Awarded to eSynergy Solutions Limited

Start date: Friday 18 December 2020
Value: £4,000,000
Company size: SME
Crown Prosecution Service

Digital & Innovation Products & Services

13 Incomplete applications

11 SME, 2 large

34 Completed applications

16 SME, 18 large

Important dates

Published
Tuesday 1 September 2020
Deadline for asking questions
Tuesday 8 September 2020 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications
Tuesday 15 September 2020 at 11:59pm GMT

Overview

Summary of the work
Team required to provide Discovery capability to understand the user needs of internal and external users to discover innovative solutions. Team also required to provide 'skunk' work capability that allows CPS to trial new ideas and proof of concepts, before developing them into full services which meet GDS standards.
Latest start date
Saturday 19 December 2020
Expected contract length
2 Years
Location
Yorkshire and the Humber
Organisation the work is for
Crown Prosecution Service
Budget range
The budget is up to £4m over 2 years (£2m a year).

About the work

Why the work is being done
CPS is looking to further its investment in Digital Transformation, putting Digital at the center of its 2025 Strategy. This will predominantly require a shift from traditional legacy technology and delivery processes to modern cloud-based services. Many of these services will be hosted on CPS Digital Platform. The work required will be to provide Discovery capability to investigate user needs of internal and external users so CPS can ensure that the funding we have available for innovation is directed in the most effective way. And also to To provide a ‘skunk’ work capability that allows CPS to trial new ideas and concepts very quickly to see if the they are technically possible and if there is business value.
Problem to be solved
1. To support CPS in providing a Discovery capability to investigate problems and understand the user needs of internal and external users so CPS can ensure that the funding available for innovation is directed in the most effective way.

2. To provide a ‘skunk’ work capability that allows CPS to trial new ideas and concepts very quickly to see if the they are technically possible and if there is business value. Predominantly this will be using Cloud Cognitive Services in a server-less computing approach but may also including COTS (Commercial off the Shelf) products or a hybrid of the two.

3. It is expected the proof of concepts will have a clear goal and defined success criteria that will be tested with users and iterated based on feedback but if required the team will have the ability to fail fast and pivot to the next idea.

4. To provide the capability to industrialise the proof of concepts if successful to a full service that would meet GDS standards and may require integration with our existing CPS systems such as Outsystems, Oracle and existing legacy. It is expected that in most cases any service would be hosted on CPS’ Digital Platform.
Who the users are and what they need to do
Users of the Digital Platform will be the development teams building services.
Users of the services are CPS staff; predominantly legal and operational staff. And the public; victims and witnesses.
Early market engagement
Any work that’s already been done
Existing team
The innovation team is led by the Head of Digital Technology Solutions department, and currently constitutes 3 small teams, the Discovery team (User Researcher and Product Owner), Skunk Team (Dev and a Business Analyst) and the Digital Platform Team (Dev, QA, Del Lead, DevOps engineer)

The contracted supplier will have to work with our incumbent suppliers (CGI, Wipro, Century Link) and any potentially other suppliers developing services sourced from Govt Frameworks.
Current phase
Not applicable

Work setup

Address where the work will take place
They will be based at the Wakefield office but can work from home during the time of COVID restrictions.

Address:
Crown Prosecution Service
4 South Parade
Wakefield
West Yorkshire, WF1 1LR
United Kingdom
Working arrangements
The team will be based at Wakefield office but can work from home during the time of COVID restrictions.

The team are expected to use their own equipment but will be provided access to CPS's networks.
Security clearance
DBS clearance will be required and on occasions SC.

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
  • Experience of developing in Azure
  • C# Programming Language
  • Devops and agile methodologies
  • Test driven development approach
  • Working in Innovation type environment
  • Working with Cloud cognitive services (AI and Machine Learning)
  • Working to GDS standards
Nice-to-have skills and experience
  • Serverless computing
  • Automation technologies (e.g. RPA)
  • Outsystems experience

How suppliers will be evaluated

All suppliers will be asked to provide a written proposal.

How many suppliers to evaluate
3
Proposal criteria
  • Technical solution
  • Approach and methodology
  • How they’ve identified risks and dependencies and offered approaches to manage them
  • Value for money
Cultural fit criteria
  • Work as a team with our organisation and other suppliers
  • Be transparent and collaborative when making decisions
  • Share knowledge and experience with other team members
Payment approach
Time and materials
Additional assessment methods
  • Case study
  • Work history
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence

65%

Cultural fit

10%

Price

25%

Questions asked by suppliers

1. We note that your essential and nice to have criteria are more reflective of a software development team rather than the typical Discovery/Alpha team as described in the service manual. Is this deliberate?
No, a genuine discover/alpha team is needed. Our deliveries are not governed by GDS and the service manual but do run them by the same principles. So a user centred approach is expected.
2. You have said SC will be required on occasion. Will this be sponsored by the department or do we have to have people with it before we apply?
The department will sponsor people through.
3. Do you have an incumbent supplier or team in place?
Yes but the contract is due to expire.
4. Can CPS say which types of roles they require to deliver these outcomes – e.g. Service Design, User Research, User Experience, Content Design, Development, QA, Product Owner?
CPS don’t want to apply a cookie cutter approach and resources will depend on the nature of the service being delivered but CPS would expect, User Research, Business Analyst, Delivery Lead, QA, Developer as a minimum.
5. We notice that the questions appear to be the same for this opportunity as for the Digital Platform Team and Digital services opportunity listed as 12979. Is this correct that the same questions are asked in both cases?
Yes
6. We note that the essential skills and nice-to-haves for the Digital & Innovation Products & Services opportunity are identical to the Digital Platform Team & Digital Services opportunity. We wanted to check to ensure this was intentional.
Yes
7. For 'Working with Cloud cognitive services (AI and Machine Learning)', is this specifically focused on the Microsoft Azure API for cloud cognitive services, or are CPS interested in examples from other cloud cognitive services?
We are cloud agnostic but to date we have used Microsoft Azure predominantly.
8. Can you clarify what you mean by 'Outsystems experience' – does this refer to software from this company, or to a specific set of skills/experience?
Both, we have an in-house development team utilising the platform. Some solutions may use the platform or integrate with new and existing Outsystems applications.
9. Please clarify the types of technologies/activities you would expect to see experience of under 'Automation technologies'
Predominantly Robotic Process Automation but potentially any Hyperautomation tooling.
10. Are the incumbent supplier allowed to apply for this offering, given they have detailed knowledge of the incumbent service?
Yes
11. As the same questions are used for the Digital Platform Team and Digital services opportunity listed as 12979, if appropriate, is it allowed to provide the same answers across both responses?
Yes but please be aware of the differences between the two.
12. For Q5 can you please clarify what you mean by an 'Innovation type environment'?
One where there is fast turn around of proof of concepts, with clear success criteria, and a fail fast mentality. Utilizing new techniques, technologies and processes that add value to CPS.
13. If we used the option of off-shore resources for certain technical skills, would you accept a DBS equivalent clearance for these?
Preferably resource would be on shore but potentially yes
14. If we used the option of off-shore resources for certain technical skills, would you accept a DBS equivalent clearance for these?
Preferably resource would be on shore but potentially yes
15. Does CPS currently have access to an AI / ML capability?
Yes
16. What work has been done to date within AI / ML e.g. have any models been developed on-premises or deployed into production to date?
A video transcription service developed on premise using Azure Cognitive services has recently been deployed to production. Any further work is still in proof of concept/development.
17. Does CPS have a pre-existing roadmap of projects / priorities for AI/ML or will this be developed as an outcome of the contract with a chosen supplier?
There is a pre-existing roadmap but that is continuously evolving. The core deliverables are to support the CPS with redaction, disclosure and prosecutor efficiency.
18. Which of the suppliers mentioned is the incumbent for this opportunity?
The incumbent supplier specifically for this service has not been mentioned. The suppliers mentioned are some of our core IT providers.
19. What levels of co-located and distributed working are you open to once COVID restrictions have eased?
Open to a blend of working but preferably would like the teams and members to come together physically where it would add benefit (e.g. user research playback, team retrospective, sprint planning etc)
20. Will the additional assessment methods include a presentation?
Yes
21. Is there further information that you will share with the down-selected suppliers to inform how to approach the engagement?
No
22. The DOS framework guidance advises suppliers to evidence 1 example per criteria. Is this your expectation? https://www.gov.uk/guidance/how-to-sell-your-digital-outcomes-and-specialists-services
Yes
23. Who from your team will be assessing the applications for this opportunity and what positions do they hold?
2 x Senior Digital Managers (e.g. Head of Digital Solutions) and 2 members of the commercial team.
24. What timescales are you working to for: (1) informing down-selected suppliers, (2) submission of proposals and (3) scheduling of presentations?
(1) Down-selected suppliers to be informed by 18th September.
(2) Proposals should be submitted by 30th September.
(3) Presentations in early Oct 2020.