Here Is Who Won The Avigilon Only Bid (And Their Line Item Breakdown)

Last month, we covered a project where Only Bids For Avigilon Will Be Accepted.

Check out the full RFP.

The project has been awarded and here is the bid tabulation sheet:

Blue Violet Networks is an IT integrator based in Orange County, CA.

Interesting to see that 10 companies were Avigilon certified / approved.

UPDATE:

Here is Blue Violet's line item breakdown as provided to use from the county:

  1. Products: Cameras, Network Video Recorders, Enterprise Software Licenses, Pendant

Mount Brackets, Junctions Boxes, and Cable, for all four (4) office building locations:

Santa Ana Office, West County Field Services Office, Youth Reporting Center - North

Region, and Youth Reporting Center – Central Region, as specified in Section III,

Scope of Contract; Paragraph C, Equipment Specifications

$74,763.78

Breakdown of the Products cost by location:

$18,588.67 Santa Ana Office

$20,957.28 West County Field Services Office

$17,969.40 Youth Reporting Center - North Region

$17,248.43 Youth Reporting Center – Central Region

  1. Installation Services for all four (4) office building locations: Santa Ana Office, West

County Field Services Office, Youth Reporting Center - North Region, and Youth

Reporting Center – Central Region, as specified in Section III, Scope of Contract;

Paragraph D, Installation Services and Responsibilities of CONTRACTOR $20,740.00

Breakdown of the Installation Services cost by location:

$5,185.00 Santa Ana Office

$5,185.00 West County Field Services Office

$5,185.00 Youth Reporting Center - North Region

$5,185.00 Youth Reporting Center – Central Region

Sales Tax (applicable to some products only)

$4,386.53

Total Cost of Project: $99,890.31


M3 Services must be really busy... that price difference just screams, "we don't really need/want this gig but if we do get it, we'll make it worth the effort."

that is funny I was thinking somthing similar for how far off their number is compared to every other company, the next closest price is half of their number...

Why "Interesting"

CONTRACTOR must be an Avigilon Certified Partner that has signed an agreement with Avigilon to be a certified partner.

Just the number responding is interesting, I thought Avigilon dealerships were more exclusive.

Perhaps the awareness generated by your expose resulted in attracting additional companies to bid on the rfp... Ironically, this would have likely resulted in a more competitive bid process, thereby blunting the thrust of your initial argument. ;)

Here's a one-on-one rfp battle between just Blue Violet and Convirgint from a year ago, this one pertaining to a California school district system. This was the summary paragraph from the award:

To note is the fact that Blue Violet had the upper hand due to a successful pilot in the school as well the fact that a Security Consultant was used to negotiate the process. Here's the winning bid:

One weird thing is that the Convirgint bid, although containing line item detail, didn't seem to have any line item pricing, just the fat number at the end...

Anyone notice that a school district is paying sales tax? Is this prevalent to other places in the country?

$99,830.31?

You can just hear the vp of sales repeating, "Whatever, just keep it under $100,000, OK?"

When I was an integrator, picking the final number was basically like voodoo. We (usually 2-3 of us) would sit and just pick numbers with various dollars and cents, down to the penny, til we agreed one "sounded good." It was all superstition, but we had fun with it.

But how often did it work?

If you are an IT/network integration company that supplies video surveillance as just one of your producct/service offerings then a school district or municipality can be a multi-million dollar a year account for you. So you are looking at the video surveillance piece very differently than the security dealer for which it is a one-off deal and so your margin structure is going to be different. Network/IT integrators are also used to single digit margins on hardware while making their money on managed services, service contracts, etc. This is meant as a general observation, I don't have any insight into this particular project.

When I was with a big VMS manufacturer, my single largest dealer was a Cisco VAR that focused on schools. They sometimes would make next to nothing on the surveillance system knowing that they were killing it on the network side. This really ticked off the rest of the dealer community (they were a bit despised -- a fact that they kinda enjoyed), but at the end of the day, most realized their business model was pretty solid and were only angry because they couldn't do it themselves. And by the way -- they were also one of the most technically competent dealers in my network, as well, so the customers didn't suffer at all...quite the contrary.

NOTICE: This comment has been moved to its own discussion: Cisco VAR Killing It Despite Making Next To Nothing On The Surveillance System

The only difference with this RFP and otherss, is they are specifically requesting best price on Avigilon equipment. Since most goverment agencies are bound by law to seek best pricing - what's wrong with that? (We) don't know the process used to determine Avigilon was their decision, but perhaps an indepentant consultant or employee did due deligenge and however aptly chosen Avigilon was the choice.

We've never replied to an RFP in 25 years, but I've read many across many industries, and most are written with the assistance of a preferred integrator, and vaguely written with veiled technical terms to hide the recommendations. RFP's commonly include BS forcing respondents to self eliminate, and include a long list of technical specs, without every mentioning a product by name, in the false since of following the law.

Every Security Vendor has A&E specs for these type of RFP's, often written by engineering / architectural firms with ZERO experience, that are complete jokes. The old saying, "there is never enough money to do it right, but always enough to fix the problems." Stems from the traditional RFP.

Based on the response, it seems that market is saturated with Avigilon dealers willing to drop their margins and their pants.

How many IPVM discussions have complained about Avigilon is a restricted product?

...most are written with the assistance of a preferred integrator, and vaguely written with veiled technical terms to hide the recommendations. RFP's commonly include BS forcing respondents to self eliminate, and include a long list of technical specs, without every mentioning a product by name, in the false since of following the law.

In fact, we saw this not long ago - a substantial government RFP that included as "requirements", terms that were very specific to one manufacturer's products (the manufacturer ALSO being an integrator, in this case).

Being very familiar with that product ourselves, we recognized some of those terms as being brand-specific, though they were relatively common features - as an example, a manufacturer might state that their cameras have "intelligent optical level control"... meaning "auto-iris". But an RFP that states cameras MUST feature "intelligent optical level control" would limit choices to that brand, without actually naming the brand.

We also recognized that a couple of the features they were asking for were frankly, completely meaningless to the installation being bid on... but were also unique (at least in name) to that manufacturer. An example was a particular function that most other VMSes implement as a separate application, but this particular system has built into the main interface... yet again, something clearly intended to exclude anything but this one manufacturer/integrator's product, without BLATANTLY exluding them.

John posts an Avigilon bid so everyone knows about it and people are surprised 10 dealers bid on it? I am I missing something here?

I can't wait till an Exacq/Genetec/Axis/Samsung/hikvision or what ever bid gets posted and we see how many companys bid on it. My guess is 3x as many

I am I missing something here?

Only that the discussion was started after the bid deadline had past.

Bid due date was May 7, 2015 4:00:00 PM PDT

John posted the bid 5/3/2015 10:25 AM

Yes, you are right, that was the deadline, sorry. I only remembered looking at it at the time and thinking it was too late. What it actually said was this:

Job-Walk/Site-Walk Through : Prospective bidders are required to attend (Mandatory) Site-Walk Through on Thursday, April 30, 2015 at 9:00 AM

Important : If bidder submits a bid response, but did not attend this mandatory site-walk through, the bid shall be deemed non- responsive.

This less-than-$100K part of this discussion reminds me of an experience we had with the feds quite a long time ago. They made an offer for annnual services that was well below our break-even point. Through negotiations, they went through several different offers for shorter and shorter intervals, ultimately offering a 4-month period that was at an attractive price point, but still challenging because at every expiration, there is no assurance of continuation, plus there would likely be gaps in service based upon the typical "agile" federal policies and procedures. As a result, we passed. They kept offering the same amount, which, although we didn't have the knowledge to recognize it at the time, was two-thirds of the federal simplified acquisition threshold. They were probably struggling with internal rules, but weren't willing (or perhaps able) to communicate these restrictions.

Possible (?) Relevance: The Federal Acquisition Regulations (below) have been interpreted to suggest that Federal contracts for sole source or a brand-name items need not require the additional time and complexity of a certified sole source justification, if they are within the simplified acquisition threshold. That threshold used to be $100K, but in 2010 it was changed to $150K. Some existing contracts and some local regulations that follow the feds have not updated to reflect the new $150K threshold.

Per FAR 13.003, the federal government is charged to use simplified acquisition procedures to the maximum extent practicable for all purchases of supplies or services not exceeding the simplified acquisition threshold.

Per FAR 13.002: Simplified acquisition procedures are intended to reduce administrative costs; improve opportunities for small, small disadvantaged, women-owned, veteran-owned, HUBZone, and service-disabled veteran-owned small business concerns to obtain a fair proportion of Government contracts; promote efficiency and economy in contracting; and avoid unnecessary burdens for agencies and contractors.

Per FAR 13.501(a)(2): Justifications and approvals are required under this subpart for sole source (including brand-name) acquisitions or portions of an acquisition requiring a brand-name.

FAR 13.501(a)(2)(i): For a proposed contract exceeding $150,000, but not exceeding $650,000, the contracting officer’s certification that the justification is accurate and complete to the best of the contracting officer’s knowledge and belief will serve as approval, unless a higher approval level is established in accordance with agency procedures.

The implication is, by exception, justification and approval may not be required for a proposed contract that does not exceed the simplified acquisition threshold of $150,000. However, some fed-following regulations, and some people's awareness, are still working at the older $100K limit.

If you were bidding and were aware of some local regulation or practice tied to the older simplified acquisition threshold, you might strive to remain within that $100K threshold.

Interesting.

It seems a bit easy to circumvent, either by breaking the project up into phases, or shortening the contract length as in your case.

There's also alot to say for coming in "one digit" cheaper than everybody else.

For our Canadian Friends, let's follow this one closely - Exacq Vision RFP.

D, thanks. Anyone who has any bids that feature well-known manufacturers are definitely something that member like to look at and discuss. We'll take a look at the London Public Library one tomorrow.

That RFP is written in a way that doesn't mention servers/recorders at all.... as if the Exacq software will be running in the cameras themselves.

The last form included in that RFP (Schedule A-6) shows 'ExacqVision Pro Software Installation and Configuration Vendor Bid' like the install and config cost is per camera:

Another great example of and RFP written with technical terms taken from cameras spec sheets, and likely the one (s) they've already decided are their choices. While this RFP provides some wiggle room on final equipment, the B.S. in all of this is the preferred integrator has to help the client create such an RFP in the first place. How many integrators pay their sales staff to respond to RFP's like this, and how many do you win?

20+ years ago a great salesperson told me with each opportunity you get 1 of 3 things; A yes, A no, or a lesson. 9 integrators got a no, and hopefully a lesson, and can recoup their looses on the next client win, or go out of business trying.

Here is Blue Violet's line item breakdown as provided to use from the county:

  1. Products: Cameras, Network Video Recorders, Enterprise Software Licenses, Pendant

Mount Brackets, Junctions Boxes, and Cable, for all four (4) office building locations:

Santa Ana Office, West County Field Services Office, Youth Reporting Center - North

Region, and Youth Reporting Center – Central Region, as specified in Section III,

Scope of Contract; Paragraph C, Equipment Specifications

$74,763.78

Breakdown of the Products cost by location:

$18,588.67 Santa Ana Office

$20,957.28 West County Field Services Office

$17,969.40 Youth Reporting Center - North Region

$17,248.43 Youth Reporting Center – Central Region

  1. Installation Services for all four (4) office building locations: Santa Ana Office, West

County Field Services Office, Youth Reporting Center - North Region, and Youth

Reporting Center – Central Region, as specified in Section III, Scope of Contract;

Paragraph D, Installation Services and Responsibilities of CONTRACTOR $20,740.00

Breakdown of the Installation Services cost by location:

$5,185.00 Santa Ana Office

$5,185.00 West County Field Services Office

$5,185.00 Youth Reporting Center - North Region

$5,185.00 Youth Reporting Center – Central Region

Sales Tax (applicable to some products only)

$4,386.53

Total Cost of Project: $99,890.31

For those of you who think Blue Violet made a killing or dropped their pants, you can now compare the bid price to the spec.

Here is Blue Violet's line item breakdown as provided to use from the county:

Is there any product level detail, like in the other winning BV bid shown above, (for the Oak school district)? It would be interesting to see the variance.

With the time invested in an early pilot, and as the named dealer bringing the deal to the table, and assuming added vendor incentives they priced their solution accordingly. They deservingly earned the business and did ok, provided they control their labor costs.

We can all be thankful not to be in the highway contruction or aggregate business, as I'm way too familiar with that. Some contracts are cost plus 5%, paid net 90 days.... But you have to pay the lease on 80 concrete trucks so you take any job you can get.

We are all so fortunate that we are in an expanding market, but we can't set on a behinds, and expect business to fall from the sky..... Go Blue Violets of the world. Ignore the whinners.