Awarded to Equal Experts UK Limited

Start date: Monday 18 May 2020
Value: £6,000,000
Company size: large

Data Platform Services - Platform Requirements

20 Incomplete applications

16 SME, 4 large

24 Completed applications

11 SME, 13 large

Important dates

Monday 13 January 2020
Deadline for asking questions
Monday 20 January 2020 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications
Monday 27 January 2020 at 11:59pm GMT


Summary of the work
Demand Management
Delivery Management
Impacting for Platform-Service Products
Design for Platform-Service Products
Product Catalogue
Service Management for Platform-Service Components
Platform incident/problem management
Event Management–Provide support when required
HPI Management-Provide support when required
Change Management–deployment and execution
Access Management
Evergreening/Patch Management
Capacity/performance management
File transfer issues/failures
License Key management
Latest start date
Wednesday 1 April 2020
Expected contract length
2 Years
Organisation the work is for
Budget range

About the work

Why the work is being done
Data Platform Services (DPS) provides enterprise-wide platform engineering capabilities that enable the acquisition, administration (management) and application (exploitation and consumption) of enterprise data.
DPS provides the core platform capabilities and building blocks needed by:
• CDIO Chief Data Office to implement enterprise data management (governance, models & standards), implement / manage data sharing and provide advanced analytics exploitation services.
• CDIO Customer Groups to assemble, build and run line of business data services.
• Data consumers (standard and advanced) within the wider HMRC Business to access and exploit data, within a supported self-serve framework.
DPS will also provide the support offerings that enable HMRC to become a data-driven and insight-led organisation, drive data innovation and drive adoption of emerging technologies like AI and ML.
Problem to be solved
HMRC has a large and complex legacy Data Analytics estate which needs simplification, and consolidation and transformation to meet the challenges the department now faces.
We design and build services to provide environments on which to provision, prepare and transform data and provide services to exploit that data across the organisation, and other government departments.
Who the users are and what they need to do
All HMRC customer groups (Customer Compliance, Customer Services, Customer Strategy and Tax Design, Corporate, VOA) need platform services they can consume for data on which they can build their specific line of business exploitation services.

HMRC Chief Data Office needs platform services which enable Data Management, Governance and Data sharing.

Other Government Departments rely on the Platform for receiving data for use within HMRC, and sharing HMRC data for their use.
Early market engagement
Supplier Day held in Dec 19 for Data Platform Services covering 5 Separate DOS requirements including this one.

Suppliers may request a copy of the presentation slides by emailing, email requests MUST include 'Supplier Day Slides' or 'Data Platform Services Clarifications' in the email title
Any work that’s already been done
DPS has been working since 2018 on a new strategy for provision of Data and Analytics services based around a hybrid hosting model with a Logical Data Warehouse at its core. There is a significant amount of work remaining to continue delivery of that evolving platform roadmap.
Existing team
HMRC and other suppliers
Typically teams comprise of the following roles:
Technical Project Manager
Technical Analyst
Scrum Master
Solution Architect
Product Owner
DevSecOps Engineer
Business Analysts
Service Manager
Current phase
Not applicable

Work setup

Address where the work will take place
Trinity Bridge House
2 Dearmans Place
Salford, Manchester
M3 5BS

Alexander House
21 Victoria Avenue
Southend on Sea
SS99 1AA

14 Westfield Avenue ,
E20 1HZ
Working arrangements
The supplier will be required to co-locate with the existing platform teams, mixed teams comprising both internal staff and other contractors, 5 days per week.

Travel will be required to other HMRC Delivery Centres. No additional expenses chargeable to HMRC for travel or accommodation in agreed base office locations per SOW.

We expect the successful supplier to provide upskilling to permanent staff to increase internal capability.
Security clearance
Must have BPSS before employment commences and resources come on site
Must be SC eligible. SC process can start after employment commences.
Some staff must be DV eligible.
Clearance costs to be met by supplier

Additional information

Additional terms and conditions
Mandatory HMRC terms to be added

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
  • Experience working with AWS Cloud designing, building and maintaining complex multi service environments
  • Experience working with Microsoft Azure Cloud designing, building and maintaining complex multi service environments.
  • Experience working with large scale multi VPC / VNet deployments with 100's VM's
  • Experience working with Windows, Linux and Solaris servers covering a diverse range of versions.
  • BASH scripting and general System Administration including the creation, update and maintenance of shell scripts.
  • Experience working with Red Hat Enterprise Linux as the default service OS.
  • Server monitoring and alerting responding to challenging SLA's on critical service with tools including(Nagios, Opsview, the ELK stack and Sensu.
  • Providing and supporting highly available environments and critical services working with multiple suppliers operating both within and outside normal business hours including some 24x7
  • Significant experience Building and Operating and Maintaining Continuous Integration and Continuous Delivery pipelines including use of the following tools and skills(Terraform, Jenkins, Ansible, Artifactory)
  • Experience using and administering Source code repositories in large organisations including branching and merging including Gitlab
  • Designing and building solutions fully conformant with WCAG 2.0
  • Experience of using and configuring enterprise scheduling tools with Master-Agent and Master-Master-Agent deployments.
  • Build approach creating secure re-usable and scalable components including their continuous improvement and refinement in ongoing operation, including use of performance and logging software.
  • Multi-node Cloudera Hadoop cluster manageme including BDP and Cloudera Director
  • General Cloud Environment and VM backup and restoration.
  • Vulnerability and Patch Management across Public and Private Cloud environments
  • Experience with implementing containerisation and container orchestration technology at scale
  • Producing and maintaining technical documentation and a knowledge base.
  • Providing accurate and timely information to maintain a Configuration Management Database
  • Working safely within our UK based secure engineering environments at SC level
Nice-to-have skills and experience
  • Experience working with other Public Cloud Provider
  • Experience using and configuring Berlin scheduler
  • Experience with Red Hat Linux 6 and late
  • Managing work allocation through Jira Service Des

How suppliers will be evaluated

All suppliers will be asked to provide a written proposal.

How many suppliers to evaluate
Proposal criteria
  • Shortlisted suppliers will be asked to provide Case-Study, Written-Proposal & Presentation. These will be scored using a selection of Essential Criteria outlined above which will be provided with Proposal Scenario
  • Below outlines the expected ways of working to be evidenced:
  • Demonstrate how you as a supplier have been fully accountable for delivery of a project or outcome and successfully delivered to specification, time and with value for money
  • Demonstrate how you as a supplier have been fully accountable for operating/running a service to agreed service levels and standards
  • Demonstrate as a supplier how you have taken remedial action where outcomes have not been to agreed standards
  • Agility - delivering iteratively and incrementally within a context of evolving requirements following SCRUM and Kanban approaches
  • Making knowledge capture and sharing part of day to day activities
  • Ensuring successful handover at any required stage of a project or a service
  • Delivering business value – making sure business requirements are understood, validated via positive challenge and delivered against while understanding the value being generated (i.e. business intent)
  • Innovative thinking – think outside the set of existing organisational constraints to arrive the most appropriate and efficient route to deliver desired outcomes
  • MVPs – effective definition and delivery of true MVPs that shorten time to delivering business value
  • Reusability by design – ensuring solutions are formulated from reusable capabilities as well as ensuring new capabilities are reusable
  • Simplicity by design – a clear focus on producing and positively challenging solutions to be as simple as possible
  • Design for minimising build and run costs
  • Responsive mobilisation – ability to resource work and start delivering in 4-5 weeks
  • Enough capacity to ensure supplier can cope with DPS demand, in the specified locations
  • Enough depth and breadth of capability across the supplier resource pool, in the specified locations
  • Supplier teams are expected to use HMRC's collaboration software like Jira, Confluence and Teams
  • Use and configuration of Uchiwa and Sensu Go.
  • Experience with Cloudera Data Hub and Cloudera Manager 5 and 6. Cloudera Director 6. Solaris 9 and later. Windows 2000 and later.
Cultural fit criteria
  • At DPS we want to grow our in-house skills: How would you support this? What skills, time and expertise would you make available and where?
  • Evidence how you would engage and communicate with DPS: Senior Leadership Team and our Extended Leadership Team who will be running the projects
  • Evidence how you would engage and communicate with DPS: Other supplier colleagues who may be part of the same project/programme of works
  • Evidence how you would engage and communicate with DPS: Our Business Ops team who run support functions including Resourcing & financials including billing
  • Active involvement in promoting and communicating the work and successes of DPS
  • Evidence how you would deliver in a multi-supplier environment: Ensuring a productive work approach with all involved parties, employing a “badge at the door” mind-set
  • Evidence how you would deliver in a multi-supplier environment: Ensuring HMRC’s interest is reflected in the approach to work and outputs delivered, demonstrating openness and transparency in engagement
  • Demonstrate how you as a supplier have successfully adhered to a client’s code of practice or adopted their organisational behaviours to ensure cultural fit; especially HMRC's
  • Demonstrate how you will ensure inclusivity and collaboration
Payment approach
Fixed price
Additional assessment methods
  • Case study
  • Presentation
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence


Cultural fit




Questions asked by suppliers

1. You have listed three office locations and expressed the necessity to co-locate our personnel with yours at these locations.

Is it a requirement to co-locate at all three offices simultaneously, or is it sufficient to embed a team at one location (London, for eg) and collaborate remotely with your teams at the other locations?

If the latter, do you envisage that the time of our personnel will be split evenly between the locations or will you require a permanent presence at each one?
Flexibility to resource in all 3 locations is needed based on organisational demand and proximity to other teams/business.
2. Could you please confirm if any of the existing team (HMRC or other suppliers) could be in scope for TUPE?
Not applicable
3. One of the points within the Essential Skills & Experience section states the below:
'Multi-node Cloudera Hadoop cluster manageme including BDP and Cloudera Director'.
We assume BDP is with reference to Big Data Protector. Please can you confirm/clarify?
Apologies this is a typo should say BDR – Cloudera Backup and Disaster Recovery.
4. Under the 'Nice to Have Skills and Experience' section, the below is listed:
'Experience working with other Public Cloud Provider'
Please can you clarify whether this is with reference to working with other public cloud technologies (competitors to Azure & AWS) or working with other Public Cloud 'Service Hosting/Management' Providers?
Competitors to Azure and AWS.
5. You've mentioned the work will take place in 3 locations, do you expect the teams to work from all three, or is there a preferred location (if so, which?) with occasional travel to the others?
Also, will there be an opportunity for remote working?
Flexibility to resource in all 3 locations is needed based on organisational demand and proximity to other teams/business.

Remote working by exception and with limitations.
6. We would like to ask please if when will the additional 3 lots will be released via the DOS framework please? These would be as follows:
• Advanced Analytics & Cognitive
• Risking, Search & Discovery
• Reporting & Dashboarding
These requirements will be published on w/c 20/01
7. The notice states "HMRC Mandatory Terms to be added". Can you confirm what these terms are please?
In relation to tax compliance, invoicing through HMRC systems, data protection
8. Please clarify what the acronym ‘BDP’ means in the context of Question 14, “Multi-node Cloudera Hadoop cluster manageme [sic] including BDP and Cloudera Director"
Apologies this is a typo should say BDR – Cloudera Backup and Disaster Recovery.
9. One of the Essential skills and experience criteria is “Working safely within our UK based secure engineering environments at SC level”.
Can you clarify this please – does it mean that suppliers must have a track record of working in HMRCs secure environment, or only tthat they must be able to do so?
Suppliers should understand what it means for them and how to operate teams / resources within a secure environment. Optionally experience of doing so in the past would obviously demonstrate how this has been achieved previously.
10. 1. share the draft copy of the 3 additional T&C topics (tax compliance, invoicing through HMRC systems, data protection)
2. confirm that these are the only additional T&Cs beyond the standard DOS4 terms.
Unfortunately attachments can't be added. For a draft copy of the additional terms please contact
11. With regards to the scoring of this opportunity. At Stage 2 suppliers will be asked to provide a Case-Study, Written Proposal and Presentation. Bullet point 1 of the Proposal criteria states that “These will be scored using a selection of the Essential Criteria outline above to be provided with the Proposal Scenario”. Can you please confirm that the Essential Criteria being assessed at Stage 2, together with any other criteria that affects scoring, will be specifically and clearly stated to those suppliers who are shortlisted at Stage 1?
I can confirm Essential Criteria will be assessed at Stage 2. As the Proposal Scenario may not require all Essential Criteria to be evidenced in this opportunity, the specific criteria being used and scoring methods will be outlined to shortlisted suppliers.

The Cultural Fit of suppliers will be scored separately. All of the criteria outlined for Cultural Fit will be considered at Stage 2.
12. For the requirement to providing accurate and timely information to maintain a Configuration Management Database, would this type of CMDB align to a traditional ITIL service management product such as ServiceNow, or is this referring to a CMDB used for configuration management tooling such as Chef or Ansible Tower.
The former i.e. an ITIL service management product.