Awarded to Netcompany UK Limited

Start date: Monday 25 October 2021
Value: £3,133,910
Company size: large
Highways England

Architecture Services Support

23 Incomplete applications

21 SME, 2 large

34 Completed applications

27 SME, 7 large

Important dates

Published
Friday 5 March 2021
Deadline for asking questions
Friday 12 March 2021 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications
Friday 19 March 2021 at 11:59pm GMT

Overview

Off-payroll (IR35) determination
Summary of the work
Opportunity to engage with Highways England, specifically, within the Architecture arena, to evolve and enhance Architecture Services in these fantastically exciting times as we continue to deliver on "Connecting the Country".
Latest start date
Monday 19 April 2021
Expected contract length
Up to 24 months
Location
No specific location, for example they can work remotely
Organisation the work is for
Highways England
Budget range
Up to £3,133,910 over contract period

About the work

Why the work is being done
Architecture Services Group (ASG) provide Architecture capabilities which inc. Enterprise (Foundation and Strategic), Domain, Solution and Technical; are complementary to the evolving Engineering function and are present throughout the full Service lifecycle.

These Architecture Domains have been defined for/with our Business: Applications, Business, Data, Integration, Security, Service and Technology.

This contract is to:

- assist ASG mature Services to our Business

- provide Architecture Services and/or Capabilities at speed, at scale and with agility

- provide additional and/or complementary, specialist skills, experience and knowledge

- evolve the Architecture framework for our Business, during RIS2 then into RIS3 and beyond; "just enough Architecture" is the overarching philosophy.
Problem to be solved
ASG has limited resources:

- to focus on Foundation Architecture (Decision Trees, Guidance, Principles, Policies, Reference Architectures, Repositories, Standards, Tooling, etc.)

- to focus on Strategic Architectures (blueprints; integrated roadmaps), Strategic Development (identified gaps) and Strategy Evolution (existing direction)

- to focus on Domain Architectures ( Gap Analysis, Patterns, Roadmap, Target State, Vision, etc.)

- to focus on the increasing demand for Solution Architecture

- to focus on the management of Architecture

- to focus on Proof of Concepts (PoC)

This results in reactive scenarios; with negative examples being project focussed deliveries rather than strategic ones, inefficient implementations, and duplication of effort.
Who the users are and what they need to do
As SRO, I need to be confident that Architecture Services evolves, and, is operated and maintained in an appropriate and cost effective manner.

As CEO, I need to know that the I&T Strategy is underpinned by Industry best practices, appropriate standards and can deliver HE's goals.

As CTO, I need to be able to deliver strategies and roadmaps for Architecture, Design and Technology, and, to articulate those Strategies to the Board.

As a PM, I need to be assured that the Solutions created are fit for purpose and align with strategic goals.
Early market engagement
Any work that’s already been done
There is an ongoing service operating, predominantly at the Solution Architecture and Technical Architecture perspectives, for Business IT.

Within HE, we are changing our philosophy to become an intelligent Client, therefore, our focus in ASG will be on the Enterprise perspective primarily; spanning the spectrum of IT and Operational Technology (OT).
Existing team
Outcomes will be delivered in partnership with our ASG team; the ASG team is currently 5 in total with recruitment for a further 2 colleagues in FY21/22. Our current Partner augments ASG with between 4 to 10 additional colleagues. Our Partners will be required to engage with the wider HE organisation at senior levels, and also, with other suppliers.
Current phase
Not applicable

Work setup

Address where the work will take place
Remote Working is an acceptable option.

Additionally, possible working locations could be at HE or Partner offices. HE office locations could include Birmingham, Bristol, Exeter, Guildford, Leeds, London and Manchester.
Working arrangements
Our Partners will be an integral part of the ASG team; there could be occasional travel to HE offices.
Security clearance
Baseline Security 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
  • Demonstrate experience of evolving an Architecture Practice, and establishing an Architecture Community to deliver greater value. Efficiencies should enable our Business Strategy and Outcomes. Include examples & outcomes with measures.
  • Demonstrate the ability to provide Architecture Services within a multi-supplier environment; spanning all Domains with resources being available at short notice. Give relevant examples and outcomes with suitable measures.
  • Demonstrate ability to provide analysis of emerging trends for all Domains, for senior management to inform future strategy. Include the methodology and criteria used and outcome(s) of assessments.
  • Demonstrate experience of creating Foundation Architecture, preferably, within the Public Sector and/or a related Industry sector. Include relevant examples and outcomes with suitable measures.
  • Demonstrate experience of providing Domain Architectures, and integration of Domains, to ensure Architecture Services continues to increase its' value to our Business. Include examples and outcomes with suitable measures.
  • Demonstrate experience of providing Solution Architectures to Programmes and Projects, to ensure Solutions fit within Domain Roadmaps and align to Strategic Architectures. Include relevant examples and outcomes with suitable measures.
  • Demonstrate experience of developing an executionable, strategic methodology for identifying and mitigating technical debt. Include relevant examples, and the outcomes with suitable measures.
  • Demonstrate experience of developing an executionable, strategic methodology for the fusion of Information Technology and Operational Technology. Include relevant examples, and the outcomes with suitable measures.
  • Demonstrate experience in the Service Architecture Domain; including evolution of a Service-led culture and Operating Model (Process/Organisation/Location/Information/Suppliers/Mgt System); impact would include all Domains. Agility and Automation are key moving forward.
  • Demonstrate experience in Integration Architecture Domain; including design, development, deployment of a hybrid integration platform - scope could include all dimensions (applications/business/data/process/systems etc.) and operational and management processes. Include examples.
Nice-to-have skills and experience
  • Demonstrate experience of working with Public Sector organisations, seeking to increase their Architecture and Engineering capabilities, and, maturity. Give relevant examples and outcomes with suitable measures.
  • Demonstrate experience in assisting an organisation develop agile delivery processes; including integrating the DevOps philosophy into an existing delivery framework. Give relevant examples and outcomes with suitable measures.
  • Demonstrate experience in the Architecture and Engineering, of integrating, multiple Public Cloud platforms including Azure, AWS and Oracle Cloud. Give relevant examples and outcomes with suitable measures.

How suppliers will be evaluated

All suppliers will be asked to provide a written proposal.

How many suppliers to evaluate
5
Proposal criteria
  • Explain the role and value of Architecture Services to Highways England, including the measures used to show value, and the processes to continuously improve the value. (Scored 1-10)
  • Explain your methodology, to provide Strategic Development for the 2020-2025, 2025-2030 and 2030+ timeframes, ensuring that it meets HE goals and objectives, covering all Domains. (Scored 1-10)
  • Explain how you would deliver the cultural, process, commercial and technical changes required to introduce agile working practices in a multi-supplier organisation. (Scored 1-10)
  • Explain your methodology to ensure your team remains current, and, how you would assist Highways England to ensure that our Ways of Working, Services, Processes, etc. remain relevant. (Scored 1-10)
  • Explain your methodology for delivering a Reference Architecture for the Highways Industry (not HE); the objective is to stimulate competition and innovation within our Industry. (Scored 1-10)
  • Explain your methodology to design and deliver an architecture which integrates our legacy Business IT and OT Platforms, Public Cloud Platforms and Services, and allows for future needs. (Scored 1-10)
  • Explain your methodology to manage, then remove, technical debt and legacy IT. Include the measurements required to show the success and value of the work. (Scored 1-10)
  • Explain how you would continue to establish an Architecture Community; initially within HE, then, expanding to Partners, Industry and Academia. (Scored 1-10)
Cultural fit criteria
  • Place safety of ourselves, our workforce and our customers as the number one priority; include recent examples. (Scored 1-10)
  • Embrace, deliver and enhance, the Highways England values; include recent examples. (Scored 1-10)
  • Adopt open, honest and transparent Ways of Working; share knowledge, share learnings, guide and be guided. (Scored 1-10)
  • Be proactive, innovative and inclusive in all activities; do not let perfect get in the way of good. (Scored 1-10)
  • Act with agility, deliver value incrementally, and, be ambitious. (Scored 1-10)
Payment approach
Time and materials
Additional assessment methods
Presentation
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence

60%

Cultural fit

20%

Price

20%

Questions asked by suppliers

1. How much architecture resource do you expect the partner to supply? In particular what is the expected peak amount of resource needed and how elastic do you expect this resource to be (i.e. scale up and down speed)?
Our baseline, based on the incumbent, is declared within the DOS notice. In terms of elasticity, the notice period will probably be somewhere between 1 to 2 weeks. The construct of engagements, could be as short as a week(s) through to 6+ months.
2. Is there an incumbent in place ?
Yes; the current contract expires in June 2021, therefore, it's anticipated that there will be 3 months to complete knowledge transfer.
3. We understand that Highways are seeking evidence of supplier experience across the listed 7 architectural domains, as well as across Enterprise and Operational Technology architecture. As DOS responses have a 100 word limit on answers, will Highways accept answers which cover only one or a subset of these requirements?
No; please provide evidence that reflects engagement(s) that cover all aspects.
4. Highways is seeking suppliers who can provide resource available at short notice. During the previous DOS notice in November 2020 it was indicated in response to a clarificaton question that “To date the minimum notice period we have required is two weeks for an architect with Azure Infrastructure experience, we would not anticipate requiring a shorter notice period than this. We expect there to be a longer notice period for architects with experience of specialist technologies.” Is this still the case?
No; the scope for this DOS notice is different to the November release. In summary, our Business is experiencing significant growth at pace. Therefore, the notice period could well be two weeks, however, it could well be one week.
5. The DOS notice asks for suppliers to confirm experience with Hybrid Integration platforms. To ensure we provide an appropriate answer could you clarify your understanding of what a Hybrid Integration Platform is?

During the prior DOS notice in Nov 2020 it was indicated that suppliers could use more than one example to respond to each question. Does that remain the case?
Our definition of a Hybrid Integration Platform is that it (a) can deliver all aspects of Integration, and, (b) can be deployed on Public Cloud, and, (c) can be deployed on-premise.

Yes.
6. The nice to have’s list “Demonstrate experience in the Architecture and Engineering, of integrating, multiple Public Cloud platforms including Azure, AWS and Oracle Cloud”. Can you confirm if you are seeking experience of integrating all three public clouds in a single project?
No; experience of integrating all three Public Clouds, into a single HE Cloud Operating Model is the intent. Additionally, providing evidence of integrating at least two of the Public Cloud offering in a single project would be advantageous.
7. Can you confirm that the references in the statement about why the work is being done to:
- “technology” relates to Technical Architecture, and not Operational Technology ?
- “service” relates to Service Architecture and not Service Design?
For clarity, Technology inc. Corporate/Enterprise Technology and Operational Technology.

For clarity, Service is Service Architecture.
8. The statement in the DOS notice about why the work is being done makes reference to the “evolving Engineering function”. How important is it to Highways that the suppliers have practitioner lead experience of working with engineering teams?
It is important; we have an OT Engineering function, a Data Engineering function, and, are building a Security Engineering function - the intent is to create an Engineering function aligned to all Domains.
9. We note that your current supplier is providing between 4 to 10 additional resources, aligned to your current needs, however we are assuming that this need will grow as you engage with the wider organisation. Do you have a view on how many additional resources you will look to engage from your new provider and what potential blend there may be between senior and junior architecture resources?
In terms of quantifying additional resources, there are too many variables to be definitive at this stage; the construct that is working currently, is that of a core team that covers all aspects of Architecture, which is augmented dependent upon demand.

In terms of the mix of Senior vs. Junior Architects, the mix will probably reflect the respective maturity for each Domain. Integration and Service are relatively new to HE.
10. Who from your team will be scoring applications for this opportunity and what positions do they hold?
Assessment panel are:

Head of Architecture Services
Director of Infrastructure and Platforms
Chief Technology Officer
11. Can 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?
An approximate timeline is below (may be subject to change):

- 12th March: Deadline for asking questions
- 19th March: Closing date for applications
- 20th - 25th March: Evaluate applications to create shortlist
- 26th March: Notify suppliers & invite shortlisted to assessment stage
- 29th March - 7th April: Shortlisted suppliers submit assessments
- 8th April - 14th April: Evaluate proposals (& presentations if required - details will be confirmed after shortlisting)
- 15th April - end of April: Notify suppliers of decision, debrief & award
12. Could you please expand upon what you mean by “Architecture Community”?
The "Architecture Community" is a community of colleagues, that have an interest in any aspect of Architecture, initially within HE - across all dimensions of our Business - and then expanding to our Supply Chain.
13. Could you please expand upon what you mean by “Domain Architectures”?
Our Architecture Domains are Applications, Business, Data, Integration, Security, Service and Technology. Domain Architectures refers to the Domain-centric activities, artefacts, services and products. The focus is on the Domain itself.
14. Could you please expand upon what you mean by “fusion of Information Technology and Operational Technology”?
Historically, we (HE) have considered IT and OT as separate entities, lifecycles, management, etc. As we progress into Roads Period 2 and beyond, the intent is to fuse both of these landscapes, supply chain ecosystems, solutions, services and products, where possible.
15. can you confirm that the “Essential skills and experience” and the “Proposal criteria” (scored 1-10) will be different stages of assessment?
Yes. 'Essential' and 'nice-to-have' skills and experience (scored 0-3) will be reviewed in the first stage to create a shortlist. Shortlisted suppliers will then be asked to submit a proposal (technical and cultural fit criteria will be scored 1-10) and pricing as part of the assessment stage. Presentations may be also be required as part of the second stage.
16. Are you looking to select only one or more than one supplier?
Only one Supplier is the intent.
17. Do you have any architecture tooling in place which we would need to use?
In short, no; we have a variety of point solutions, however, the intent is to deploy an Enterprise-wide toolset for Architecture Mgt during 2021. The next iteration, would be to expand to, or, augment with similar for Engineering Mgt.
18. Could you please expand on what is meant by the question: Demonstrate experience of developing an executionable, strategic methodology for the fusion of Information Technology and Operational Technology.
Demonstrable evidence and experience, of fusing an organisation's IT and OT landscape, by deploying a proven methodology - covering all lifecycle phases.
19. Who is the incumbent and how long they have been the incumbent?
NetCompany; awarded in January 2019.
20. In reference to Q11, Is “Architecture and Engineering capabilities” in the question referring to “Software Architecture and Software Engineering” or whether the “Engineering” reference is meant in an Operational Technology Engineering context instead?
Context is the Architecture and Engineering capabilities for each of the 7x HE Domains.