Awarded to Simply Zesty Limited

Start date: Monday 4 November 2019
Value: £162,135
Company size: SME
Belfast City Council (BCC)

Hosted responsive website and Web CMS, including UX design and build

22 Incomplete applications

20 SME, 2 large

14 Completed applications

14 SME, 0 large

Important dates

Friday 9 August 2019
Deadline for asking questions
Friday 16 August 2019 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications
Friday 23 August 2019 at 11:59pm GMT


Summary of the work
Design and build a user-centred, mobile responsive and accessible website implemented on a new Web CMS. Provide the ability for BCC to build at least three other websites. The Web CMS must be hosted, highly usable, and provide multi-channel support and must integrate with the Council’s new corporate CRM.
Latest start date
Monday 14 October 2019
Expected contract length
2 years with option for 2 years renewal. Expected design and implementation completion April 2020
Northern Ireland
Organisation the work is for
Belfast City Council (BCC)
Budget range
Circa £100,000 - £150,000 (capital) to include all requirements of initial 12 month term (E.g Discovery, User-centred Design, Configuration, Testing, Support, Hosting etc)

It is expected that annual support and maintenance costs of the Web CMS will not exceed £80,000.

About the work

Why the work is being done
Our online customer experience is inconsistent and lacks uniform standards; online information can be out of date, inaccurate, hard to find, inaccessible; lack of knowledge and understanding of customer behaviour to drive decisions based on data; customers can’t access all the services they need to online; customers find inconsistencies between online and other channel offerings; internal systems don’t seamlessly integrate. Our current website contains over 7,600 pages, and Jan 2018 – Dec 2018 there was over 825,000 users, 4.3million unique page views, with 72% accounting for mobile and tablet traffic.
Problem to be solved
A new corporate website will act as one of the primary customer facing channels of our Customer Focus programme, offering convenient access and encouraging self-service. This project will deliver a newly designed (based on principles or similar), user-centred, mobile responsive and accessible website implemented on a new web CMS. Provide the ability for BCC to build at least three other website instances for associated sites with unique urls. The web CMS must be hosted, highly usable, and provide multi-channel support and must integrate with the Council’s new corporate CRM which will be developed in MS Dynamics 365.
Who the users are and what they need to do
Our audience is made up of residents, visitors, councillors, staff, businesses and partners. A full segmentation of audience is available. Some examples of usage are:
Residents use our website for finding their bin collection day or paying fines and licences; councillors look for information on council meetings and minutes; staff use the site to provide customers with information; developers and investors for planning applications and Belfast investment opportunities; businesses use our website to find events, support and apply for grants and funding as well as apply for licences.
Early market engagement
We have spoken to a number of suppliers and a number of public sector organisations. We have conducted research in to critical capabilities of web CMS.
Any work that’s already been done
The customer focus programme has been broken down into 3 phases. Mobilisation, discovery, and design and implementation.
We are currently at the programme design and implementation phase, which consists of six work streams: Customer hub, website, service design, CRM, integration and emerging opportunities. In Discovery Phase, we carried out an online survey (375 respondents); face-to-face interviews; field surveys and focus groups. This includes customer personas and journeys. Specifically, on the web work stream, we have carried out analytics of the sites, highlighting most frequently visited pages. Information on the phases of work completed to date is available on request.
Existing team
There is an Online Customer Experience team consisting of three web editors, a coordinator and a manager. This team is closely supported by the Council’s ICT Service (Digital Services). Your main contact will be with the Online Customer Experience Manager. The wider Customer Focus team is led by a Programme Director, supported by leads for each of the work streams. A strategic partner (PA Consulting) is on board to oversee the design of the customer hub and integration of work streams.
Current phase
Not applicable

Work setup

Address where the work will take place
Belfast City Council, City Hall Belfast, and 9 Adelaide, 9-21 Adelaide Street, Belfast. Suppliers can work remotely but will be expected to attend initiation meeting and progress update meetings as required.
Working arrangements
On-site for kick-off meetings and face-to-face meetings for key tasks, to ensure swift issue resolution, project milestones achievement, and timescales remain on target. Additional onsite meetings as required. Otherwise, off-site conference calls and weekly reports.
Security clearance

Additional information

Additional terms and conditions

Skills and experience

Buyers will use the essential and nice-to-have skills and experience to help them evaluate suppliers’ technical competence.

Essential skills and experience
  • Provide a robust, scalable, high availability, hosted (cloud based) Website CMS for public sector local government organisations, which offers complex integrated services to a diverse range of users.
  • A back office web CMS for content management and publication, that scales to handle large volumes of data, stored and published in a variety of content format types.
  • CMS Security admin and access control, allowing authorised users to perform full CRUD operations on all data and objects related to website activities (page creation, navigation, content publication, integration).
  • Provide CMS training and knowledge transfer to content publishers and technical administrators, allowing a self-sufficient approach to develop the Website CMS components reacting to future business or legal requirements.
  • The creation of additional Web CMS instances for new independent websites using the same platform, having their own identity and styling, pointing to a domain under our control.
  • GDPR compliance following ICO guidelines, with interactive cookie consent banners.
  • Using primary research and user-centred design approach, design, develop and implement wireframes and templates using UX design concepts and principles, to create an exceptional responsive digital user experience.
  • The design functionality should be flexible enough to allow the in-house web team to change design elements.
  • Compliance with website accessibility standards which adhere to the W3C WCAG and Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications) (No. 2) Accessibility Regulations 2018, ensuring future continued compliance.
  • Adherence and compliance to hosted (cloud based) websites (CMS) that achieve and conform to the UK’s National Cyber Security Centre cloud security guidance as stated in the 13 IaaS principles.
  • Adherence and compliance for website (CMS) best practice web application security standards, as listed by the Open Web Application Security Project (OWASP).
  • Provide business continuity processes and procedures ensuring minimal service disruption; have effective disaster recovery procedures to implement RPO and RTO; with high availability service levels of 99.999% operational uptime.
  • Significant website CMS scalable integration and interoperability capabilities, enabling seamless integration between line of business and bespoke systems, APIs, Social Media, Maps, and Microsoft Dynamics 365 Online.
  • Provide a suitable solution ensuring all user identity management activities for the website (CMS) are integrated with and handled by Belfast City Council’s ‘on premise’ Active Directory Federation services.
  • Implement website (CMS) identity management integration with our Customer Portal (MS Dynamics Customer Portal, used for self-service opportunities).
  • Testing of website (accessibility and usability), throughout design and development cycle using a range of devices and assistive technology used by their various audiences. User testing of integrated applications.
Nice-to-have skills and experience
  • Provide technology that promotes digital inclusion within the website CMS, through use of multi-lingual, sign languages, and other forms of communication.
  • Provide functionality within the website (CMS) features to facilitate collaboration and knowledge sharing with relevant stakeholders, partners and users.
  • Provide chatbots and online chat as a means of user engagement.
  • Facilitate greater user insight for the discovery of information, services, and other content types, through intuitive navigation and site wide search functionality.
  • Website personalisation allowing users to view relevant content of specific interest.
  • Have context awareness through past user behaviour and choice, to make data driven decisions to help guide the user’s journey and deliver relevant content.
  • Provide expertise regarding Conversion Rate Optimisation (CRO) best practices to help increase visitor usage of our corporate website, and SEO techniques.
  • Provide online booking functionality within the context of a corporate website (CMS), enabling users (and groups) to book attendance at events and slots on tours (free or paid for).
  • Create secure online forms for data capture, file uploads, and processing payment transactions, for both authenticated and anonymous users, which will integrate with Microsoft Dynamics 365 CRM Online.
  • Have business intelligence and site analytics capabilities (website data, performance monitoring and optimisation, journey analytics, usage and browsing traffic activity) to obtain customer insights for service improvement.

How suppliers will be evaluated

How many suppliers to evaluate
Proposal criteria
  • How the solution meets our essential requirements, showing a clear understanding of our brief.
  • Technical solution offered with two previous examples of successfully delivering and implementing in a public sector local government organisation of equivalent scale.
  • Approach and methodology, with capacity to successfully deliver within our completion timeframe of April 2020.
  • Proactively identify risks and dependencies highlighting approaches to managing these with innovative alternatives that add value and reduce risk.
Cultural fit criteria
  • Work as part of a team with Belfast City Council and our Customer Focus (Service Design) Strategic and technical partners.
  • Take responsibility for delivery of work, and build positive successful relationships by sharing knowledge and experiences.
  • Be transparent, collaborative, and innovative in terms of problem solving and decision making.
Payment approach
Fixed price
Assessment methods
  • Written proposal
  • Presentation
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence


Cultural fit




Questions asked by suppliers

1. Looking at the initial 12 month period, are you able to confirm that the indicative budget range for the period (£100-£150k) is exclusive of the anticipated annual support and maintenance costs of Web CMS (<£80k)?
Yes that is correct
2. Could you confirm if the hosting costs are included within the £80,000 support budget?
Hosting costs are included within the £80,000 support budget.
3. Is content migration included as part of the project?
We intend to do the content migration ourselves, although we will need some support, in the form of a content migration plan and guidance. This will be part of the project and should be included in approach and methodology.
4. As this will be a new site, has the Council started editing &/or developing new content?
We have started to analyse the content with the intention of reducing the number of pages dramatically, by the time the contract is awarded. We have web style guidelines which our editors adhere to.
5. Can we assume that the Council is amenable to open-source CMS?
Yes as long as it adheres to the security, accessibility & GDPR guidelines and regulations stated in the requirements.
6. You mention you have reviewed a selection of CMS. Can you provide insights on this? Do you have a preferred choice?
We have looked at the critical capabilities of platforms and do not have a preferred choice.
7. Do you consider building a headless CMS approach rather than traditional CMS template approach or do you have a preference?
We require CMS content to be delivered in an accessible format, which is consumer device responsive. This would ideally be achievable via a responsive CMS template approach, built around best practice UI/UX principles. This approach would also minimise the need for bespoke software development activities on our part. However consuming content from the CMS should also be achievable via API calls.
8. Will you be able to specify the number of API calls related to your back-end systems – i,e MS Dynamics CRM and Office 365 platforms. Especially you mentioned 4.3M unique page views per month, just get an idea about core CMS vs backend API's calls percentage.
The number of page views relates to website content, the vast majority being static. Online requests (for services, queries, payment transactions, complaints, etc.) by the public which requires integration with Dynamics CRM, will be handled by Dynamics Customer Engagement Portal. It is not possible to quantify the number of API calls and the scale of integration with line of business systems at this time, but it must reflect the increasing demand for online services and continued growth in digital channel shift.
9. Can you tell us what the Council's new CRM system is?
The Council’s new corporate CRM will be developed in MS Dynamics 365.
10. When we are giving "evidence for all the skills and experience the team have", can we include a URL for the website we are referencing in our answer to each of the 16 questions?
Yes, as long as each criteria is addressed within the word limit and the url does not need to be taken account of to determine whether the criteria is met.
11. 4.3m Page views figure
Please note: the 4.3m page views is for the Jan 2018 – Dec 2018 period as stated in the 'why the work is being done' section and NOT per month as mentioned in supplier question number 8.