The CEO of the Intellectual Property Registration Office (Cipro), its CEO has come out in defence of a tender for a new system.
Calling the tender "one of the most crucial announcements in the seven-year history of Cipro, CEL Keith Sendwe, says the implementation of a new enterprise content management platform (ECM) to VALORit is a crucial step in transforming Cipro and the way that it interacts with the more than 2,4-million South African businesses registered on its database.
In light of several issues raised regarding the tender process and the capability of VALORit, Sendwe says he wants to set the public's mind at ease by giving an unqualified assurance that due process was indeed followed in the awarding of the tender.
"We have been totally transparent about the process employed in awarding the tender, and remain totally committed to what we see as a necessary transformation process," he says.
Speaking at a meeting held between Cipro's executive team (CET) and a group of media representatives, Sendwe says the organisation stands firm in its conviction that VALORit, who has agreements with Zensar, Tibco Software and Vignette, is the appropriate company to implement the ECM, which is set to transform Cipro into a new-look, e-focused organisation.
Zensar – with more than 5 000 associates and presence across US, UK, Germany, Sweden, Finland, Middle East, South Africa, Hong Kong, Singapore, Australia, Japan, Poland and China – delivers comprehensive services in mission-critical applications, enterprise applications, e-business and business process outsourcing services.
Tibco – headquartered in California, with moer than 3 000 customers and offices in 40 countries – has offered organisations around the world better awareness and agility. They are providing the enterprise software assisting companies achieving service-oriented architecture (SOA) and business process management (BPM).
Vignette solutions – with more than 10 years experience and local clients, including Nedbank, SABC, Standard Bank and ABSA – provides the backbone of online interactions. The combination of experience and solutions provided by the group will add value to the implementation of a successful ECM system, says Sendwe.
"As previously reported, Cipro followed a stringent tender process that was cross-checked and evaluated along every step of the way. In order to ensure total objectivity two independent evaluation teams, consisting of various technical experts and legal and business representatives were established to conduct the functional evaluation. This was followed by a financial evaluation and other legislative compliance requirements.
"Both teams individually submitted an evaluation report with specific focus on functionality.
"Well-known companies – such as Faritec, for example – did not win the bid because their tenders were incomplete in terms of vital financial information pertaining to ECM implementation," he adds.
"Had Cipro reopened the bidding process, it would have been grossly unfair as this would have given unsuccessful bidders the opportunity of adjusting their pricing upwards," explains Sendwe.
"The tender evaluation panel, which comprised internal and external team members from various institutions, including the dti ICT Division, ICT personnel at both the Department of Social Development and Nelson Mandela Foundation, as well as subject matter experts sourced internally, unanimously decided that the tender be awarded to VALORit. The director-general (DG) from the Department of Trade and Industry signed off the tender before CIPRO announced the awarding of the tender to VALORit."
In as far as the criticism leveled against VALORit was concerned, Sendwe believes that the onus is on the directors of that company to address issues pertaining to the running of their organisation, adding that VALORit had undertaken to respond to all allegations made against them.
"From a Cipro perspective, we remain enthusiastic about the ECM and the promise that it holds for our staff, clients and stakeholders alike. It would effectively enable us to create a platform that is flexible enough to drive the total electronic transformation process.
"The ECM will be linked to the UIF, Home Affairs and SARS and will therefore streamline a host of important processes for business owners."