Frustrated with the slow-moving request-for-proposal process, T. Rowe has developed an alternative method for selecting vendors. In the new "Proof of Concept Lab," T. Rowe executives give vendors an opportunity to show rather than tell them what their applications can do.
According to Doren Jacobs, vice president with T. Rowe Prices Investment Technologies, the lab is a much more efficient way to tell if a vendor's offering really meets his firm's needs. "This allows people to see how it works without having to go through the traditional lifecycle of writing requirements and then waiting to see it - And then finding out if they missed something."
The lab functions much like a potential buyer test driving a vehicle to get a feel for the car's performance in the real world. In it, executives can see how the system functions in real time along with how well it behaves in T. Rowe's architectural environment.
The new system came in handy recently when the firm auditioned a number of corporate-actions vendors. "Everyone was fighting to get into the lab to demonstrate why their system was better or would meet our needs better."
Once viewing all potential providers in the lab, T. Rowe then asked the top performers to endure a formal RFP process. The firm finally chose SmartStream for its corporate-action's needs.