Franciscan University of Steubenville
Steubenville, OH

Dear Sirs,

In March 2005, Franciscan University of Steubenville was evaluating whether to renew our lease with our current telephone system or implement a new telephone system using more recent technology.

Representatives from the Business Office, Physical Plant and the Office of Information Technology at Franciscan University were given the permission to enlist the help of a consultant to shepherd us through this project. We asked three consultants to evaluate our current telephone system and present to us a design and proposal that would provide the university a stable and redundant telephone system that both students and administration would benefit from.

While all three demonstrated a technical expertise in the area, it was a unanimous decision to acquire Walczak Technology Consultants, Inc as our consultant. Mr. Walczak’s proposal, unlike the others was not a “boilerplate” proposal but rather described in detail our current telephone system and provided us a snapshot of how Franciscan University’s telephone system was configured. His proposal presented the university alternative solutions that allowed the administrators to make a decision based on functionality, redundancy and cost. Based on the proposal submitted by Walczak Technology Consultants, the administration was confident that implementing a Voice over IP (VoIP) solution was the best solution for the university.

Our next step in this process was to select a vendor that provided a stable VoIP solution that integrated with our current network infrastructure. Mr. Walczak began this process by preparing a detailed RFP fully describing the site, equipment locations, system requirements, etc. Essentially the core of the project, his RFP became the basis for comparing vendors, evaluating pricing, contracting the work, administering the project, establishing successful completion and making payment. His experience was evident in the way that the RFP was carefully structured to meet the particular requirements of a college telephone installation.

Mr. Walczak and Franciscan University agreed to entertain proposals from five vendors. During this time, Mr. Walczak remained unbiased in the evaluation process in relation to the vendors. The university was responsible for making the ultimate decision when selecting the vendor. Mr. Walczaks’s role in this decision was to provide us information that may not have been clearly explained by the vendors as well as provide us the common pitfalls as well as the benefits to the vendor’s solution. Mr. Walczak’s unbiased opinion of each vendor’s solution was a testimony to his integrity by remaining vendor neutral.

After evaluating all proposals, Mr. Walczak questioned specific points in each vendors proposals using e-mail and copying his questions and vendor responses to key administrators at the university keeping us informed at all time. His expertise in the area of reviewing proposals saved the university much time and clarified many issues in the proposals that may have gone unnoticed if the university was tasked with this responsibility.

After reviewing the proposals, Mr. Walczak presented the university with a report that detailed the pro’s and con’s of each vendor’s solution. After reviewing this report, Franciscan University selected the vendor that best fit the universities needs.

During the implementation of the VoIP system, the vendor was forthcoming about a discrepancy in the proposal that would cost the university additional money. Mr. Walczak took exception to the university paying for this discrepancy and presented a letter to the vendor outlining what he felt was the responsibility of the vendor and that the university should not be responsible for additional costs. The vendor complied with Mr. Walczak’s suggestions without costing the university additional money while still maintaining a good relationship with the vendor.

Our cutover date was August 11, 2006. We are still working out some of the issues that are inherent in a project such as this, but the university is very satisfied with the VoIP solution.

Our relationship and experience with Mr. Walczak can not be overstated. He has proven to be very forth coming with information, unyielding when dealing with vendors when trying to protect the university’s best interest but always maintaining a professional relationship. Because we are a Catholic university, I would be remiss if I did not mention the respect that he had for our culture, clergy and the mission of the university.

If you care to further discuss our experience with Walczak Technology Consultants, please call or e-mail me.

Kevin G. Sebolt
Director, Office of Information Technology
Franciscan University of Steubenville

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