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RFP for SIS Vendor Partnership Released

The journey to find a new student information system (SIS) has been ongoing since 2018. While lots of important work has been happening and continues to happen for the project, three especially crucial milestones have now taken place:

  • The release of the initial Request for Proposal (RFP) for a new SIS,
  • The closing of the initial RFP without an award
  • The release of a new RFP for a vendor partner.

Searching for a New System

The first big milestone in finding a new SIS was the release of the initial RFP in March 2020, seeking proposals from vendors interested in providing UC San Diego with a new SIS to replace our current system, ISIS, which is nearing its end of life. Respondents to the RFP were then invited to join university subject matter experts (SMEs) in virtual conference room pilot (CRP) sessions.

During the CRP sessions, the vendors demonstrated how their systems would execute real UC San Diego scenarios. The results of these sessions led to the second key milestone: the closing of the initial RFP without an award.

Charting a Path Forward

The CRP sessions revealed that none of the proposed systems could sufficiently meet all the needs of the university. Because of this, university and project leadership chose to close the RFP without an award in January 2021. With the end of life of ISIS still looming, leadership then had to determine the best path forward following the RFP no-award.

After much discussion, the best path forward was determined to be seeking a partnership with an SIS vendor to build a system to meet the needs of UC San Diego. This decision led to key milestone number three: the release of a new RFP.

Building a Partnership

On October 18, 2021, a new RFP was released, seeking a vendor to partner with UC San Diego to create an SIS able to meet the needs of the university, both now and well into the future. This could take the form of working with a vendor to further enhance an existing product or partnering with a vendor to develop a wholly new product.

This type of partnership would benefit both the vendor and UC San Diego. We would have a SIS more tailored to our needs. The vendor would have a product they could then market to other large, complex research universities like UC San Diego. For Kevin Chou, Director of the ESR Program and Executive Director of IT Services, a vendor partnership also affords us an opportunity to shape more than just the future of our own university. “UC San Diego is in an unique position to influence the direction of the student information system market as major suppliers transition their flagship products for the Cloud,” he said.

Choosing a Vendor Partner

Responses to the RFP from interested vendors are due by November 19, 2021. After the responses have been received, project governance and the project core team will review and score the responses with the goal of closing the RFP process early in the New Year.

Unlike before, this RFP process will not have CRP sessions. Not only have we already learned what we needed to learn from the CRPs, but the CRP format works best when there are existing functions to be demonstrated. This RFP instead seeks to assess vendors’ fit as a partner and readiness to build the system UC San Diego needs.

With the release of this new RFP, we are one step closer to finding the best SIS solution, both for UC San Diego of today and for the UC San Diego of the future.

Category: News, Student & Faculty