[Cato] Testing Business Model
thsiao at cascadia.edu
Thu Nov 23 10:02:23 PST 2017
Unfortunately I will be unable to make the CATO meeting, but I wanted to share my thoughts on the thoughts you shared in the attached e-mail.
Lets start with two assumptions that I feel are reasonable:
* The leadership of every college can be brought to the realization that they will need to protect themselves by testing their software (or reviewing it for accessibility prior to testing).
* Presented with a "fair" deal colleges will opt for that deal, even if they could figure out ways to game the system. Ditto for other state agencies.
The simple fact is that we can provide better quality, lower cost testing results via a "system approach" than any college can figure out on their own. We even have the potential for creating a profit center (assuming we make that a goal and approach it in the appropriate manner).
We need to develop our "product" based on market needs and then sell it to the WACTC level by making the business case. I don't see it as a hard sell for WCTC itself.
Of course words are cheap, but I'm prepared to put the work in to back them up. While I can't make the CATO meeting I have a fairly open schedule this Friday - can we arrange time to talk in more detail so I can put something together for the group to consider?
From: Cato <cato-bounces at lists.ctc.edu> on behalf of Jess Thompson <jess.thompson at sbctc.edu>
Sent: Wednesday, November 1, 2017 6:18 PM
To: cato at lists.ctc.edu
Subject: [Cato] More from my convo with Abraham
Ok, so I had a long talk with Abraham today and we went over some stuff that’s been in the back of my mind for a while when it comes to the inventory and testing stuff. I’d like him at one of our meetings (a virtual one, as he’s in Spokane). Here’s why:
I brought up concerns about the potential that 3rd party testing companies may not wanting us to share results (as they benefit from each college requesting testing individually), so I wanted to ensure we could write language into the contract that all “participating/subscribing” colleges would have access. He immediately cited RCW 42.56 Public Records Act and said if any company doesn’t want us to share results, then they’ll have to get a court order showing it impedes their business practice blah blah blah… or simply opt not to do business with us.
If there’s a true risk of this scaring companies away, Abraham’s thought was we build out our testing capacity. WE provide the testing (hire the bodies to do the testing) and then we own those requests, so we don’t need to worry about a company not doing business with us.
Ok, cool, so we can share (this jives with Ward’s stance on VPAT sharing permissions)!!
BUT, how the hell can we justify charging the colleges for access to results? Let’s say we set it up that colleges contribute X dollars to access results, but [here’s where this info does not leave this email, except… you know, unless there’s a public records request] a college could be savvy enough to do a public records request for all of our testing results. Hm…. Maybe we need to find some other approach where we can legitimately restrict access. Timing of the test: Pay to get your products moved to the top of the queue? But for something somewhat widely used, who’s not going to sit back and wait for someone else to pay?
In which case, I suggested we scrap hiring a third party and we just be “that guy/gal” and start doing freedom of info act requests for third party testing results if we know a public entity is already paying for this work. (We both sat on how awesome that would be for a while.)
Can we (SBCTC) simply mandate that the colleges contribute to the cost of testing? Is this where we go to the leg and say “hey, we’ve tried to determine how to make this self-support, but we can’t create the incentive given public access to our results so give us some dang cash already.” This funding piece is really eating at me… I’m struggling a bit to work on features of the application if we don’t have a subscription/funding model sorted as a lot of that is tied in with the different roles and permissions that we (Ward’s crew) would build in.
Ok, just wanted to pass all that jazz along. I’ll send Access360 evaluations another day. I know the event was good, but dang, people did not like Janet and we really need to tighten up our approach next time (they want more facilitated work time). I’m saying “we” because I really need more help and will be better at asking for it.
Program Administrator, Accessible Technology Initiatives
Washington State Board for Community & Technical Colleges
1300 Quince St SE | PO Box 42495 | Olympia, WA 98504
p: 360.704.4327|c: 253.229.8591
jess.thompson at sbctc.edu<mailto:jess.thompson at sbctc.edu> | www.sbctc.edu<http://www.sbctc.edu/>
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