SRUC, West Mains Road, Edinburgh, EH9 3JG

Digital Strategy and Roadmap (SRUC Ref 16893)

21 Incomplete applications

16 SME, 5 large

37 Completed applications

30 SME, 7 large

Important dates

Tuesday 17 March 2020
Deadline for asking questions
Tuesday 24 March 2020 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications
Tuesday 31 March 2020 at 11:59pm GMT


Summary of the work
SRUC requires support from a trusted and highly skilled partner in the design and delivery of a new digital strategy and roadmap that will identify solutions, analyse impact and risks, reduce costs and deliver benefits in support of our objective of becoming Scotland's National Rural University.
Latest start date
Wednesday 15 April 2020
Expected contract length
6 to 12 months
Organisation the work is for
SRUC, West Mains Road, Edinburgh, EH9 3JG
Budget range

About the work

Why the work is being done
SRUC has embarked upon an ambitious transformation programme to become Scotland's enterprise university at the heart of our sustainable natural economy. Digital is a key enabler for this and SRUC is looking to develop a digital strategy and associated roadmap that will transform the user experience for staff, students, commercial customers and partners, and other stakeholders.

Anticipated work packages include, but are not restricted to:
1. A review of the current digital offering including but not limited to systems, infrastructure and user experience;
2. Development of a digital strategy for SRUC;
3. Gap analysis between SRUC's current state and digital ambitions;
4. Development of a roadmap to implement digital enablers that will help SRUC will move from its current state to its future state.

It is anticipated that work shall commence in April 2020 and shall be fully completed within 6 to 12 months.
Problem to be solved
SRUC seeks to transform the digital experience for its staff, students, business partners and wider stakeholder groups with a view to increased efficiency and effectiveness of learning, research and business processes. We recognise that digital has the potential to enable a fundamentally different offer and will be key to SRUC adding value to its business activities.

SRUC would like to understand the benefits of different digital models that will ensure that it is fit for a fast changing future.
Who the users are and what they need to do
SRUC has a wide variety of stakeholders including students, staff, consultants, commercial customers and public sector bodies. We aim to create an agile, fit for purpose environment with digital platforms that are inclusive, easy to use, informative and can help users access our services and fulfil their needs efficiently and effectively.
Early market engagement
Any work that’s already been done
Existing team
You will report to SRUC's Chief of Staff and work closely with our Information and Digital Services and Transformation Teams. Extensive engagement and collaboration with SRUC's stakeholders across the business will also be required.
Current phase

Work setup

Address where the work will take place
Based at SRUC's Head Office in Edinburgh, your remit will include the whole of SRUC's Estate
It is anticipated that you may have to visit most of our teaching campuses and a selection of our more remote locations.
Working arrangements
The work will require some on-site work, conditions permitting. Work shall include understanding the current digital platforms, interviewing key stakeholders, attending working groups, presenting findings etc. To support sustainability and minimise environmental impact where appropriate, work may be completed remotely.
Security clearance
In line with SRUC recruitment policy, the supplier's employees and/or sub-contractors that shall be engaged in delivering this contract are required to have completed a Protecting Vulnerable Group (PVG) check.

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 evidence of leading the migration of a traditional organisation to a digital organisation in the Education (HE/FE), Research and Commercial sector(s).
  • Demonstrate relevant experience of strategy development.
  • Demonstrate experience of devleoping critical path roadmaps, including identification and mitigation of risk(s).
  • Be able to work in a collaborative manner at all times.
  • Demonstrate experience of supporting cultural change.
  • Be able to constructively challenge the status quo and underlying / embedded assumptions.
  • Provide tangible evidence of delivering digital solutions that have released savings and added value.
  • Be able to access the correct skills and capabilities to support extensive digital transformations.
  • Identify and specifiy new and innovative customer centric digital services including the specification of how SRUC can adopt technology and information systems.
  • Knowledge around relevant regulations and compliance constraints e.g. GDPR.
  • Work with SRUC to develop its position as a world class, sustainable, digital organisation.
  • Knowledgeable and experienced if digital technologies e.g. Cloud, Big Data, integration / machine learning / artificial intelligence.
Nice-to-have skills and experience

How suppliers will be evaluated

All suppliers will be asked to provide a written proposal.

How many suppliers to evaluate
Proposal criteria
  • Describe how your approach and methodology meets our needs in terms of supporting the ongoing development of our digital transformation programme in terms of capacity, capability and roadmap alignment.
  • Explain how the engagement would work including flexibility of your approach and evidence when you have delivered this type of contract, detailing what worked well and lessons learned.
  • Describe your team's experience, capabilities, set up (including roles and work history) and how you would adapt the team to changing priorities over the life of the contract.
  • Describe how you will deliver the necessary outcomes with attention to resourcing, effort and timescales.
  • Knowledge transfer: How will you ensure that SRUC’s project team are ready to take on control and support future stages of the transformation programme.
  • Describe how your approach will be innovative and deliver value for money.
Cultural fit criteria
  • Describe how you will constructively challenge the status quo.
  • Describe how you will share knowledge and experience in an open and transparent manner with SRUC's team members.
  • Describe how you will work as a team with our organisation and stakeholders.
  • Explain how your approach will remain fexible and agile over the life of the contract.
  • Describe how you will be transparent and collaborative when making decisions and recommendations.
Payment approach
Capped time and materials
Additional assessment methods
  • Reference
  • Presentation
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence


Cultural fit




Questions asked by suppliers

1. Where will this work be based? Given the current Government guidelines around Coronavirus, will this be conducted remotely until advice changes?
Due to the current circumstances, work shall be conducted remotely. The exact details of how the work will be carried out shall be discussed and agreed with the winning supplier during contract mobilisation.
2. What is the budget range for this work?
We anticipate a spend of no more that £100k, including VAT.
3. Please can you confirm the budget range?
Please see answer to previous question.
4. When you state the following:
Provide evidence of leading the migration of a traditional organisation to a digital organisation in the Education (HE/FE), Research and Commercial sector(s)
Do suppliers need to demonstrate experience in each of the above sectors or just provide evidence/examples from one of the sectors (Commercial for example)?
We appreciate that suppliers may not have experience that includes all of these sectors. Suppliers should therefore demonstrate a broad range of experience that includes aspects of Education (HE/FE), Research and Commercial sectors. Education (HE/FE) and Research are of the highest priority for SRUC.
5. Please can you advise on the budget for this piece of work?
Please see answer to previous similar question.
6. Hi, is there a budget for this project?
Please see response to previous questions on this subject.
7. Is this work around application migration or data migration only (or both)?
This is a full review of SRUC's digital capabilities so would include potential application migrations and associated data migrations.
8. What is technical landscape including data storage & BI/Analytics tools used?
Data center and centralised storage model Microsoft office-365; Sharepoint moving to cloud ;
Virtual server environment Hyper-V;
Microsoft reporting services and cloud based Power BI, on Microsoft SQL Server;
Tableau for specific purposes where Power BI insufficient;
SQL hub with Microsoft SSIS, SSRS and SSAS;
Standalone reporting for specific systems;
Labware, Unit-E, Deltek Maconomy on premises, Moodle externally;
Primary web – externally hosted and managed. Migrating from Jadu to Drupal;
Secondary web - externally hosted (Wordpress/LAMP stack);
Bespoke web – internally hosted WIMP;
Externally GIS;
Bespoke solutions: investigation for use of cloud computing and storage requirements and containerised compute. Kubernetes/Docker
9. Please can you confirm if the intention is to secure one or more persons from a supplier, complete any on-boarding, and then keep those same people occupied with back-to-back statements of work, or if there might be gaps between the SOWs?
It is anticipated that a statement of work and associated timescales will be agreed with the winning supplier and that depending on the findings, there may be breaks to allow key decisions to be made. A flexible approach will therefore be required.
10. You ask for our responses in a structured format 1) situation; 2) work the team did; 3) results. With this in mind, the question that requires evidence "Work with SRUC to develop its position as a world class, sustainable, digital organisation" is difficult to answer as we haven't yet worked with SRUC. Are you simply looking for an example of where we have achieved this with another client or an example of what we would do with SRUC & the expected results?
Suppliers should base their response on actual services, that can be evidenced as having been delivered to another client, preferably of a similar nature to SRUC.
11. What resource are you planning to stand up as part of the team?
SRUC's project team will draw on professional staff drawn from our IDS team including the Data, Infrastructure, and Security Managers. In addition we shall include key senior managers drawn from our Academic Faculties, along with representatives of our Student body.
12. 1. Are attachments permitted e.g. published case studies to augment written answers?
2. Are images permitted as part of written answers
3. Is there a date/time commitment for responding to questions asked?
4. Is pricing required at this stage?
5. Will an ITT follow this process?
1. Yes case studies would be welcome but please restrict to no more than two.
2. Yes suitably annotated and relevant images can be included.
3. We will endeavour to respond to questions up until the due date for this opportunity.
4. Yes, indicative pricing should be included.
5. We do not anticipate that an ITT will be issued but this may change.
13. In response to question 12 you have indicated that indicative pricing should be provided, but there is no mechanism in the question set to do this. We presume you will shortlist 5 suppliers and then request proposals, including price, from only those 5 suppliers?
Reflecting on "About this work", please provide a written proposal explaining your approach in relation to the points set out under Proposal Criteria and Cultural Fit Criteria. Your response should be limited to 2,000 words (excluding diagrams and charts) in Arial Font, Size 11. Separately in relation to Price, please include the job title and day rate of your staff that will be engaged on the project.
SRUC shall evaluate the above and will decide what level of further evaluation is required.
14. In light of your response to Q12, please can you clarify what your expectations are for the next step in the application process. The response seems more relevant for the second stage, after shortlisting.
See response to Question 13.
15. Do we need to submit both a Stage 1 DOS response and a written proposal by the deadline of 31st March?
See response to Question 13. Deadline for submission is 31 March 2020.
16. Is there a preferred format for the written proposal (WORD, PPT)? And is there a word limit for the written proposal?
See response to Question 13.
17. Can you please advise if there is a specific template that you want us to use for our response?
See response to question 13. You should submit either a Word or PDF document.
18. Where would the majority of this work be carried out?
Work will be centred at SRUC's Head Office in Edinburgh. However, due to the current COVID-19 restrictions we anticipate that initially the work will be conducted remotely.
The response to question 15 indicated that the written proposal and the cultural fit criteria was required by 31 March 2020. This was incorrect and but will be a requirement of the the second stage of the procurement process, once shortlisting has been completed.
SRUC apologises for any confusion this error has caused.
20. Has SRUC engaged with any consultants/suppliers to help inform their requirements for a digitial strategy and roadmap?
21. Can you please clarify the in scope parts of the business? The ITT notes the outcomes are intended for staff, students, business partners and wider stakeholder groups, and note the key stakeholders as students, staff, consultants, commercial customers and public sector bodies.Can you please confirm this includes SAC Consulting and the Veterinary services offered by the University?
All of SRUC's business is included. Consideration has therefore to be made of the needs of
- students both on campus and distance learning, Alumni, and pre-arrival;
- all staff;
- commercial customers including those of SAC Consulting and Vets;
- Research stakeholders.
Please note the above list should not be considered as being exhaustive.
22. Has there been any previous work done on the digital strategy, or is there any aligned work underway (eg – done by the Digital Services and Transformation Teams)?
Yes, we have a high level strategy that has fed into an operational plan covering 3 years of strategic objectives. An initial digital strategy development exercise, with a limited number of the stakeholders previously mentioned, has also been completed.
23. Do you have any existing IT application catalogues, technical architectures, etc to inform this work?
See response to Question 8.