Atlantic Lottery starts rolling out

October 2, 2008 by Dave Haynes

Anyone in this business who gets RFPs in the Inbox greets them with a mixture of excitement, dread and suspicion.

Excitement because it usually means a pretty big job. Dread because of all the work. Suspicion because these things are often pre-cooked, and the RFP is just a due diligence and optics exercise for the company that sent it out.

Many in the Canuck business, and no doubt a few US suppliers, got an RFP way back at the start of the year from the Atlantic Lottery Corporation. Many of us pulled together proposals and put hours and hours into buffing them up. And many of us quietly asked around as to whether this was worth the effort, given the ALC had already done a trial with a vendor.

As it played out, the established timelines weren’t followed, nor were the steps and short-lists, and many, many months after a “Thanks for coming out!”  notice, we get official word that the vendor that was already in there is indeed the one rolling out with ALC.

Sour grapes? Not really. Suppliers get chosen for a pile of reasons, and there really aren’t too many software platforms or companies that one can honestly say are truly bad choices. Certainly not in this case.

The point here (and I am blowing up an ALC bridge I already blew up months ago) is that if a company is issuing an RFP, they should be brutally honest if there is already a preferred vendor. That way, the other vendors can either decide to give it a pass, or have a crack at it anyway. By putting up a mirage of a level playing field, a lot of time and effort gets wasted and people get, frankly, PO’d.

I did a sales retreat about a year ago and the guy leading it flat said, if you get an RFP from someone, ignore it. All it will do, he said, is waste your time, because it’s very likely someone is already in there, and that they helped shape or even write the RFP.

With that rant stated, I will note that the ALC has announced the good folks at London, Ontario-based eK3 have the deal and will be rolling out in stores where lottery tickets and games are sold around the Canadian Atlantic provinces. A good win for them, and testament to them getting in the door much earlier and winning ALC’s confidence.

Press release here … 

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