As I mentioned, I was waiting to hear back from the provider with a formal quote.
When we first started to discuss this back in November I think it was, we talked very rough numbers which were aligned with what I felt was a reasonable cost, but given the off-the-cuff nature of the discussion it was certainly not something that I felt I could state in a public forum.
I requested a formal quote on 20th May and between then and now have passed 7 working days (taking into account bank holidays etc).
I appreciate your patience while they prepared the necessary scoping and documentation to provide us with an accurate quote.
The cost would be as follows:
One-time setup fee to transfer infrastructure from the demo environment onto the live production environment and ensure this is functioning as expected: 800CHF (approx 736 EUR / $880 USD)
One-time setup fee to configure outbound email, custom domain and backups: 800CHF (approx 736 EUR / $880 USD)
Total one-time: 1600 CHF / 1462 EUR / $1760
This would be on a pre-paid support hours basis to cover updates, maintenance and any tasks that we might need (eg help with configuring the instance, adding new features and the likes).
They prefer to work in pre-paid support packs so that they can guarantee response time and development resources as they are a small team - I feel that this is a reasonable way of working.
We would need to access some support time to get up and running for:
- Auth0 integration - 2 hours
- Etherpad setup (which allows you to embed collaborative note taking within meetings and for historical reference in read-only mode after meetings) using the open source tool Etherpad) - 1 hour
Typical work we would need to budget for might include things like a major update to Decidim (approx 8 hours), installation of new modules (around 1-3 hours but depends on the complexity) for example.
The packages are as follows:
Basic hourly rate of 170 CHF / 159 EUR / $187
- 16 hours - 2560 CHF (160 CHF/hour)
- 32 hours - 4960 CHF (155 CHF/hour)
- 64 hours - 9920 CHF (155 CHF/hour)
- 128 hours - 19200 CHF (150 CHF/hour)
The prices indicated do not include VAT (7.7%).
I investigated several options which included:
The forums using the existing voting system - very simplistic voting process and allows for debating in a thread. Already widely used. We would have to figure out how to determine allowing voting in certain categories only by certain groups and we are somewhat limited as to the customisation that we can make as we are on a hosted platform.
Loomio - while it has some basic functionality for threads and polls it is very simplistic and I did not feel that this would grow and scale with what we need as a community. For example it does not have any concept of participatory processes, meetings and the like.
Polis - Also very simplistic and seems to be focused on just isolated conversations - no way to for example to group them by context (that I could tell) so I did not consider this to be fit for purpose
Metagov and PolicyKit - These are really promising projects but does not have any usable front-end yet. I have been in discussions with their team about this, and have enrolled us (Mautic) for a beta where they are developing this for one specific element (having a way to enable your community to collaboratively approve / reject expenses in Open Collective in a Slack channel) to help them with user experience testing, but I do not feel with our lack of developer resources that this is anywhere near ready for us to consider using. It would be way too steep a curve for us to get this to being usable.
Out of all the tools and options that I looked into, Decidim was the one that I see as being most promising. I feel it would bring the community together in many areas of the project to a central place where we can have all team meetings happening transparently, community meetings, projects and more. It has tried and tested governance processes that are used by large cities around the world.
I feel this is the tool that best helps us to meet our needs right now, and that will enable us to grow.
I have also contributed in their community several times and found them to be a welcoming and supportive open source project.
Decidim is open source - https://decidim.org.