Optional RFI Stage
- What is an RFI?
- Who can respond to an RFI?
- What happens to RFI responses?
- What do I have to bring to the meeting?
- What if my RFI submission will be late?
- Does every RFP require an RFI?
What is an RFI?
An RFI is a Request for Information. It surveys the computing industry, collecting information that OMG members use to form and guide new standards-setting efforts.
Who can respond to an RFI?
Any person or company, OMG member or not, may submit material in response to an RFI. If you submit, you may submit anything, in principle, but should keep in mind that submissions will be evaluated by a small group of volunteers. Therefore, the most effective submissions tend to be short and to-the-point. Some submissions include extensive paper documentation as backup, but the evaluation committee may prefer an electronic reference instead. Don't send demos or code; TF members don't have time to load demos or read code. Instead, if this is a key part of your response, include the URL of a website running a demo. You should also keep in mind that everything you submit becomes a public document.
All open RFIs are listed on the Work in Progress page. Once you get the page up in your browser, search for RFI. If you see one in an area you know about, submit a response!
What Happens to RFI responses?
The TF that issued the RFI usually schedules a time for submitters' presentations at the one or more OMG technical meeting weeks following close of the RFI. Submitters who are not OMG members attend as invited guests. If your submission requires a demo, this is the place to give it. If you're not an OMG member, you'll be attending as a guest and will have to demo during your presentation. If you are a member, you may sign up for a demonstration table in the meeting lobby. This prominent location, well-populated especially during meeting break times, serves the dual purpose of demonstrating your application to OMG members interested in your RFI response and also bringing it to the attention of potential users and customers.
After all of the responses have been read, and all of the presentations digested, TF members use the information to guide technology adoption efforts. Some RFI results determine which RFPs get issued (and, based on negative feedback, which don't!); others influence the way a particular RFP is constructed.
One of the most useful types of RFI response comes from a potential submitter to an RFP. By signaling the likelihood that they will respond to an RFP, a company gives a lot of encouragement to TF members to write and issue it. And, by including some technical material, a company can influence the way the RFP is written, as well. (If the company is an OMG member, its representatives are welcome to help draft the RFP themselves, of course!)
What do I have to bring to the Meeting?
The issuing TF will give you some length of time to present your response at their meeting. You should bring enough paper copies of your material to distribute among the attendees. You can ask the TF chair about how many copies to bring when you get together about scheduling your presentation. Bring the copies to the meeting; do not send them to the OMG office even if the RFI document says to - this is an obsolete requirement which sometimes persists even in recent RFI formats.
You don't have to come to a meeting and present, but your submission will have more impact on the OMG technology adoption process if you do. And, your company will have the most possible impact if it joins OMG and you participate in the adoption process as it moves along from RFP through submissions to specification.
What if my RFI submission will be late?
Unlike RFP submissions (which are not accepted after a deadline for legal reasons!), RFI submissions may be turned in late, at least on occasion. To find out if the TF's schedule can accomodate a late submission, contact the chair by email.
If your company is an OMG member, you may submit material to a TF anytime you want, whether there's an RFI outstanding or not. You may submit a document to firstname.lastname@example.org with a request that it be posted in the document archive of a particular TF, and/or request time on the agenda to present on an issue relevant to the TF's charter.
Does every RFP require an RFI?
No - The RFI stage is optional. Some RFIs gather enough information to generate more than one RFP. Some RFPs can be written without a preceding RFI.