Periscope Letter Protesting Arizona RFP Eye Opening

Posted on July 26, 2016


At the end of this post, you will find a copy of a letter dated July 20th, 2016 from Periscope Holdings Inc. CEO Brian Utley, under the heading Protest of Solicitation No. ADSPO17-00006413; Electronic Procurement Solution.

Periscope is challenging the State of Arizona’s decision to issue an RFP for an “Electronic Procurement Solution.” Here is the link to the State’s Bid Solicitation;

Over the coming weeks, I will delve deeper into the letter’s contents, and what it means relative to Arizona’s desire to look for an alternative to Periscope’s BuySpeed offering. It should be noted that Arizona has been using the BuySpeed platform since 2009.

However, and while I want to stress that I have considerably more research to do, after a preliminary read of Mr. Utley’s letter, I will share with you my initial or gut reaction.

What Goes Around . . .?

To start, I could not believe what I was reading . . . is this the same Periscope who tried to leverage their relationship with the NIGP to challenge the Missouri contract award? In this regard, points 1 and 2 of Mr. Utley’s letter in particular, jump off the page.

By the way, you can read my coverage of the Periscope NIGP #CodeGate story through the following link; NIGP #CodeGate.

The two posts you will want to initially focus on are December 11th, 2014 – Up Periscope? Examining Periscope’s acquisition of BidSync with a “Survivor’s” eye and, March 31st, 2015 – Periscope Protest Letter Highlights Their Reasons For Challenging Missouri Selection of Perfect Commerce.

Private Versus Public Sector

I do not believe that this kind of protest would wash with a private sector client.

I am not talking about the actual process itself, or for that matter whether or not a vendor would have the right to protest the issuance of an RFP. What I am talking about is the business sense to pursue this course of action.

Besides sounding like sour grapes, the letter comes across as a company trying to bully a state into using their solution. It is as if Periscope doesn’t (or doesn’t want to) recognize the right or expertise of the state’s procurement people to make decisions or pursue courses of action that they feel is in the best interest of the state as opposed to the vendor’s.

Am I missing something here?

An Absence Of Arrogance

Although I have never really encountered a situation in which a vendor challenged the actual issuance of an RFP before now, the tone of the letter seems to be void of the usual vendor arrogance. Specifically the palpable, underlying sense that the vendor believes they know what is best for a public sector entity.

I can’t quite put my finger on it at this point, but there is definitely something different here. Makes one wonder how well Periscope has done in terms of both landing and maintaining new clients, and what the loss of Arizona would potentially mean to the company’s future prospects.

Periscope Final Bid Protest

In Conclusion . . . 

There are of course other elements to this story that are just now starting to come through, but at this point, this is my take.

Stay tuned for more updates.

In the meantime, here is the Periscope protest letter:




Posted in: Commentary