Mozilla Foundation Soliciting Proposals for Support Services
Saturday March 27th, 2004
By Bart Decrem
The Mozilla Foundation is exploring offering enhanced support options for Firefox, Thunderbird, and the Mozilla 1.x Internet suite, in addition to or instead of our current telephone support and is seeking proposals from both established companies and community members for contracts to provide these services.
- Products we are looking to offer support for: Firefox 0.9 and later; Thunderbird 0.6 and later; Mozilla 1.x (1.6 and upcoming stable releases)
- User base/demand indicators: each of our applications has several million users. In the first 6 weeks after Mozilla 1.6 was released, approximately 1 million users downloaded the software. Over one million users downloaded Firefox 0.8 in the first two weeks after it was released. We expect these numbers to increase significantly after the release of Firefox 1.0. Thousands of people purchase our software on CD each month. The volume of support messages at forums.mozillazine.org is one indicator of the demand for end user support
- Factors we will consider in reviewing proposals include:
- Ease of use for the end user
- Quality of service & quality assurance
- Reliability, proven track record
- End user cost
- Potential revenues to the Foundation
- Community ties, use of community volunteers, integration with free support options
- While we are open to a variety of pricing and revenue sharing possibilities, one formula that's of particular interest to us is annual flat fee wholesale pricing where a user would make a donation to the Mozilla Foundation and a portion of that would be passed on to the support provider
- Which products can you provide support for?
- Which technology platform(s) do you propose to use: phone, online chat, message boards, email? Please explain the technology platform you plan to use from both a back-end perspective and from an end-user interaction perspective. If you are proposing to use a phone service, how will you make the service easily available to international users? Will your technology platform be standards compliant and work with all web browsers, including Internet Explorer and Netscape 4.7 through the latest Mozilla browsers?
- If you propose to use a service such as Keen.com or LiveOps.com, what kind of relationship do you have with them?
- Quality of service. Please describe your service level agreement. How quickly would you guarantee a response to user? Who would provide support? What escalation models would you have? How will you ensure that customers receive the highest quality of service? What auditing and reporting mechanisms would be available to the Mozilla Foundation?
- Migration path: please explain how we will be able to migrate users to a different support option if we decide to discontinue our relationship with your company or if your company becomes unable to provide the service
- Duration of agreement, exclusivity: what is the minimum duration for a support contract that you would consider? What kind of exclusivity (per product, or per technology platform, or by geographic region) would you require?
- Trial/ramp-up/scalability: how can we try out your services? How does your service scale?
- Demand projections: what do you estimate the end-user demand for your service will be? Please explain
- Minimum demand requirements: at what volume will the business for any given project not be economically viable for you?
- Link to free support options, use of community volunteers: how will your services co-exist with existing free support options? Will you tap in to community volunteers to provide any of the services? If so, how, if at all, do you plan to compensate them?
- Transactions processing: how do you plan to process payments?
- What payment methods will you accept? What money-back commitments would you make?
- Customer support: what kind of customer support will you offer re:your services. How will you respond to customer complaints etc?
- International support: how will your service be available to users outside of the US? Will you offer any services in languages other than English. If so, please explain
- End-user pricing: how do you plan to price your services? Will you charge on a per-call or a per-incident basis? Will you be set up to provide enterprise support packages?
- Revenue sharing: please propose a revenue sharing model
- Flat-fee pricing / integration with donations to the Foundation: How would you structure an annual flat-fee support package? We are particulary interested in a structure where a user makes a donation to the Mozilla Foundation and, in return, receives a one-year support package for X incidents. Please provide a revenue sharing model and transaction processing model whereby your organization would process all transactions
- What kind of training and support would you need from the Mozilla Foundation?
- What click-flow do you propose such that all support inquiries, complaints and other support-related communications end up with your service (as opposed to in our email boxes)? How would you reorganize the support box on our homepage and in the support section of our web site? How would you direct users to free community support options vs your paid support
- Promotion: how do you plan to promote your services? What kind of promotion do you need from us, compared to how we current advertise support services?
- Company/organizational background: please provide background information about your company: history, reference customers, key staff, capitalization
- Proposal Submission Deadline: Friday, April 9, midnight, PST
- Proposal Format: HTML or PDF
- Proposal Guidelines: see above. Please include both email and phone contact information (and specify what time zone you are located in)
- Contact information: please direct your inquiries and submit proposals to "bart at mozilla dot org"
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