Awarded to Appvia Ltd

Start date: Wednesday 1 January 2020
Value: £9,500,000
Company size: SME
Home Office

C16327 Application Container Platform Support Services

8 Incomplete applications

7 SME, 1 large

8 Completed applications

3 SME, 5 large

Important dates

Friday 6 September 2019
Deadline for asking questions
Friday 13 September 2019 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications
Friday 20 September 2019 at 11:59pm GMT


Summary of the work
The continued improvement, support and development of the Home Office Application Container Platform, providing a range of tools and services to tenants as well as professional services, such as tenant familiarisation and billing enquiries, to more bespoke professional services.
Latest start date
Monday 4 November 2019
Expected contract length
2 years
Organisation the work is for
Home Office
Budget range
£1000 day rate cap to apply.

About the work

Why the work is being done
The Home Office requires the further development and support of the Application Container platform (ACP), the strategic Home Office Platform as a Service, as well as supporting wider platform strategy in the Home Office. The Home Office has developed a Kubernetes based containerisation platform as a service, using a combination of open source and commercial off the shelf products, to enable individual tenants/projects to develop, build, deploy and manage their applications. It is expected to be provided based on support which is fit for purpose by each tenant.
Problem to be solved
There is an ever-increasing landscape of cloud service offerings, open source products as well as commercial tools and services on the market. Most of them support the software development lifecycle in some shape or form and can be assembled in a variety of different ways.

The platform requires continuous iteration and improvement to ensure it remains an industry aligned and high-quality product whilst understanding and meeting user needs.

The supplier will be required to continue to develop the current approach to support from basic in-office support to full 24/7 support.
Who the users are and what they need to do
Development and project teams from across the Home Office requiring a cloud environment to deploy code, on-boarding, training and support.
Early market engagement
Any work that’s already been done
The service was developed via a contract let on the Digital Services Framework has been in place since 2016. The service requires continuous development and improvement. Currently supporting 36+ projects across Home Office on the platform with over 700+ developers actively developing across these projects.
Existing team
The current arrangement utilises a core supplier team of 15~ but this is flexible and variable to meet the requirement. In addition to the Supplier team, the Home Office has a permanent Product Manager and Platform Engineer assigned to work with the supplier. This team may increase, and the supplier would be expected to provide knowledge transfer and upskilling for any additional engineers.
Current phase

Work setup

Address where the work will take place
Work will be carried out from a Home Office location, primarily within M25. Some travel may be required to other Home Office sites. Where resources are based at the Home Office location within M25, and where infrequent travel is required to other sites, reasonable onward travel expenses will be paid, in line with HO travel policy (excluding subsistence).
Working arrangements
The supplier will be required to collaboratively work on site (up to 5 days per week to allow sufficient stakeholder engagement and support to be provided). Supplier costs must be inclusive of all expenses.
Security clearance
All staff must have SC level security clearance prior to starting work. Staff not in current possession of SC security clearance must be willing to undergo and capable of achieving SC security clearance.

Additional information

Additional terms and conditions
Additional terms and conditions Individual statements of work may be arranged on a fixed price, T&M or capped T&M basis. Travel expenses in line with Home Office Travel Policy (excluding subsistence).

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
  • Evidence of delivering a PaaS on AWS to a large organisation (with over 10 digital delivery teams hosted on the platform)
  • Evidence of expert experience utilising Kubernetes, including Certified Kubernetes Administrator (CKA) qualifications
  • Experience of developing, maintaining and operating complex operational tooling (e.g. Elastic, Sysdig, Keycloak, OpenVPN, Drone or equivalent alternative technologies)
  • Have demonstrable experience of setting best practices and policies, especially around microservice architecture
  • Have demonstrable experience of collaborative working and professional services with a client's ‘in-house’ teams
  • Have demonstrable engagement with the Kubernetes community (for example, pull requests, industry conferences, meetups etc)
Nice-to-have skills and experience
  • Experience of delivering and operating PaaS across multiple cloud providers
  • Experience of delivering a PaaS to over 100+ developers
  • Experience of developing in Angular, Golang, Python and Ruby
  • Experience of delivering to the GDS service standard

How suppliers will be evaluated

How many suppliers to evaluate
Proposal criteria
  • How they will deliver
  • How the approach meets user needs
  • How quickly and the process for handover mobilisation
  • Team structures
  • Team and organisation capability
  • Technical capability as demonstrated in their written examples and required at interview
  • Added value
  • Assumptions and dependencies
Cultural fit criteria
  • Ability to function effectively and collaborate in a multi-supplier environment
  • Have excellent communication skills with staff at all levels of the organisation.
  • Willing to take responsibility for their work.
  • Be willing to collaborate and partner, including with other suppliers.
  • Be innovative and promote ideas and suggestions as applicable.
  • Focus on achieving value for money in all activities.
  • Works within the spirit of the Civil Service code, as at
Payment approach
Fixed price
Assessment methods
  • Written proposal
  • Work history
  • Reference
  • Presentation
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence


Cultural fit




Questions asked by suppliers

1. is there a current incumbent or preferred supplier?
There is an incumbent supplier.
2. How do you envisage the team being structured or do you feel this is a role for an individual specialist?
This is an outcome requirement - so a team is required.
3. Will you support the SC clearance process?
4. Can you please clarify the specific roles and their numbers of the current team?
The team requires a mixture of skillsets. Detailed service requirements will be issued to short-listed suppliers so that they can determine the roles and numbers required to deliver their fixed price service.
5. Would you be able to clarify what roles currently make up the 15 person core team?
See Question 4.
6. Could you provide more detail on the specific tasks and function the current 15 person core team are responsible for?
See Question 4.
7. Is there a long term roadmap for ACP that you would be able to share?
This information will be provided to short-listed suppliers at proposal stage.
8. The brief states: "All staff must have SC level security clearance prior to starting work. Staff not in current possession of SC security clearance must be willing to undergo and capable of achieving SC security clearance." Please clarify whether all staff must be in possession of SC clearance before starting work, or can they start onsite pending SC clearance if they are not in current possession of SC clearance?
All staff must be in possession of SC clearance before starting work.
9. Could you please clarify about the £1000 per day? Is that for one resource or total resources on the project? Is that including supplier expenses and travel?
The cap is per resource and inclusive of travel and expenses to the base location. However, we expect a significant part to be delivered as fixed costs. The maximum allowed total value of the contract is £9.5 million over 2 years.
10. Is the winning supplier going to replace the existing team or going to supplement the current team?
The successful supplier's team will replace the incumbent's team.
11. How many Kubernetes clusters are there to support and how often are these upgraded/patched?
This information will be provided to short-listed suppliers at proposal stage.
12. AWS is mentioned, are there any other public/private cloud and which ones are in scope?
Not currently, but it is a benefit if the supplier is capable of supporting the platform on other public/private cloud services as and when they are introduced.
13. What are the components that make up the current platform?
This information will be provided to short-listed suppliers at proposal stage.
14. How is security managed across these components and who would be responsible for this?
This information will be provided to short-listed suppliers at proposal stage.
15. Is it possible to replace current technology choices with alternatives and does it have to factor in a cost of transition?
Yes and yes - we expect continued development of ACP which may include replacing current technology choices.
16. What's the project growth rate expected over the next 2 years of the commercial?
This information will be provided to short-listed suppliers at proposal stage.