IoT Group Takes an Open-Source Approach to the RFP

The IoT M2M Council says software procurement has become too complicated. Its new project to standardize the RFP process is intended to create a useful starting point for both vendors and purchasers.

Procurement is never fun, but a new strategy in the internet-of-things space could be a model for making the process a little easier.

The IoT M2M Council (IMC) announced this week that it was launching a new platform to develop standardized documents that can be used in the request for proposals (RFP) process. IMC member buyers will work with vendors to develop the templates using an open-source process managed by a wiki. The idea is to simplify a complicated procurement process involving a large field of solutions providers.

“There’s been an explosion in the number of IoT software vendors, and there are no clear-cut categories for these platforms,” IMC Chairman Joel Young said in a news release. “A plurality of IMC Adopter Members says that they are looking to buy software and need hands-on procurement tools. The systems are complicated, and we feel that we can provide real utility with these reference materials.”

IMC, which has around 20,000 members, says that once the templates are completed in a few weeks, it will share them with members and outside organizations. The group will start with software platforms, which Young called “a great place to start, given the state of the market,” but he emphasized that this was a long-term strategy. IMC plans to continue later in the year with RFP templates for connectivity services, followed by other IoT-related needs, such as hardware.

“The concept is to bring buyers and sellers of IoT solutions together with a common language and expectations,” Young added.

Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is a former senior editor for Associations Now. MORE

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