UPDATE: Skyward files protest over lost contract - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

UPDATE: Skyward files protest over lost contract; claims it had lowest bid

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Courtesy: Skyward Courtesy: Skyward

MADISON (WKOW) -- Skyward Inc. of Stevens Point filed a formal protest Friday with the state over a $15 million school software contract awarded to an out-of-state company.

Skyward's Chief Executive Officer and President are the featured guests on Capitol City Sunday this weekend.

The executives say they found irregularities in the bid review process that resulted in the contract being awarded to the Minneapolis-based company Infinite Campus.

The executives say they are poised to move the company out of Wisconsin if the decision isn't reversed.

Skyward currently provides student information services for half of the school districts in Wisconsin.

"It covers things like grades, attendance, discipline.  It gives parents the ability to check up on their children, for their grades," said Scott Glinski, President of Skyward.

But the company stands to lose all of those districts with the selection of Infinite Campus as the sole provider of SIS statewide.

"If the outcome is we cannot sell our product anymore in the state of Wisconsin, we will be looking to move our corporate headquarters to another state where we can sell our product," said Skyward CEO Cliff King.

Glinski says that would cost the state a lot of money and jobs.

"We were looking at a $20 million expansion with a brand new corporate office and looking at hiring around 600 people in the long-term," said Glinski.

The Department of Administration declined an opportunity to appear on Capitol City Sunday because it is still in contract negotiations, but a spokesperson says that Infinite Campus submitted a proposal which scored higher and cost less than Skyward's, something the company's president claims is inaccurate.

"The first thing that jumped out at us was the ongoing cost, we were $2.65 million cheaper to the taxpayer for the life of this contract.  We then started looking at some of the scoring and we found 73 times where our competitor had scores entered in that were actually higher than should have been allowed," said Glinski.

Last summer, DOA halted the bid process when it found out the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation had improperly promised tax breaks to Skyward if they won the contract.

The Skyward executives believe that ultimately cost them.

"When you look at that, the scoring and the price and you add it all up, it seems to me like something was flawed and we just want to have an opportunity to appeal that and look into it a little further," said Glinski.

The Department of Administration issued this response to Skyward's allegations:

"Wisconsin schools will receive the best product at the best price.  Educational professionals were involved in the procurement -- from creating the project criteria to participating in vendor demonstrations.  An independent third-party monitored the entire process and found the evaluation and selection process was open, fair, impartial, objective and consistent with state law.  The evaluator also found that the evaluation team was not subject to any outside influence.  While we understand how disappointing it can be for a vendor not to get a contract, the competitive proposal process ensures that all companies have an equal opportunity to bid on a project." - Stephanie Marquis, DOA Spokesperson.

You can see the entire interview with the Skyward Inc. executives on Capitol City Sunday at 9:00 a.m. on WKOW 27.

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MADISON (WKOW) -- A Wisconsin-based company files a protest with the state after it lost out on a $15 million education contract.

Skyward Inc. said Friday it had filed the protest with Governor Scott Walker's administration, saying its bid was lower than a bid by Infinite Campus of Blaine, Minnesota. Infinite Campus was awarded the $15 million contract to provide student information systems to the state's more than 440 school districts and non-district charter schools.

Last week, the state said Infinite Campus had the highest scoring proposal based on several criteria, including the highest technical score and lowest cost.

Democratic lawmakers say this may mean job losses in the state because Skyward didn't win the contract.

 

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