Proposal for Software Project

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					   Request for Proposal: Software for Federal Project Plan and TIP Database
                                 Management

                                    Questions and Answers

                                 Deadline: February 25, 2011

Question #1 - Has NOACA explored any specific pre-existing software applications to support the TIP
              data management needs? If so what applications have you looked at?

Answer #1 - NOACA has only worked with Microsoft Access.

Question #2 - What limitations have you found with these systems, if any?

Answer #2 - There are several things that NOACA has not been able to do with Microsoft Access. These
             include:
         Incorporating Project Planning Reviews
         Scanning and uploading incoming project correspondence and related documents to the TIP
             system to
         Create a centralized repository for all TIP-related project correspondence.
         Mapping TIP projects in GIS within the application.
         Making the entire application process electronic and accessible on the Web.
         Allowing project sponsors to submit project information electronically online.

Question #3 - Is NOACA currently working with any vendors to compile this data or has the effort been
               mainly in-house?

Answer #3 - NOACA compiles data in-house. No vendors are currently being used.

Question #4 - Can you give a basic description of your GIS environment (what software do you use, do
              you have web mapping capabilities, etc.)?

Answer #4 - NOACA uses ArcGIS Server 9.3 on the server and ArcGIS 9.3 and 10 on clients.

Question #5 - Do you have licensing and access to a relation database management system (e.g. Oracle,
              SQL Server,etc) that can be utilized for this deployment?

Answer #5 - NOACA does not own or have licenses for Oracle. NOACA utilizes Microsoft SQL Server
             2000 Standard in another project (the Regional Pavement Management System with
             ArcGIS 9.3, see at http://gis.noaca.org/gisportal/ ). An upgrade or a separate relational
             database management software license purchase can be recommended in the proposal, if
             needed.

Question #6 - At the termination of any contract period, would NOACA own and retain any customized
             product created by the vendor under the contract or would NOACA own only the data, in
             whatever its current form might be at that time?
Answer #6 - All proposals should address the issues related to intellectual property rights for any
             software or services, so that NOACA will understand the proposals clearly. 

Question #7 - Regarding incorporating Project Planning Reviews (PPRs) in the new software,
            could we get an explanation of what is desired for this feature? Are you referring to
            an ability to associate planning review documents with projects?

Answer #7 - NOACA’s TIP projects undergo a Project Planning Review process that includes
           staff review, public review, NOACA committee review, and NOACA Governing
           Board review. NOACA would like to give all interested parties the ability to both
           review project information and submit comments online. NOACA is referring to the
           ability to associate planning review documents with projects. Online users should
           have the ability to view NOACA project summaries, plus search for more detailed
           project information, including project data and GIS maps.

Question #8 - Regarding importing ELLIS data from the Ohio Department of Transportation
            (ODOT) into the NOACA TIP, can you tell us what format this data will be in? Is
            it in an Excel format or in a database format like SQL Server or Access? Do you
            know if ODOT will allow us to retrieve data directly from their system to import it
            into the TIP database, on demand via a secure connection or will this be a process
            initiated by the NOACA TIP administrator?

Answer #8 - NOACA will provide ODOT’s ELLIS data in Microsoft Excel format, and will
            need the ability to import that spreadsheet into the system on a regular basis.
            NOACA staff will provide this information and initiate the process.

Question #9 - Regarding “including a tech support package,” is this feature referring to an
            ability to be able to have 24/7 support for the application? Or are you envisioning a
            bug-tracking system integrated with the TIP tool administrative back-end?

Answer #9 - While 24/7 support isn’t necessarily needed, the consultant should provide a basic
            tech support package that includes maintenance, software updates, and
            troubleshooting. The consultant’s proposal should be explicit about the nature of its
            tech support proposal.

Question #10 - Regarding NOACA’s database diagram, what database software is used
           currently to maintain project information? Is this an Access database or SQL
           Server database?

Answer #10 - The data is currently maintained in Microsoft Access and Excel.


Question #11 - Can we assume that after the TIP Tool is set up, the NOACA TIP administrators
             will only use the TIP administrative back-end to maintain the TIP project and
             funding information? And the import from the Access database will only be a
             one-time import?
Answer #11 - The import of data from the existing Access TIP database and Transit Excel
             spreadsheet file will happen just once. After that, NOACA administrators will
             use the TIP administrative back-end to maintain project related information in the
             new system. In addition, NOACA wishes to give project sponsors limited online
             password-protected access to update project information.

Question #12 - Is NOACA looking for an externally hosted solution, or is NOACA looking for
             the solution to be hosted internally?

Answer #12 - Consultants may propose an internally hosted solution, an external one, or both.
             Consultants that offer a choice of either solution should explicitly outline the cost
             differential along with the software and hardware that NOACA will need for an
             internally hosted option. Consultants that offer only an internally hosted solution
             should outline the software and hardware NOACA will need for that solution.

Question #13 – We understand that the data in the existing TIP database needs to be migrated to
             the new system. However, do we need to migrate the data in the existing
             correspondence tracking system?

Answer #13 - NOACA currently has TIP-related correspondence in both electronic and hard
             copy formats. NOACA staff can migrate that correspondence into the new
             system, but will need training/instructions for doing so.

Question #14 - How itemized is NOACA looking for in the “itemized task budget”? And what
             should be itemized in this budget?

Answer #14 - The itemized task budget should address costs based on, but not necessarily
             limited to: (a.) Hardware and equipment, if applicable. (b.) Software
             development and/or customization. (c.) Software licensing fees, if applicable.
             (d.) Hosting, if applicable. (e.) Development and/or customization of database
             and GIS functions. (f.) Setup, installation and/or configuration. (g.)
             Demonstration and/or training. (h.) Maintenance, upgrades and/or revisions.

Question #15 - Who is currently doing NOACA’s GIS Mapping?

Answer #15 – NOACA staff currently perform mapping on TIP data based on requests from
             interested parties. We also anticipate that project sponsors will provide us with
             some GIS mapping of projects in the future.

Question #16 - You reference a “Correspondence Tracking System” and we would like to know
             exactly what this system is.

Answer #16 - The correspondence tracking database is a simple Access database that NOACA
             staff use to scan incoming project-related letters and other correspondence.
             NOACA staff scans the documents and uploads the electronic files to a folder on
             a shared network drive. NOACA would like TIP staff to be able to scan and
              upload TIP correspondence (letters/studies etc) to the online TIP system so that
              interested parties can log in and be able to search for TIP project related
              correspondence.

Questions #17 - How are these 2 items different? We are viewing them as the Task Budget
             being a full breakdown of each task required and the budget required for each
             task. For the Pricing section, we are viewing this as being where the OVERALL
             price is put forward, along with a separate price for upgrades, updates and
             maintenance. Please confirm this rationale.

Answer #17 - The rationale of the vendor is fine. NOACA needs a task budget for each task and
             a total budget including maintenance and upgrades to the software.

Question #18 - Are you looking for a Contact person for the “PROPOSAL” or are you looking
             for a contact person for the “PROJECT” after award? We have an overall project
             manager/oversight person to be contacted regarding the proposal we submit, as
             well as a “Technical” contact person who can be contacted regarding specific
             Software type questions. Is it compliant for us to include both contacts with a
             differentiation of each person’s role?

Answer #18 - Having two different contacts is fine. Usually, consultants have a technical and
             non-technical contact on such projects.

				
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