Preparing for an RFP
Questions to Consider When Writing an RFP
We prepared this document to assist RFP committee members when preparing a formal Request for Proposal (RFP) when seeking products for their organization that perform video management, lecture capture, and video accessibility.
How to Use
We’ve sub-divided the questions based on functional area. Within each functional area, we’ve bolded the aspects that are imperative towards creating a scalable and robust video strategy.
- Does the company experience providing relevant video ed-tech tools to higher-education for at least a decade?
- Does the company provide data migration at no extra charge?
- Does the company have the ability to migrate LMS links (“link replacement”) from an existing video provider without the use of third-party contractors?
- Does the company provide a predictable pricing model with a no-overages policy?
- What SLA does the company made during times of high-load?
- Did the company have zero unscheduled outages during the pandemic?
- Outline any changes to senior leadership or ownership structure in the last 3 years?
- What percentage of your firm’s staff serve higher-ed customers?
- Does your product offer the ability to delay a product update to align with our school’s academic calendar? Can this be done with the cloud-hosted solution or does this require a hybrid or on-premise installation?
- Does the product provide data sovereignty over your content? That is, does your cloud-hosted system reside in your native country or region?
- Is your Section 508 / VPAT and WCAG 2.1 compliance documentation prepared by an independent or third-party assessor?
- Do you have a completed Full HECVAT assessment available for review?
- Does the company perform regular third-party security audits of their systems?
- Describe the qualifications of your senior technical staff members responsible for ensuring data integrity, security, and risk management.
- Is the Platform, as well as the selected hosting vendor, both SOC 2 certified by a third-party auditor? How many years has your SOC 2 attestation been in-place?
- If serving Texas institutions, is your product TX-RAMP certified? If so, at what level?
- Does the product include unlimited support to all admins, faculty, and students?
- Does the product provide a 365-day, 24/7-hour emergency support facility at no extra charge?
- Does the product provide full digital asset management capabilities? This includes the ability to ingest a variety of non-video and audio formats such as PDFs, Microsoft Office documents (Word, PowerPoint, Excel), etc.
- Does your product support 360° video? What about 360° images?
- Does the product provide the ability to preview non-videos assets directly within the product including previewing PDFs, images, and Microsoft Office documents?
- Does the product provide the ability for all roles to upload content (admin, instructors, and students)?
- Describe the product’s ability to scale transcoding and transmuxing to accommodate high-volume processing operations? Does your system automatically increase the number of processing servers to handling the prevailing load?
- Does the product allow all uploading, moving, and publishing operations to take place via drag-and-drop?
- Can a video be immediately played back after the upload?
- Does the product provide accelerated image loading with support for the industry-standard SRCSET protocol?
- Does the product have automatic bitrate encoding to ensure smooth streaming?
- Does the product provide capabilities to change the video playback speed directly within the video player?
- Does the product provide the end user with the ability to select a streaming quality setting, which would overwrite any automatically established bitrate encoding settings?
- Does the video player’s multi-stream capability of independently handling multiple sources include resizing, changing perspective, and full-screening specific sources? To meet this requirement, the player must not be a single-stream with preset picture-in-picture sizes.
- Does the video playback for recorded and live streamed content use a responsive, mobile-compatible HTML5-based player?
- Does the product have the ability to attach documents to a video, as well as view them inline within the player during playback?
- Can viewers perform dynamic search-inside-video across table of content titles, captions, optical character recognition extracts, notes & bookmarks, and in-video comments?
- Do the native mobile applications provide offline downloading capabilities?
- Can viewers move the Closed Caption Bar to different positions within the video player?
- Can video security restrictions be created that are geographic in nature such as excluding or including specific countries, states, provinces, etc.?
- Can users specify IP-based security restrictions on video?
- Does the product provide capabilities to control permission settings by a role or group?
- Can multiple video security settings be overlaid on a given video asset? For example, can IP-based security settings be used in tandem with a password restriction?
- Can video security restrictions be created for specific website addresses?
Bulk Media Management
- What bulk media operations can be performed on media? Describe the steps to perform bulk operations.
- Can videos be merged in bulk with a single operation and without the use of the video editor?
- Can videos be downloaded in bulk with the auto-captions?
- Does the product allow the ability for content owners and administers to move content ownership in bulk?
- Does platform provide content owners the ability to add multiple tags to multiple videos at once?
- Can bulk security on videos be added?
Metadata and Search
- Does the product automatically perform Optical Character Recognition (OCR) on the textual information shown on-screen?
- Does the product provide the ability to create custom metadata schemas and optionally enforce specific data entry rules?
- Does the product provide both search-inside-library and video-specific search-inside-video capabilities across captions, table of contents, and related metadata?
- Does the product offer an advanced search console that allows for multiple Boolean searches (AND, OR, NOT) to narrow down search criteria.
- Does the product provide a “word cloud” or data visualization to provide semantic meaning insights?
- Does the product automatically pre-generate searchable metadata tags based on semantic meaning of the video? Can content owners edit these metadata tags?
- Does the product provide full library-level search that includes the ability to see matches within the captions, OCR, comments, and notes? Is there a visual indicator of matches within the video timeline?
- Are users able to play a sub-clip of a given search match before accessing the entire video?
Management and Organization
- Does the product allow uploads by simply dragging and dropping content onto the Platform? Does this also apply for multiple files?
- Does the product allow the content owner to download the video?
- Does your product enable download of the original and highest quality version of the file?
- Does the product provide a configurable Recycle Bin for deleted content to allow users to self-restore content?
- Does the product allow content owners to create sub-channels or sub-collections of content to organize media?
- The product must allow Administrators to be able to “Act as User” (user impersonation) and assist users within their actual account.
- Does the product provide a self-service capability for administrators to see, manage, and download all videos, regardless of the creator?
- Does the product provide the ability to perform bulk operations on content including move, delete, and share?
- Does the product provide a full audit track to monitor individual recording events and their status?
- Does the product provide data lifecycle management and archiving tools?
- Does your product include an HTML5-based video editor?
- Does the video editor auto-save in-progress edits if the web browser is accidentally closed?
- Does the video editor offer the ability to perform slide-override by uploading the PDF or PowerPoint slide directly?
- Does the video editor provide a way to amplify or mute audio tracks at specific time points? Please specify which amplification settings are provided.
- Does the video editor provide a way to amplify audio tracks? Please specify which amplification settings are provided.
- Does the video editor provide capabilities to redact or blur specific portions of the video for privacy or FERPA compliance?
- Does the video editor provide capabilities to overlay text and images onto the video source?
- Does the video editor provide capabilities to remove a video source from a multi-source recording?
- Does the video editor provide the ability to perform inline caption editing of associated captions?
- Does the video editor provide a list of edits, as well as the ability to revert an edit?
- Does the video editor provide a pre-generated audio waveform visualization that can be used to identify quiet spots in the recording such as classroom breaks?
- Does the video editor provide keyboard-only hotkeys for both convenience and improved accessibility?
- Does the video editor support a freehand annotation functionality?
- Can the video editor allow for the find-and-replace (or replace all) of captions?
- Can the video editor allow for the edits of multiple caption languages?
- Does the product provide a public-facing channel to share content with alumni, prospective students, and your general community?
- Does the product allow the end-user to download videos, but give content owners the ability to turn the download features on-or-off?
- Does the product provide capabilities for instructors to create customize a playlist and share it publicly or among a student(s)?
- Does the product provide the ability to customize the HTML5 video player including colors, button placements, and the ability to turn specific tools on-and-off?
- Does the product provide branding capabilities including the ability to select an image masthead and color palette?
- Can Administrators create centralized intro/outro (video bumpers) that can be individually applied by end-users for consistent branding of video content?
Integration (LMS / SSO / API)
- Does the product provide LTI1.3 integration using an IMS (1EdTech)-certification standards?
- Does the LMS-specific mashup / plugin use the IMS (1EdTech) Deep Linking / Content Item Messaging protocol to ensure that embedded media tracks detailed user-level analytics?
- Can a recording be initiated directly from the LMS-specific mashup / plugin?
- Does the product provide the ability to create video quizzes with an LTI 1.3 IMS (1EdTech)-certified integration?
- Does the product provide a Content Item Messaging (CIM) / Deep Linkability-based LTI integration that can track embedded video analytics based on the authenticated user?
- Does the product provide an LMS-specific mashup / plugin that provides native LMS capabilities to directly embed content into the LMS discussions, announcements, or/and assignments?
- Does the platform provide multi-column Gradebook sync using the LMS’s native API integration? Note that LTI-based Gradebook integration is insufficient to meeting this requirement.
- Does the LMS extension, available within rich-text boxes, enable users to embed videos, quizzes, images, and documents?
- Does the LMS extension, available within rich-text boxes, enable users to record and embed directly?
- What identity providers do you provide Single-Sign-On capabilities with? Please list.
- Can SSO integration cross-match LTI-linked users to ensure that irrespective of the login method, the user sees the same linked user account?
- Does the product offer API-level video syndication with YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or other social media platforms?
- Does the product offer direct API-level integration to Zoom Video Conferencing?
- Does the product offer direct API-level integration to Microsoft Teams Video Conferencing?
- Does the product offer direct API-level integration to Collaborate (Class.com/Blackboard) Video Conferencing?
- Does the product offer direct API-level integration to WebEx Video Conferencing?
- Do your Video Conferencing integrations allow for multiple simultaneous authentication and provision options?
- Does the product offer direct API-level integration with PlayPosit?
- Can your system integrate RTMP-based devices for recording and live streaming
- Does the product offer direct API-level integration Epiphan Devices?
- Does the product offer direct API-level integration Matrox Devices?
- Does the product offer direct API-level integration Extron Devices?
- Does the product provide a comprehensive API?
- Does your API integration use a modern programming interface such as RESTFul?
- Please list some types of third-party products that can be written with your APIs.
Capture & Live Stream
- Does the product provide a full range of capture capabilities that include hardware-based, software application-based, browser-based, and mobile-based solutions?
- Is HTML5-based live streaming available on both the hardware and software-based solution?
Hardware Capture Appliance
- Is the hardware capture appliance a fully managed solution or do you utilize third-party appliance hardware?
- What monitoring facilities does the hardware capture appliance offer? Can you preview the audio and video sources continuously?
- Does the hardware capture appliance provide a low volume or no-volume alert during active recordings to inform administrators of potential mic or peripheral issues?
- Do you provide over-the-air firmware updates to the hardware capture appliance?
- Is customer support for hardware capture appliances included at no additional cost?
- Does the Video Platform integrate with third-party hardware capture appliances with end-to-end scheduling, recording, uploading and LMS publishing?
Software Capture Applications
- Does the software capture provide the capability to record at least six unique A/V sources?
- Does the software capture provide a simple recording process? Describe it including specific steps.
- Does the software capture provide the capability to record dual monitors?
- Does the software capture provide the facility to create personal and shared recording profiles in advance?
- Does software capture on both Apple and PC-based platforms support multi-source, HTML5-based live streaming?
- Does software capture perform automatic media recoverability and restoration for prematurely or abruptly terminated recordings on both Mac and PC?
- In case of computer issues or premature capture termination, is the recording recovered automatically? Describe the algorithms used to repair and recover media without human intervention.
- Does the software capture platform support the ability to select specific areas of the screen to record?
- If a capture is interrupted or improperly terminated, will the cloud automatically repair and recover the content?
- Can the browser-based recording tool be accessed directly form the LMS Rich Text Editor?
Auto Scheduling / In-Classroom Lecture Capture
- Does the software capture support auto-scheduling and the ability to auto-start using a pre-defined schedule?
- Does the auto-scheduling capability provide remote-monitoring facilities offer?
- Do the product’s auto-scheduling capabilities include the ability for the admin to delegate lecture capture scheduled modification by instructors? Specifically, how can instructors opt-out of specific scheduled sessions?
- Can administrators preview the audio and video sources continuously to ensure that classroom peripherals (cameras and mics) are working correctly?
- Can the product establish a configurable, system-wide publishing delay for auto-published content?
- Does live streaming use adaptive bitrate streaming?
- Can live streaming be initiated using both Apple and PC-based software capture applications?
- Does live streaming integrate a real-time participant chat capability?
- Does the live streaming’s chat capability provide audience engagement tools or visual indicators?
- After the live streamed event has completed, do the chat comments integrate into inline video comments in the subsequent recording?
- Does your product offer multi-source (primary and secondary) live streaming on desktop, tablet, and mobile devices?
- Is it possible to automatically forward the live stream URL used for the event to automatically forward to the corresponding recording?
- Does the live streaming capability provide the facility to created pre-defined template responses for frequently used comments and feedback?
- Does your system offer real-time analytics with geolocation for live streams?
Engagement and Interactive Tools
- Does the video player provide the ability to associate comments that appear dynamically at specific time points in the video?
- Do in-video comments provide a visual indicator on the timeline bar indicating where they exist within the video?
- Is it possible to establish specific permission and visibility settings for in-video comments?
- Can links be added as in-line video comments?
- Are in-video comments searchable?
- Does the product provide the ability to create both video and text-based quizzes?
- List the types of question types that can be used when creating video quizzes.
- Does the product provide Content-Item Messaging (CIM) / Deep Linkability-based integration for video quizzes in a manner that ensures that video quizzes can be inserted directly into LMS Assignments, Modules, Announcements, or Discussions?
- Do video quizzes embedded into any locations within the LMS automatically sync quiz Gradebook data with the LMS?
- Does the product provide native LMS-specific API integration of video quizzes to ensure multi-column Gradebook integration? Does it use the less powerful LTI Gradebook integration or both?
- Does the product allow for quizzes to be customized with functionality such as “disable fast forwarding or providing answers right away?
- Does the product’s video quiz allow for LaTeX (technical typesetting) and code?
- Can the product allow quiz creators to edit quizzes and re-sync the grades with the LMS gradebook?
Analytics and Reporting
- Do the analytics provide the percentage of the video that a student has watched?
- Do the analytics provide Administrators with tools to oversee the entire system’s usage at-a-glance?
- Describe how an instructor can access analytics and track how students are progressing, at a school, course, and individual level.
- Do the analytics provide insights on which devices/browsers were used to view the content?
- Does the product provide the ability to see areas of confusion or “hot spots” within the video?
- Does the platform provide the ability to see in-depth users-level analytics?
Quotas and Usage
- Does the product provide the ability to establish user quota limits to manage the amount of storage under each user?
- Does the product provide the ability to pull analytics reports directly from the platform?
- Does the product provide the ability to see storage quotas and bandwidth usage directly from the platform?
- Does your pricing structure include any form of usage-based pricing (view bundles, bandwidth caps, storage gaps?
- Does your product mandate specific retention policies? If so, what are they?
- What tools are available for Administrators to manage content across an entire deployment?
- What specific retention parameters can be designated within your data management toolset by the institution?
- Are there any default retention or deletion policies that would require additional costing to adjust?
Captioning and Accessibility
- Does your Platform include Artificial Intelligence-powered captioning that is approximately 90%- 95% accurate?
- Does your platform include Artificial Intelligence-powered caption language translations? How many languages?
- Does your platform include Artificial Intelligence-powered captioning for live streaming?
- Does the Artificial Intelligence-based captioning provide captioning and transcription in multiple languages? List the available languages.
- Does the video player provide keyboard shortcuts?
- Does the video player support Audio Descriptions?