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Could SharePoint Portal be used as a proposal management system...

  Asked By: Lavanya    Date: Oct 14    Category: Sharepoint    Views: 1958

I am need to implement a proposal management system that will address the
following requirements.

1 - Ability to prepare parts of proposal along parallel paths. Ex. Price
configuration and T&C review done at the same time and pulled into a
quotation. Intent is to reduce cycle time for quote.
2 - Be able to search for proposals through the use of multiple criteria
(customer name, quote $, state, end user, etc.)
3 - Ability for timed follow-up on bids. If the quote is still open (order
has not been received or competitive information has not been filled in), an
email would be sent to follow-up with the customer.
4 - Must be able to track proposal changes.
5 - Task management; automated activities and ability to manually generate
tasks. Ex. Routing to proper people or requesting authorization.
6 - Graphical workflow designer to facilitate fast setup of workflow rules.
7 - Support for approval, authorization, and escalation procedures.
8 - Support versioning.
9 - Audit trail / change tracking required in accordance with ISO

Can SharePoint Portal meet these requirements? Is SharePoint Portal complex
to implement? Maintain?



1 Answer Found

Answer #1    Answered By: Maya Lewis     Answered On: Oct 14

SharePoint can meet  some of your requirements, but not all (easily). There
is approval  workflow, but not escalation (out of the box). There is change
tracking, but not necessarily in accordance with ISO standards (whatever
that means in your case). I don't know what you mean by number 1 in your
message, but that sounds very custom to me. Search - Yes, sharepoint  can do
that, and with multiple  criteria. SharePoint does have a notification
facility, but not the one you are looking for (out of the box). 3 Sounds
custom to me. Track proposal  changes? You can record changes in documents,
but it all depends on what you mean by "track" proposal changes. I don't
think so (out of the box). I have not found Task management  to be a part of
SharePoint. SharePoint has a concept of Roles, however, but this is more a
security mechanism (reader, author, coordinator).

In short, I would think you'd be better off looking at proposal management
software than SharePoint, if what you want is very specific (as your message
suggests). SharePoint can be customized, of course, but you would pay extra
for the the development of that software (unless there's a proposal tracking
and management add-in for SharePoint out there that I don't know about -
you'd have to pay for that in any case).

In short, SharePoint could be used for your purposes, but you'd probably
need to talk to a VAR or a services firm to see what solutions are out there
and available that build onto the SharePoint portal  server technology.