TMCnet Feature
July 03, 2018

What is the difference between RFI and RFP in the IT sector?

In the world of IT, there is a story behind each and every set of acronyms. This applies to RFI (News - Alert) and RFP as well - vital parts of business-to-business cooperation. As they may sound similar, it takes no time to confuse these concepts. That is why, we decided to clarify them for you.

RFI means Request For Information. This kind of message is sent by potential customers to vendors in order to get more information about the industry and services, but it should not be taken as a Request For Proposal (RFP) or Request For Quotation (RFQ) yet.

RFI can be used by companies that have not gained experience with a specific range of features or a marketplace in general, or those that know they want a certain service but need more information from vendors before they can take any further steps. RFI does not have to include any purchaser’s commitment: it is rather an expression of interest that can be followed by a RFP.

Finding a good RFI template for software that will help you gather all of the information you need to make a decision about potential cooperation is not a cakewalk. There are many factors that need to be taken into consideration, and it is essential to make smart and smooth comparisons and evaluation for a better process.

RFP stands for Request For Proposal and is often a follow-up after sending a RFI. RFP can be a more detailed message or document that includes more precise requirements, company’s needs and business goals. This kind of document should give vendors all the specific information necessary for preparing a tailored-made software solution, based on actual business problems. While RFI is rather a “registration of interest” of a marketplace, RFP can address clear-cut needs and help both sides  understand each other better.

RFI and RFP mean a lot in the world of IT and outsourcing, where two business partners need to face the challenge of being far away from each other. A well-constructed RFI and RFP can have positive impact on further collaboration, so do go the extra mile to be sure that you get those concepts and templates right.

However, before starting cooperation with a new IT partner, you should remember about signing a Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA). The NDA, also known as a Confidentiality Agreement is a tool commonly used to protect the secrecy of confidential information between the parties. A well-drafted NDA is an essential security measure when entering negotiations with a software outsourcing provider, as well as during the IT project itself.

Author Bio: Sunil Gupta is the founder of ACG Digital Marketing a digital marketing company based in India.

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