Awarded to Equal Experts UK Limited

Start date: Monday 18 May 2020
Value: £4,500,000
Company size: large

Data Platform Services - Advanced Analytics & Cognitive Requirements

16 Incomplete applications

8 SME, 8 large

13 Completed applications

5 SME, 8 large

Important dates

Monday 20 January 2020
Deadline for asking questions
Monday 27 January 2020 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications
Monday 3 February 2020 at 11:59pm GMT


Summary of the work
Demand Management
Service / Application / Platform / System Monitoring
Support the application of Hotfixes to the platforms
Tenant Support, including User Management
Licence Management
Incident Management
Change Management
Client Package Management
Capacity and performance 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
Scrum Master
Solution Architect
Product Owner
SAS Administrators
RStudio Administrator
SAS Engineer
Data Analysts
Business Analysts
Technical Analyst
Service Manager
Current phase
Not applicable

Work setup

Address where the work will take place
3 Primary Locations:

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
HMRC Mandatory 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 and leveraging the benefits of AWS Cloud hosted services.
  • Experience working with and leveraging the benefits of Microsoft Azure Cloud hosted services
  • Experience working with a range SAS and RStudio Enterprise Analytics platforms and tools
  • Experience creating performant solutions to analyse TB’s to PB’s of data on Redshift, Azure SQL Warehouse, Oracle and MYSQL databases and Cloudera Hadoop
  • Experience creating, maintaining and monitoring AI / ML
  • Extensive experience Managing and Administering multiple SA 9.4 and Viya Platforms
  • Extensive experience Managing and Administering multiple RStudio environments
  • Experience Maintaining and Administering an internal CRAN library
  • Experience Managing and Administering use of Azure Data Science virtual machines
  • Experience using provisioning and enabling and integrating a range of Azure Cognitive Services
  • Experience using provisioning and enabling and integrating a range of AWS AI and ML Services
  • Experience developing with Python and Java
  • Use of enterprise source control products
  • Experience with analytics solutions on large and diverse relational databases and Data lakes
  • Supporting 24x7 Analytics services
  • Designing and building solutions fully conformant with WCAG 2.0
  • Experience of customer facing issue and incident resolution
  • 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 with Red Hat Linux 6 and late
  • Experience upgrading Analytics as shown above, such as SAS EG package
  • Experience working with public sector organisations

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 and Presentation. These will be scored using a selection of Essential Criteria outlined above to 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
  • Experience working with SAS Grid Manager, R Connect, SAS Enterprise Guide & Enterprise Miner, SAS Visual Analytics, SAS Data Studio, SAS Data Integrator, SAS Visual Statistics & SAS Text Analytics
  • Experience working with and integration of RShiny
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
  • Reference
  • Presentation
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence


Cultural fit




Questions asked by suppliers

1. The information provided references that a Fixed Price payment approach will be used for this service. Please can you confirm whether HMRC expects a Fixed Price to be attached to the overall e service, or at task level (for example through a number of SOWs under the overall outcome)?
The Fixed Price payment approach relates to individual SoW packages which sit under the overarching deliverables captured in the contract.

The value outlined in the requirement specification is the maximum value of spend against the contract.
2. Experience upgrading Analytics as shown above, such as SAS EG package'
Please can you clarify what is specifically being referred to where it states 'as shown above'?
Shown above refers to the list of technologies provided.
3. For the essential criteria of ‘Supporting 24x7 Analytics services’, please may you clarify further what you are looking for from this requirement?
For some services there will be a need to provide extended service hours / and or on call resources to provide service restoration and service patching and maintenance.
4. You have mentioned that there is a significant amount of work remaining to continue delivery of an ‘evolving’ roadmap. Would you expect the successful supplier to participate in developing strategy and refine the roadmap?
Contribution to the strategy which is owned by HMRC is expected including feedback on approach, industry knowledge. However the key element is delivery of the products in line with the strategy.
5. We’d be very grateful to understand the anticipated approach for contract mobilisation for the successful supplier. In particular, to better understand the arrangements for contract handover from the incumbent supplier.
We are intending to have a phased handover period over 6 weeks, supported by Knowledge transfer and documentation.
6. What is the scale of resources expected across some of the common technology skills, for example Java / JavaScript, SAS, RStudio, Redshift etc? Having an understanding of the skills mix and volume required would be very helpful.
The scale of resources required is driven by demand so we are unable to provide a mix. The value of the contract should inform on the volume of resources required.
7. For the question "Experience creating performant solutions to analyse TB’s to PB’s of data on Redshift, Azure SQL Warehouse, Oracle and MYSQL databases and Cloudera Hadoop" would you like to see all listed databases addressed in the response?
If the responder has experience with all listed technologies that should be included in the response.
8. The question "Experience creating performant solutions to analyse TB’s to PB’s of data on Redshift, Azure SQL Warehouse, Oracle and MYSQL databases and Cloudera Hadoop" and "Experience with analytics solutions on large and diverse relational databases and Data lakes" appear to be asking the same thing. Could you please clarify the difference you require in the response.
One is more general on how to make systems performant running across small and large data stores which may have different solutions. The other is with creating performant effective analytics services in the example technologies running over the top of relational and non-relational stores. A combination of experience with both is therefore expected to drive the best outcomes for end customers.