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RE: first steps (was The other parts of the report...)

2004-09-14 09:39:19
On Tue, 14 Sep 2004 graham(_dot_)travers(_at_)bt(_dot_)com wrote:

Umm, not so fast....

When we hosted the London meeting, we were told which venue was to be
used.  It turned out that we had to install extra network capacity to
the hotel, especially for the meeting, because the hotel didn't have
what was required. ( So the hotel did pretty well out of it. )

There's more to arranging an IETF venue than securing the right number
of meeting rooms.  We need to get the functional requirements for these
things specified properly.

Just to amplify graham, most if not all of the internal network including wireless at all the meetings I've worked on has been handled by the the host or a group of dedicated volunteers or some combination thereof.


        Graham Travers

        International Standards Manager
        BT Group

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-----Original Message-----
From: ietf-bounces(_at_)ietf(_dot_)org 
[mailto:ietf-bounces(_at_)ietf(_dot_)org] On Behalf Of
Wijnen, Bert (Bert)
Sent: 12 September 2004 19:41
To: Steve Crocker; ietf(_at_)ietf(_dot_)org
Subject: RE: first steps (was The other parts of the report...)

Exactly, I agree with Steve here.

-----Original Message-----
From: Steve Crocker [mailto:steve(_at_)stevecrocker(_dot_)com]
Sent: Sunday, September 12, 2004 18:51
To: 'Margaret Wasserman'; 'scott bradner'; ietf(_at_)ietf(_dot_)org
Subject: RE: first steps (was The other parts of the report...)

A brief comment on one specific aspect of meeting planning...

In broad terms, the planning for a meeting is partionable, rather
cleanly, into two pieces.  One is the "envelope" of arranging for the
hotel, an inventory of large and small meeting rooms, the terminal
room, the external network connectivity, the food and perhaps a few
other things I've left out.  This "envelope" is reasonably constant
and reasonably easy to specify.

The other part of meeting planning is the assignment of WGs, BOFs and
other events to the specific rooms.  This requires intimate knowledge
of the areas and other relationships to avoid scheduling conflicts,
work out priorities and maintain communication with all the
relevant people.

I believe the former could be farmed out, if desired,
although this gets
a bit complicated because it includes finding sponsors and making
arrangements for appropriate Internet service.  The latter is
tied quite
closely, in my opinion, to the year round support of the WGs and IESG.

I don't have an opinion as to whether the envelope part of the meeting

planning *should* be farmed out to a separate organization.  I'm only
commenting here that the tasks divide reasonably cleanly.  That is, to

first order, an IETF meeting needs a plenary room, about ten working
group rooms, a terminal room, and a handful of side rooms for
auxiliary purposes.  That's a spec that can be sent out to hotels and
meeting planners around the world.


-----Original Message-----
From: ietf-bounces(_at_)ietf(_dot_)org 
[mailto:ietf-bounces(_at_)ietf(_dot_)org] On
Behalf Of Margaret Wasserman
Sent: Sunday, September 12, 2004 12:00 PM
To: scott bradner; ietf(_at_)ietf(_dot_)org
Subject: Re: first steps (was The other parts of the report...)

Hi Scott,

At 5:06 PM -0400 9/11/04, scott bradner wrote:
imo it would least disruptive to follow option #3 (combo
path) and try
to negotiate a sole source contract with Foretec/CNRI for
what Carl
called the clerk function and maybe some other functions
(imo it would
be better to outsorce the management of the mailing lists
and their
archives to a company in that business)

Mailing list management and web hosting (not content) are
two obvious
candidates for separate contracts if we choose to go with a
multi-part RFP process.  These items are quite independent and
non-IETF specific.

Meeting planning is another chunk that could be considered
separately, but the way we do it today has a lot of tie-ins to IETF
activities -- rules/notices about WG vs. BOF scheduling,
network, terminal rooms, multicast, sponsorship, etc.  So, if we
outsource the meeting planning separately from the "clerk"
we would have to carefully define the line between the two,
 and that
line may not be quite where it lies inside Foretec today.

Also, even if we somehow outsource a few of the more
separable/generic tasks independently, there is still a
large amount
of IETF-specific work that needs to be done by someone -- I-D
handling, supporting the IESG review/approval process, handling IPR
notices, keeping track of WG charters, maintaining our web content,
etc.  It would not be easy to outsource these functions to multiple
groups.  It would require extensive effort to define the interfaces
between the different functions, and a lot of duplicate
work to train
multiple groups in the details of the IETF processes and culture.

I have some concerns that if we try to break off a few of
the simpler
chunks, the effort of coordinating between those chunks may
be larger
than the benefits that would accrue from allowing
competition in the
mailing list management, web hosting and meeting planning
areas.  So,
this is something we should think about carefully.  A
multi-part RFP
process that allows organizations to submit multi-part bids
(i.e.  if
we run the clerk's office,  we will also do meeting
planning for $XXX
) might give us some insight into whether ecomomies of
scale make it
cheaper to go with a single provider for all services, or if it
actually works out that it is cheaper/better for some
functions to be
provided by people who specialize in them.


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