UPDATE: Zoho Vendor Status

From: SiteMaker Transition Team <sitemakerproject@umich.edu>
Date: Fri, Nov 21, 2014 at 2:19 AM
Subject: UPDATE: Zoho Vendor Status
To: creator.pilot@umich.edu
Cc: sm-steering@ctools.umich.edu, sm-admin@umich.edu


As you are aware, ITS issued a request for proposal (RFP) on September 22 for a web hosting platform that could replace the data tables functionality of SiteMaker. We subsequently extended the original October 17 submission deadline to November 7 to allow more time for vendor responses. Unfortunately, despite the extension and repeated requests, Zoho did not respond to our RFP. As a result, Zoho can no longer be considered as a potential vendor at this point. We will post an update about this to the project site shortly, but wanted to reach out to you personally first.

We are disappointed, as you probably are, by this development. As a pilot participant you invested significant time and energy in helping us evaluate and test Zoho Creator. We greatly appreciate your efforts and are sincerely grateful for the valuable feedback and guidance you provided to our team. I also want to assure you that ITS will continue to support SiteMaker until the transition and decommissioning process is complete.

Two other vendors did submit proposals. We will begin our review of them this week and intend to report our results in December. Because of this delay we will also adjust our roadmap milestones: the May 29 date will move to August 28 (no site edits/read only), and the July 31 date will move to October 30 (no site access/archive only). Please let us know if you have any concerns about this new timeline. Finally, I want to clarify the status of Zoho Creator as a web hosting alternative so that you can make a fully informed decision in regard to your SiteMaker transition planning:

  • You may still independently adopt Zoho Creator for your web hosting and development needs, if you choose. Zoho’s failure to submit a proposal in no way prohibits you from pursuing your current activities with Zoho or from using their products.

  • Our current license for Zoho Creator extends to the end of February, 2015. Although we will cease accessibility testing, we will continue to maintain the pilot environment until that time. However, after our current license expires ITS and the project team will no longer be able to provide support for Creator.

  • We recently updated the pilot environment to the latest version of Zoho Creator. Enhancements include more granular permissions and role settings, the ability to have multiple editors on an app, automatic language translations powered by Google Translate, SMS notifications, and real-time chat. Learn more on Zoho’s What’s New page.

Thank you again for taking part in our pilot and for your continued support, hard work, and generosity in sharing your time and knowledge with us. Please feel free to contact me directly with any questions or concerns. My entire project team and I are ready to assist you in any way we can and we remain committed to finding the most suitable web hosting solutions for our users.


John Johnston – Product Manager & Lead Business Systems Analyst

ITS Teaching & Learning, University of Michigan