RFP for Remote Participation Services Specifications Development

IETF Administrative Director <iad@ietf.org> Wed, 19 October 2011 16:25 UTC

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Subject: RFP for Remote Participation Services Specifications Development
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The IETF Administrative Oversight Committee (IAOC), on behalf of the IETF, announces this Request for Proposal
to develop the specifications for Remote Participation Services. The successful bidder will enter into a contract with
the Internet Society.

The primary goal of this project is to develop consensus on a set of requirements for IETF Remote Participation
Services (RPS) to enhance remote participation at IETF meetings, interim and virtual working group meetings.

Background
The IETF has supported remote meeting participation over the Internet for many years. For example, the audio of 
each session is made available in real time so that remote participants can listen to the proceedings. Instant messaging
is supported by having a jabber room 'conference' for each session, so that comments from remote participants can be 
relayed to people in the face-to-face meeting and to permit “side” exchanges that comment on material being 
presented. In addition, we have experimented with bi-directional audio support for remote presenters, as well as video 
broadcasting of the face-to-face meeting, but these more advanced features have, to date, have proved difficult to 
scale.

Environments
1. IETF Meeting Group Sessions
There are about 150 sessions, with up to 8 being simultaneous at any one time. A session varies in size from twenty to 
two hundred on-site participants.

2. IETF Meeting Plenary Sessions
There are two plenaries. On-site attendance at plenary sessions averages 700. The number of speakers at the front of
the room ranges up to twenty.

3. Interim Group Meetings
In addition to sessions during one of the three regular meetings, there can be as many as thirty Interim Working 
Group Meetings held throughout the world annually, serving a range of on-site participants from 15 to 50 and an 
unknown number of remote participants.

4. Virtual Group Meetings
There are currently 30-50 Virtual Group Meetings held throughout the year annually, serving 15-75 online 
participants from all parts of the globe. These have no physical, on-site instantiation and are conducted entirely
through teleconferencing tools.

The contractor is expected to highlight development and operational challenges to the functions that are defined. 

Deliverables

1. The IETF is seeking development of functional specifications for a suite of tools that enable Remote Participation
Services, meeting the needs described above, ideally enabling an experience for remote attendees that rivals that of 
on-site attendees.
2. The specifications shall rely solely upon IETF and other open standards for all communications and interactions.
3. At a minimum it is expected that the RPS will support the following real time functionality:
  a.  audio, bi-directional
  b.  video, bi-directional
  c.  instant messaging
  d.  slide presentations, including by remote attendees
  e.  whiteboard, for collaborative document development
  f.  conference control and moderation
  g.  transcription and broadcast of audio to text in real-time
  h.  ability to conduct and participate in straw polls.

In addition to real-time participation support, the service must support recording of an entire session, using 
standards-based encoding, to permit integration into the IETF meeting proceedings system.

Timeline

The contractor will observe group and plenary sessions at IETF 82 (Fall 2011 in Taipei) and conduct interviews with 
vendor teams (at a minimum, Meetecho, Adobe, Citrix and Webex when possible), the Network Operations Center
(NOC) volunteers, remote participants, and those individuals who run the working group and plenary sessions. After 
gathering all of this input, the contractor will prepare an initial specification for review by the IETF Tools Team and 
the vmeet mail list participants. Following these discussions, the contractor will update the specification as required.

Specifications will be circulated as IETF Internet-Drafts (I-D). It is expected that an initial I-D containing the 
specifications will be developed prior to IETF 83 (Spring 2012) and a completed I-D will be delivered prior to IETF 84 
( 2012).

The RFP can be found at: <http://iaoc.ietf.org/rfpsrfis.html>.

Proposals must be received via email at rpelletier@isoc.org no later than November 1, 2011, 5:00 P.M. EDT. All 
questions/inquiries must be submitted in writing and must be received no later than midnight, EDT, October 24, 2011. 
Responses to questions and inquiries shall be posted on the IAOC website, <http://iaoc.ietf.org/rfpsrfis.html> by 
midnight, EDT, October 27, 2011.

The point of contact regarding this RFP is the IETF Administrative Director, Ray Pelletier.

Ray Pelletier
IETF Administrative Director