The short version is that Cignex won this bid originally. Apparently CoA
issued this RFP to many, many firms and only 3 responded. The other two were
Austin-based. Most people seem to think the reason so few companies
responded was that Plone was a requirement and few companies have that

One of the companies that chose not to bid gave their reasoning here:

Cignex gave the lowest bid, so they were about to be awarded the contract
pending a final vote.

Somebody in Austin made a huge deal about this on Twitter and then lots of
Austin people freaked out that a $700k+ contract to redo CoA's website was
going to a non-Austin-based company. The vote to award the contract was
"postponed", and now they redid the entire RFP.

I think this process has been going on for well over a year, and it sounds
like a pretty broken process.

More at

Some of the venom is clearly (and completely unfairly) pointed at Plone,
likely by those who lost out on this and know nothing about Plone itself.
Plone is a convenient scape goat here. Obviously Plone is as open an
architecture as they come.

On Thu, May 28, 2009 at 8:58 AM, Matt Hamilton <> wrote:

> I know very little about this, but know that there was some big contract
> for City of Austin's website.  Looks liek something has changed, but the PR
> looks a bit odd:
> They are saying things like:
> “City is scrapping prior website proposal. Will move to open architecture,
> customer-focused structure. No more Plone. New bid released soon"
> Which seems to imply that Plone is not an open architecture.
> Anyone know more about this?  Wasn't it something to do with Cignex?
> -Matt
> --
> Matt Hamilton                             
> Netsight Internet Solutions, Ltd.           Understand. Develop. Deliver
>                             +44 (0)117 9090901
> Web Design | Zope/Plone Development & Consulting | Co-location | Hosting
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