RADIUS

RADIUS is an authentication protocol that supports the use of username, password and sometimes one extra credential numbers such as a hardware token PIN.

In file transfer applications, RADIUS sign on information can be collected by web-based, FTP-based or other file transfer prompts and then tried against trusted RADIUS servers.  When a file transfer application gets a positive acknowledgement from a RADIUS server, it will typically need to look up additional information about the authenticated user from its internal user database or other external authentication sources (frequently LDAP servers such as Active Directory).

Request For Information

A file transfer Request For Information is more commonly known as a file transfer RFI.  See “RFI” for more information.

Request For Proposal

A file transfer Request For Proposal is more commonly known as a file transfer RFP.  See “RFP” for more information.

RFI

RFI stands for “Request for Information” and is used to ask which products and services are available to meet your file transfer needs and to get information about the firms behind the offerings.   The utility of RFI’s in the acquisition of technology declined significantly with the rise of the world wide web, as much of the information typically requested in an RFI is freely available on vendor web sites.

While an RFI is not technically an invitation to bid, many companies nonetheless use them as such.    The correct instrument to use to solicit bids is the RFP (“Request for Proposal”).    The correct role of a file transfer RFI process is to determine which, if any, file transfer vendors could potentially serve the needs of a file transfer project or strategic file transfer consolidation.

BEST PRACTICE: Send file transfer RFPs to potential vendors instead of file transfer RFIs unless corporate/government policy forces you to send RFIs.   Use of the RFP format will allow you to get a better answer back faster from potential vendors by forcing you to describe your specific challenges up front and signaling to vendors that you probably have the focus and funding to proceed.   File Transfer Consulting publishes a free file transfer RFP template that can be used to start the RFP process with any collection of potential vendors.    File Transfer Consulting also provides a free thirty-minute conversation (and additional services) that can be used in lieu of an expensive RFI process to help decide which pool of vendors could potentially meet your needs.

RFP

RFP stands for “Request For Proposal” and allows multiple vendors to suggest a specific solution to your specific challenges in a well-documented and repeatable format.

Good responses to a file transfer RFP will answer your questions about:

  • Vendors’ ability to execute (e.g., experience, expertise)
  • Vendors’ position in the industry (e.g., innovator, total solution, value-priced)
  • Products’ ability to meet needs off the shelf, degree of product customization and/or use of professional services or third-party technology to complete solution
  • Vendor’s ongoing commitment to products used to provide the solution
  • Time to deploy solution, with specific milestones if the project is longer than three months
  • Cost to deploy solution, including internal costs
  • Risk of deploying solution (e.g., backout considerations, integration milestones, etc.)

BEST PRACTICE: Use of the RFP format will allow you to get a good answer back fast from potential file transfer vendors by forcing you to describe your specific challenges up front and signaling to vendors that you probably have the focus and funding to proceed.   File Transfer Consulting publishes a free file transfer RFP template that can be used to start the RFP process with any collection of potential vendors.    File Transfer Consulting also provides a free thirty-minute conversation (and additional services) that can be used in lieu of an expensive RFI process to help decide which pool of vendors could potentially meet your needs.

   
Event Log Analyzer by SolarWinds