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Company behind botched vaccination signup site says: Our bad

WCVB talks to the CEO of the Maryland-based company that strung together the Web site that kind of sucked yesterday:

PrepMod vowed that there would be excellent communication moving forward, and the issues that users faced on Thursday would not happen again.

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Comments

Why was a firm in Maryland doing this?

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Either the state did or did not tell Prepmod about the surge of a million users. And as a result, I spent hours attempting to get an appointment, and never did. I'm still trying.

Someone is lying.

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Throw up your hands, say my bad, we're working on it and keep cashing the checks would be the plan I think. I would dare dream that MA contracts would have severe financial penalties for failure to deliver contracted services but I doubt it?

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MA has been shipped 2 million units of vaccine so far, and has used around 1.75 million.

We need about 3 million doses for both second doses and for there to be enough vaccine for all currently eligible groups.

No vaccine? No appointments.

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Surely the Baker administration could have found a local Mass. company to create and manage a signup site.

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Ian Faith:
The Boston gig has been cancelled...

David St. Hubbins:
What?

Ian Faith:
Yeah. I wouldn't worry about it though, it's not a big college town.

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So there are plenty of local shops that could have gotten this contract who would have been well aware that the 1,000,000 people would try to access the site on Thursday morning.
This news was leaked before Baker even had a chance to announce it.
What happened to support our local businesses?

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Don't forget Boston outsourcing their tree study for half a million dollars to some company in Tennessee.

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Don't government contracts have to go through a bidding process, which results in the lowest bidder being awarded the contract?

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I believe most government contracts give priority in various degrees to local companies, minority owned companies etc

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I work in software consulting and we bid on government work often. I wish we wouldn't waste our time honestly. The RFP process is generally very inefficient, time consuming and expensive for us to dedicate senior resources to formulate a proposal. Instead of sitting down with a client and understanding what they need, it becomes a bunch of vague questionnaires with vague responses. They can't tell you specifically what they need because it's literally illegal to give one company and edge. So everyone gets the same generic overview is left basically filling in the blanks and basically guessing at a solution. The company who guesses what the person who wrote the RFP is thinking and guesses the price in their range wins.

It's very beuracratic and almost a parody. Imagine if you worked at McDonald's and a customer came in and said they wanted to spend money but can't tell you how much or on what specifically but it should contain meat and a side. When you produce a Big Mac combo they say oh no I just wanted a small fry and nuggets, I'll take my business to Burger King instead.

At the end of the day we are usually told our proposal is too high and they go with a lower bidder. Most companies with the talent to attract business on thier own will avoid the RFP process as usually you lose 9 out of 10 of them and the one you win doesn't make up for the time spent on the other 9. We do it because we're big enough and have the talent to respond efficiently, but it rarely results in good work.

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Lets you sign up once and then notifies you when a shot becomes available for you. It was built by Everbridge, which is headquartered in, um, Burlington, just off 128 and 3A.

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n/t

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I can't help but feel that for all the comments here about the state not using a Mass-based supplier, if they had but the same problems had emerged, all the comments here instead would be about nepotism and bribery and who did a favor to who to get that deal.

Which is to say, ultimately, I think it's less about where the supplier is based, and more about the product not working.

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Should the Commonwealth not prioritize qualified businesses based in Massachusetts, employing Massachusetts residents, and paying taxes in Massachusetts? Particularly in business sectors that are firmly seated in our state's economy.

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I just don't think that would prevent issues like this from occurring, so I'm not sure it's the most important thing to focus on right now.

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Well, they would have been less likely to pull the "we didn't know there was about to be a big surge in traffic because you opened up a new phase and didn't tell us" line if/when they experienced the same failure.

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