This opportunity is closed for applications

The deadline was Friday 22 January 2021
Financial Ombudsman Service Limited (the “Ombudsman Service”)

Replacing our existing intranet with a modern intranet built on Microsoft’s SharePoint Online

16 Incomplete applications

11 SME, 5 large

24 Completed applications

18 SME, 6 large

Important dates

Friday 8 January 2021
Deadline for asking questions
Friday 15 January 2021 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications
Friday 22 January 2021 at 11:59pm GMT


Summary of the work
You will join our team to design, build and test a new intranet built on Microsoft SharePoint Online. Delivery of the intranet and knowledge transfer must be completed within a six-month window. You will demonstrate your continuous progress to us throughout delivery.
Latest start date
Thursday 1 April 2021
Expected contract length
6 months
No specific location, for example they can work remotely
Organisation the work is for
Financial Ombudsman Service Limited (the “Ombudsman Service”)
Budget range

About the work

Why the work is being done
Our intranet was built in 2001 and the basic functionality and set-up has changed little since. For example, we have no content management system today. Recent work has shown that our intranet is no longer fit-for-purpose.

We want to replace our existing intranet with a modern intranet built on Microsoft’s SharePoint Online.
Problem to be solved
Create a new intranet based on the Microsoft SharePoint Online platform, including design, build, test and migrate. You will provide a delivery team to complement our team in delivering the intranet in a six-month delivery window. We will provide an indicative site map and graphic design for you to use as an input to your design of the intranet. You will design and build the intranet to comply with the WCAG 2.0 standard adhering to level AA or greater. The content to be served on the intranet includes static pages, dynamic pages (e.g. news, staff directory, forum, discussion boards), video and search. All content must be responsive for viewing on multiple platforms (e.g. desktop / mobile / tablet etc). Your team will oversee the successful development of the required platform capabilities and subsequent set up and content migration. You will configure SharePoint Online’s out-of-the-box analytics capability to provide meaningful data on usage of the intranet. You will design and build the intranet to operate to performance, data protection and security standards to be agreed with us during the design phase. Following delivery, you will complete a knowledge transfer to the Ombudsman Service’s team operational support team.
Who the users are and what they need to do
The Financial Ombudsman Service was set up by Parliament in 2001 to resolve financial disputes. We can look at complaints about financial businesses and claims management companies, from consumers and small businesses, about a wide range of financial issues. You can find out more about the Financial Ombudsman Service on our website. We have over 3,500 employees and contractors, who are currently working remotely. Over two thirds of our people work in roles which focus on the resolution of complaints; with the remainder working in various support departments. Our jurisdiction covers UK business; all employees are based in the UK. We have offices in London and Coventry.

The intranet is the ‘digital front door’ for our people. It is the gateway to access relevant information to help our people do their jobs – as well as organisational communications and news, policies, employee services, information about major projects and employee engagement through interaction. Inclusivity is central to our values and therefore accessibility is a core objective of the intranet, so it can be used effectively by all. Intranet users will be all Ombudsman Service people. The intranet will not be used by parties external to the Ombudsman Service.
Early market engagement
Any work that’s already been done
We have developed an intranet strategy that sets out how the intranet should be used in the Ombudsman Service. We are in the process of analysing our existing intranet content and will have a site map and content map available before the start of this project. We would expect you to use this information to inform the design of the intranet. We are responsible for creating content and for graphic design. We are already using a Microsoft 365 tenant and Microsoft SharePoint Online for project and collaboration teams.
Existing team
Your team will join our team to deliver the project. Our team comprises: Product Owner; Content Analyst; Technical Architect; Graphic Designer; Infrastructure Analyst; Adoption Analyst. Our team are not dedicated to this project and will have other commitments. We expect your team to be dedicated and to drive the project.
Current phase

Work setup

Address where the work will take place
Initially, work will take place remotely due to the Covid pandemic. As soon as practicable, work will take place at Exchange Tower, London, E14 9SR.
Working arrangements
Initially, work will take place remotely due to the Covid pandemic. As soon as practicable, work will take place at Exchange Tower, London, E14 9SR.
Security clearance

Additional information

Additional terms and conditions
A completed Call Off including Order Form will be shared with the shortlisted suppliers and form part of the additional assessment.

Intellectual Property in relation to the development of the intranet will vest with the Ombudsman Service.

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
  • Must have relevant experience of delivering an intranet on Microsoft SharePoint Online. (Describe a recent project to deliver an intranet on Microsoft’s SharePoint Online. What, when, duration, result.)
  • Must have technical expertise in Microsoft SharePoint Online. (Summarise your technical expertise in Microsoft SharePoint Online, citing relevant examples including what you have delivered.)
  • Must have experience of overcoming challenges delivering an intranet on Microsoft SharePoint Online. (Describe the most significant challenge you experienced in building a SharePoint intranet and how you overcame it.)
  • Must have experience of delivering a project jointly with a client. (Describe the ways which you built team cohesion, ensured the best use of skills and experience and managed issues.)
  • Must have an experienced and capable team to deliver an intranet using Microsoft SharePoint Online. (Describe the indicative roles and team structure that you would typically use. )
  • Must have experience of delivering a website or intranet to WCAG 2.0 or 2.1 standard at level AA or greater. (Describe how you designed, delivered and tested to these standards.)
  • Must have experience of transitioning support of a Microsoft SharePoint Online implementation to a client’s support team. (Explain how you have successfully achieved this.)
  • Must have a proven delivery methodology for Microsoft SharePoint Online implementations. (Describe which delivery methodology or methodologies you have used for similar Microsoft SharePoint Online implementations that you have undertaken.)
  • Must have experience of completing a content migration. (Outline a successful content migration that you have completed using Microsoft SharePoint Online and what best practices you recommend.)
  • Must have experience of integrating Microsoft SharePoint Online with other applications. (Explain how you have previously integrated Microsoft SharePoint Online with other Microsoft or third-party applications.)
  • Must have experience delivering a Microsoft SharePoint Online site to brand and design principles. (Explain how you have delivered a SharePoint Online site to an organisation’s brand and design principles.)
  • Must have experience of delivering Microsoft SharePoint Online in a complex environment. (Describe how you have designed and developed Microsoft SharePoint Online for use in a complex, multi-end-user-device environment.)
Nice-to-have skills and experience
  • It would be good if the supplier has evidence of relevant certifications. (Outline Microsoft or other relevant certifications that your organisation has and explain why they are beneficial here.)
  • It would be good if the supplier has experience in dealing with rapidly iterating requirements. (Describe how you have dealt with rapid iterations of requirements in delivering a project.)
  • Nice to have experience of adoption with user-groups resistant to change. (Outline how you have implemented intranets for users who may be averse to change and how you overcame this.)
  • Nice to have experience of IT delivery in a similar organisation. (Describe your experience of delivering an IT project in a similar organisation to the Ombudsman Service (type and size).
  • It would be good if the supplier has evidence of successful remote delivery of projects. (Outline your experience in delivering a similar project remotely.)

How suppliers will be evaluated

All suppliers will be asked to provide a written proposal.

How many suppliers to evaluate
Proposal criteria
  • How well the proposed solution meets requirements as set out in the work order and in the required timeline. (50%)
  • The proposed delivery approach and methodology (15%)
  • How the supplier identified risks and dependencies and offered approaches to manage them (15%)
  • Team structure (10%)
  • Case Study (5%)
  • Reference (5%)
Cultural fit criteria
  • Take responsibility for delivering a successful outcome for the Ombudsman Service
  • Adopt a “one-team” culture
  • Be transparent and collaborative when making decisions
  • Have a no-blame culture and encourage people to learn from their mistakes
  • A culture of quality assurance is embedded in the team
  • Be challenging of the Ombudsman Service where appropriate
  • Share knowledge and experience with other team members
Payment approach
Capped time and materials
Additional assessment methods
  • Case study
  • Reference
  • Presentation
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence


Cultural fit




Questions asked by suppliers

1. Could you please advise on your budget for this project?
We are not providing budget details at this stage.
2. Are you looking for an individual or a company to deliver your intranet?
As per the requirements we are looking for a team to deliver these requirements, working along side our in house resources.
3. Is there an incumbent SharePoint / Office 365 supplier at the Financial Ombudsman?
We have an incumbent supplier of Microsoft 365 licenses. We do not have supplier for the requirements set out in this opportunity.
4. Do you have Office 365 licences with SharePoint Online access? If so, what plans are they on? If not, have you a budget to procure them?
Yes, we are already using Office 365 and have the correct licenses in place.
5. How many users do you have with Office 365 licences? Are they all UK based?
Provision of Office 365 licenses is out of scope of this work. You should assume that the Ombudsman Service has adequate Office 365 licenses in place.
6. Are you open to using an intranet in a box solution to jumpstart your intranet development?
We are open to the most effective solution to meet our requirements.
7. Do you have intranet champions, that will lead the uptake of your intranet, in mind?
8. What knowledge of Teams and other Microsoft 365 features do you have in house?
We use Teams and Microsoft 365 products on a daily basis within the Ombudsman Service. We are growing our capability in this area.
9. As far as migration goes, what is your current intranet system? How much content needs migrating?
We are conducting a content audit and expect to recreate the vast majority of content for the new intranet.
10. Are there any 3rd party systems that need integrating with?
We expect the intranet to integrate with other Microsoft 365 products. We are also in the process of implementing Workday and will determine our integration needs, if any.
11. What SharePoint knowledge do your support team have? What SharePoint knowledge do your users have?
We have an in-house SharePoint team with limited capacity. Our organisation uses SharePoint on a day-to-day basis, but we have few expert-users.
12. Just to confirm that this is a team opportunity rather than an individual contractor?
As per the requirements we are looking for a team to deliver these requirements, working along side our in house resources.
13. Who from your team will be scoring applications for this opportunity and what positions do they hold?
Our evaluation team is comprised of representatives from our digital engagement, IT and procurement teams.
14. Could you please advise who conducted the Discovery work?
Discovery work has been undertaken by a third-party in conjunction with our internal team.
15. an you please advise the timelines of this procurement (e.g. shortlisted companies notified, anticipated contract award)? Also, can you confirm if shortlisted suppliers will have the opportunity to present?
We would expect to notify short-listed suppliers in early Feb and commence the proposal phase shortly thereafter. We would expect to evaluate and award by mid-March to facilitate work starting no later than 1st April 2020.

Yes, short-listed providers will be invited to present.
16. By “graphic design” do you mean full designs, such as one web designers would create for a website? Or do you intend to just provide a selection of imagery for use, branding guidelines etc.? This is important because SharePoint is not a tool for building websites, where you would expect complete freedom of design. Some changes can be made through configuration and some require custom code. We would urge you not to treat the designs with complete freedom of look and feel. You should work within the parameters of SharePoint’s branding features and so minimise code, complexity and ongoing maintenance.
We mean the latter - branding and imagery. We are aware of the constraints of the SharePoint Online platform and intend to avoid customisation unless it is absolutely necessary.
17. Do you have a current document management solution? If so, what platform? Will this move to SharePoint Online in the future?
We are using SharePoint Online and older versions of SharePoint for document management at present, alongside other platforms. It is intended to migrate the older versions to SharePoint Online in the future.

The current intranet does not use SharePoint or an equivalent document management solution.
18. What licenses do you have for Microsoft 365? e.g., E3.
You should assume that we are correctly licensed for Microsoft 365. Supply of licenses is not part of this tender.
19. The notice states “we have no content management system today”. Is the intranet a set of static HTML pages or are they served from a database e.g., SQL or Oracle?
They are static HTML pages.
20. It is stated that “Our team are not dedicated to this project”. What percentage of their time will be allotted to the project?
It varies. We expect the winning supplier to carryout the vast majority of the effort in relation to this opportunity.
21. How many pages are currently on the intranet?
Currently, we have approximately 5,500 pages, although many of these are obsolete. We expect to retain no more than 500 pages as we transform.
22. Are we right in assuming that the break up for evaluation given under proposal criteria maps to Technical competence (60% weighting on overall scale)
The weighting of technical competence is broken down as below:

Essential Skills & Experience – 10%
Nice-to-have – 5%
Proposal Criteria – 45%

The proposal criteria are weighted as per the weightings displayed.
23. How are you going to assess potential partner on cultural fit criteria as there are no objective criteria provided.
These will be assessed as evidence based responses at the proposal stage.
24. Are you open to a) subscription based product offering built on SharePoint and hosted on the Azure platform or alternatively b) configuring and developing components based on Office 365
Please confirm if you would like to consider either or both in your approach and also if there is a preference.
We are interested in the best solution to our requirements. These will be assessed at the proposal stage of this tender.
25. What are your expectations from the vendor from a business change and user adoption perspective?
We are expecting to take the lead in business change / user adoption. We will likely seek your views, but we do not envisage this as being any more than a very small aspect of your work.