templates
    •   Full site map
    •   Source code of fonts, graphics, forms, page templates and mock ups, including comments regarding
        each section of coding (Note: graphics must also include source for all components embedded with
        graph/image with full rights and ownership)
    •   Repository for data with regular updates (non-proprietary interface)
    •   24x7x365 technical support
    •   Detailed monthly web traffic statistics
    •   Recommendations as to build vs. buy and pricing for an enterprise-wide content management
        approach
    •   Recommendations for security infrastructure



PROPOSAL SUBMISSION REQUIREMENTS

Included in the response shall be:

    •   Firm Experience and history, including client lists and awards, if any
    •   References
    •   Project team including biographies of the principals, project team and possible subcontractors
    •   Project approach to include timeline and methodology along with key milestones
    •   Project components – a list of deliverables that your firm would produce in order to fulfill the needs of
        this project
    •   Training methodology and curriculum for WATRA staff
    •   Budget – a top-line budget including allocation of fees in the following categories: creative charges,
        out-of-pocket charges, hardware charges, partnership rights, photography and illustrations, and any
        other categories of expenses in excess of 10 percent of the budget.


SUBMISSIONS

All responses must be received by COB on 15th December 2008.

If you should have any questions about this proposal, or need additional information, please
contact: executiveofficer@watra.org




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OTHER

This RFP is not an offer to contract. Acceptance of a proposal neither commits WATRA to award a contract to
any candidate nor limits WATRA’s right to negotiate in its best interest. WATRA reserves the right to
contract with a candidate for reasons other than the lowest price.

The pricing, terms and conditions stated in the vendor’s response must remain valid for a period of 30 days
from the due date.

WATRA reserves the right to accept or reject any or all responses to this RFP and to enter into discussions
and/or negotiations with one or more vendors at the same time.

WATRA reserves the right to request a best and final offer.

Expenses incurred in the preparation of the proposals in response to this RFP are the vendor’s sole
responsibility.

The issuance of this document and receipt of information in response to this document shall not, in any way,
cause WATRA to incur any liability, financial or otherwise. The vendor is expected to assume all costs
incurred in the preparation of the response to this document and in the fulfillment of any other information
requested by WATRA during the evaluation of the responses.


EVALUATION OF PROPOSALS

Price will be a significant but not the only criteria in evaluating the proposals. Consideration will also be given
to the following:
Compliance with the vendor and proposal with the minimum requirements outlined above and responsiveness
to demands outlined in project overview.


INQUIRIES

WATRA welcomes the opportunity to clarify any issues or respond to any questions about this RFP. Any
questions or information requests may be made by sending an email to Executive Secretary at
executiveofficer@watra.org.




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