Choosing Your DotNetNuke Partner

— Some tips from personal experience for qualifying a DotNetNuke partner.

Posted: February 21, 2013

We recently had a prospect that we were working with that came to us with another agency's proposal that was about 15% less than ours. They were really excited about working with us and impressed with our approach and process, but they needed to understand why there was such a cost difference between our proposal and this other company. We are not always the least expensive option. This is partly because of the quality of talent that we have on our team, and also due to the detail that we put into the estimation process. Sometimes this level of detail prices us out when we are competing for work, but it keeps us and our clients from gross budget overruns and never-ending projects because of extensions and SOW addendums.

With this particular company, though, after doing some research, we suspected that they were misrepresenting their experience and size, so we provided a list of questions to our prospect that helped them know what to ask to qualify the potential vendor. Given that we were later awarded this project, I thought I might share these with folks who are shopping for a DotNetNuke partner to help them qualify their vendor.

  1. Can you show examples of DotNetNuke websites that you have implemented in the past?
  2. Can you show us an example of the DotNetNuke Professional/Enterprise edition websites that you have implemented in the past?
  3. Can you provide a reference for a DotNetNuke client that is roughly the same size implementation as ours?
  4. What in-house experience does your team have with SharePoint?
    1. (Absolute Basic Test Question) What is the difference between SharePoint Foundation and Enterprise?
  5. Will someone on your team be performing the work, or will it be completed by a sub-contractor?
  6. Who, on your team, will oversee the quality of the work?
  7. Will any of the work be fulfilled by an offshore team?
    1. Is the offshore team an extension of your team or subcontracted from a larger organization?
    2. Do you have complete control over the allocation of those sub-contracted resources or is it possible that the team there can change resources in the middle of the project without your consent or knowledge?
  8. Does your team have any certifications from Microsoft or from DotNetNuke?
  9. What percentage of your projects are performed on the Microsoft stack versus open-source?
  10. If we need to bump the number of folks on our team to add a new feature or to accelerate the project, are there people on your team other than those allocated to the project that are skilled in ASP.NET and DotNetNuke?

I'm going to try to make this list grow as I think of more – but this is a start. Feel free to email me or add a comment here with any additional questions you think should be on the list and I'll update the blog.