US Fencing USA Fencing Transitions to New Membership and Event Registration Platform

Discussion in 'Fencing Discussion' started by Mitchell, Mar 14, 2017.

  1. Mitchell

    Mitchell hi Staff Member

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    http://www.usfencing.org/news_article/show/769834

    I have an article coming out shortly, but I'd like to hear community thoughts first. In particular, I'm not going include speculation in the article - only facts. But I'm okay with pointing out a few things here on the forums that I probably won't be as direct about in the article.

    1. An email was sent out earlier this year with the following text:

    > Beginning in the 2017-2018 season all regional tournaments will be required to use an updated USA Fencing tournament database for registration, post tournament reporting and payment. More information on this will be provided to you in the near future.

    Which is to say, this system will be required next season for not just NACs/Nationals, but also for ROCs/SYCs/etc.. This appears to be encroaching into AskFRED's territory.

    2. This RFP for this system was awarded to a company owned by the Chair of the Tournament Committee.


    Thoughts?
     
  2. ReadyFence

    ReadyFence Podium

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    Well, #2 certainly seems inappropriate on its face. And frankly, as far as #1 goes, Railstation has not been as good a registration system as everyone had hoped. If the new system is an improvement, then great I guess. But if it's buggy and annoying, then why switch, unless it is specifically to enrich the Chair of the Tournament Committee...

    PS- why not be direct about the appearance of a conflict of interest?
     
  3. Mitchell

    Mitchell hi Staff Member

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    My understanding is that the new system will actually be fairly nice and well-done. My understanding also is that the new system will cost money to register for events.
     
  4. ReadyFence

    ReadyFence Podium

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    Well isn't that nice. Of course, so does Railstation, although USFA gets the $5 fee. Will that be the same with the new system, or does the system operator get the $?
     
  5. ReadyFence

    ReadyFence Podium

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    Do you think tournament organizers will also have to pay a fee to list events? I would try to do my own research but the link won't load for me :)
     
  6. Mitchell

    Mitchell hi Staff Member

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    I don't have any other specific information as I suspect its still largely in flux (or else it would be in the article). My guess, though, is that the USFA gets the fee, and I don't think organizers will have to pay.
     
  7. MHS Fencer

    MHS Fencer DE Bracket

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    #2 bugs me, as we wound up with railstation and a number of other ill-made choices precisely due to such incestuousness. This could truly be the best solution (I hope it is!), but unless there was a transparent selection process it remains under the cloud of the old way of doing things.

    Three basic questions I'd like to see answered:
    1. Where was/is this RFP published?
    2. How many submissions were received?
    3. What criteria were used to score it?
    I'd like to think that if I dug through all of the board minutes that I could find this whole process documented. It just would have been nice to have had a couple of pre and in-progress announcements as this is designed to be a key portal through which we interact with USA Fencing.

    At least based on their other portfolio work, this should be a bit better than the whole "Honor, Integrity, Agility" fiasco.
     
  8. Mitchell

    Mitchell hi Staff Member

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    As far as I know, it was not published. It has a very clear confidentiality notice on it. I've asked versions of the other two questions already and gotten no response.

    > I'd like to think that if I dug through all of the board minutes that I could find this whole process documented.

    I attempted to and found no reference to "software", "RFP", "membership" or "database" that matched up with this RFP in any of the last 2 years of minutes. Granted, I might not have searched for the right stuff, but I'm fairly sure one of those terms would've been mentioned in the correct area. FWIW the RFP was issued early 2016 and closed on May 20, 2016.
     
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  9. Inquartata

    Inquartata Podium

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    Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose.
     
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  10. Chauffeur

    Chauffeur DE Bracket

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    Another communication splat for USFA. It's going to "go live in late March" and we'll get more details "in the coming weeks." We're entering the second half of March; the "coming weeks" include the first week of April at this point. I begin to doubt they have details. Not even some "what to expect" stuff, like whether or not registration for Salt Lake City - opening next week - will be on the new or old system? Come on, guys. This vague note should have come out 4-6 weeks ago. Yesterday should have had more detail to include how specific, impending situations constituents are likely to freak out over (see SLC above) will be managed and maybe a screen shot of a sample profile and/or event registration page.

    I have a child who needed to upgrade to competitive membership this month. I'd planned on doing it right before her tournament. I went into Railstation the second I read that release and effected the transaction. The devil you know, etc.
     
  11. HalfBlue

    HalfBlue Rookie

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    If the new USFA tournament registration system for regional events will a) take care of handling the head tax for me, and b) let me refund withdrawals directly to their card via the tournament interface, I'll be pretty happy.
     
  12. teacup

    teacup Podium

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    Will regional points be on the new platform?
     
  13. Purple Fencer

    Purple Fencer Podium

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    You're surprised?? This is hardly new.

    The ONLY announcement that affected significant numbers of the membership that they got out in a timely manner was for sabre going back to 4m en garde lines., and I am STILL amazed they got THATY one right.
     
  14. teacup

    teacup Podium

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    Why can't the national office use AskFRED?
     
  15. Chauffeur

    Chauffeur DE Bracket

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    Surprised? Nah. I am, however enough of a noob at this to be incredulous still.
     
  16. Purple Fencer

    Purple Fencer Podium

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    Because that makes too much sense??
     
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  17. Mitchell

    Mitchell hi Staff Member

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    My understanding of the situation is that the NO basically hates FRED and this entire process has been a thinly veiled middle finger to them. (Also they hate this website too, as far as I can tell.) If you re-read the press release, you'll note that some of the "features" they explicitly mention are actually worded to be direct feature contrasts with FRED which you wouldn't really mention unless there's an implied "compared to FRED ...".
     
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  18. Purple Fencer

    Purple Fencer Podium

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    And this kinda spells out the stupidity of the NO....you have a proven system that is used for practically EVERY OTHER domestic event, yet the NO steadfastly refuses to consider incorporating it because they have some sort of penis envy about it.

    Seriously...a TRUE leadership org would find a way to incorporate the thing for the benefit of the members....oh, wait....
     
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  19. Inquartata

    Inquartata Podium

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    But then they wouldn't have control. Must...control...everything.
     
  20. oiuyt

    oiuyt Podium

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    Without going back to re-read the press release, I'd also expect the described outcome if the press release used language from the selected vendor and the selected vendor had positioned their system in contrast to their expected competition. Designsensory would have been foolish NOT to highlight features they have that FRED doesn't or areas where they compare favorably. Given a bullet list of features and the assignment to write a quick news release, why wouldn't the expected outcome be an announcement that highlights material from the feature list? I think you're reading way too much into that aspect of the announcement when you attribute the implicit comparison to NO staff, rather than DS staff.

    B
     
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