This opportunity is closed for applications

The deadline was Thursday 8 April 2021
University of the Arts London

Contentful Headless CMS Provider

13 Incomplete applications

11 SME, 2 large

14 Completed applications

12 SME, 2 large

Important dates

Published
Thursday 25 March 2021
Deadline for asking questions
Thursday 1 April 2021 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications
Thursday 8 April 2021 at 11:59pm GMT

Overview

Summary of the work
UAL is migrating its Graduate Showcase site from the Strapi CMS to Contentful CMS with granular roles and access, workflow and notifications.

The web team requires the CMS is hosted with these services:

- Implementation Service
- Licensing
- Training Service
- Support Service
- Migration Service
- Configuration Service
Latest start date
Thursday 8 April 2021
Expected contract length
Two years
Location
London
Organisation the work is for
University of the Arts London
Budget range
£55k initially, total contract value up to c. £100k)

Up-to £55k.
- all scoped services
- licensing and hosting of CMS for one year
- support for one year

Additional support and hosting costs will be billed annually in the second year, to an operational budget.

From £0 to £45k
The Configuration Service should be call down and will support the UAL team rapidly deploy UI extension and integration. The requirements for these are being identified in workshops throughout March and April and will be shared as prioritised work packages.

Supplier will include rate card with response.

About the work

Why the work is being done
The CMS will support a workflow process that takes uploaded content through a human QA process, and to publication. The additional Configuration Service may be called down to support the creation of UI extensions and integration for presentation of different assets and site sections.

There is a staggered launch of 25 May for some site elements, and 30 June for the remainder. Much of the development is being managed by our in-house team, but implementation of Contentful CMS, support, training and some one-time modules are required.

Please note, this is a similar requirement to one previously listed by University of the Arts London, which was cancelled on 24/03/2021 as the requirement has changed slightly and the UAL team has decided it should proceed with Contentful for this only. Formerly listed as 'Headless CMS Implementation Partner'
Problem to be solved
Strapi CMS does not have 'fit enough' roles and access, nor a workflow engine built-in. The organisation must solve its workflow issue with quality assuring student work uploaded to the site at the end of each academic year (May - June) so that a large and distributed group of academic users can access the work and approve it for publication (c. 300 - 400 content editors and creators)
Who the users are and what they need to do
As a programme/course team member
I need to review all work uploaded by students to my programme/course
So that I can approve it for publication to a live showcasing website

As a programme director
I need to review all upload figures across my programme
So that I can chase course leaders with low student uptake

As a course leader
I need a web interface to edit my course pages
So that I can choose which work to curate, choose background images and graphics, and add events
Early market engagement
Formerly listed as 'Headless CMS Implementation Partner' in early March 2021. UAL has during that time transparently and openly engaged with CMS providers/partners, and through that process and its own investigation, has determined that the headless CMS of choice will be Contentful. The first requirement was cancelled, and this requirement created instead.
Any work that’s already been done
We have a working Contentful proof-of-concept for some requirements and will continue to build that out with the chosen supplier's team.
Existing team
Experienced and engaged web developers, project team of managers and analysts, some supplier input, some testing provided by students and academic teams.
Current phase
Alpha

Work setup

Address where the work will take place
Remotely, but ideally on a European time-zone for rapid updates
Working arrangements
No expenses will be paid for this.

Supplier will join sprint ceremonies and work within UAL sprint planning process. Story prioritisation will be led by the PM, Scrum Master and Product Owner between mid-April - early July)
Security clearance
None required.

Supplier team will sign-up to UAL's Third-Party Access policy and agree to operate by all applicable UAL policies for data protection, security, ethics and working standards.

Additional information

Additional terms and conditions
Supplier team will sign-up to UAL's Third-Party Access policy and agree to operate by all applicable UAL policies for data protection, security, ethics and working standards.

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
  • Migration from legacy CMS
  • Training
  • Support
  • Licensing & implementation
  • Rapid implementation
  • UI extension configuration
  • Integration development
  • Middleware (CMS) configuration
Nice-to-have skills and experience
  • Hosting
  • Vulnerability scanning and reporting

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
  • Estimated timeframes for work
  • Risk management
  • Value for money (assessed on entire contract spend and most competitive offer against scoped services)
  • Collaborative working approach
  • Service definitions for packaged services
Cultural fit criteria
  • Agile
  • Sprint ceremonies
  • Jira
  • Trello
Payment approach
Capped time and materials
Additional assessment methods
  • Work history
  • Reference
  • Presentation
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence

60%

Cultural fit

10%

Price

30%

Questions asked by suppliers

1. What is your preferred technology stack?
We use React as a FE platform. We don't have a particular stack we adhere to so there is flexibility for the CMS and it should be accessed via API. Our preference is a hosted solution for the CMS.
2. What will be the location of hosting server?
EU only
3. Can you share detailed scope of work for your requirement?
A detailed scope will be prepared with the shortlist of suppliers
4. Do you already have a front-end application and want to keep it? If so, what technology is it built with?
We use React as a FE platform. The site that will connect to the CMS is https://showcase.arts.ac.uk. We have no intention the FE tech.
5. Do you have a preferred technology stack for the CMS?
We use React as a FE platform. We don't have a particular stack we adhere to so there is flexibility for the CMS and it should be accessed via API. Our preference is a hosted solution for the CMS.
6. Does the work include integration with the front-end application or is that the responsibility of your team?
We expect to undertake some of this work ourselves, although are interested in what rapid support can be provided under the Migration Service.
7. Please could you provide details of the frontend website codebase and technologies.
We use React as a FE platform. The site that will connect to the CMS is https://showcase.arts.ac.uk. We have no intention the FE tech.
8. Do you have Year 2 and 3 budgets in place so we can put together a longer term plan?
This is part of our ongoing commitment and critical digital infrastructure.
9. Will the student work be uploaded from website backend by content editor? OR Will there be a provision for student to upload their work from website frontend or some other portal?
"The student profile is created through a separate backend with files APIs moved to cloud storage and text to CMS. The profiles are displayed once approved in a QA workflow (part of this requirement).

Within the CMS, content editors (staff, not students) will generate pages from templates, edit text and select student files to present on their page in various containers. They may also link containers to third-party sites/content (e.g. YouTube/Vimeo).

Please visit showcase.arts.ac.uk for a view of the types of pages we will need content editors to generate/edit (College, Course, Collections) and those automatically generated (Student Profiles).
10. Please could you provide any information on why this has been re-released?
UAL's requirements iterated during the first requirement and it made sense to reissue the requirement with a tighter definition.
11. Please share detailed scope (static & dynamic modules) of website.
Scope of works will be shared with shortlisted suppliers. The requirement expects suppliers to provide service definitions and call-offs with rate card.
12. Also share your requirement of any 3rd party integration
This is under review, hence the flexibility in calling-off service required
13. After development do you also need support service? If yes, then what will be the duration?
This is stipulated in the requirement
14. Do you have any specific design requirement? If yes, then please share.
This question is unclear. Largely the solution design is taking place in-house, but if specific items are called off then an element of design will be required from the supplier
15. Who will provide hosting server?
This requirement is for Contentful CMS, which is a hosted solution
16. Are you OK with complete offshore development?
EU only
17. What is expected from presentation?
A demonstration of fit to the published requirements, with elements of innovation and value-add from the services we have outlined. Specifically value-for-money, cultural fit, and technical fit. The criteria are expressed in the requirement.
18. Can the team work completely remotely from inside or outside the UK?
Outside the UK and within the EU is fine. The supplier commits to joining UAL sprint ceremonies and working in a roughly similar time-zone to enable rapid updates and communication
19. 1. Please share detailed scope (static & dynamic modules) of website.
2. Also share your requirement of any 3rd party integration.
3. After development do you also need support service? If yes, then what will be the duration?
4. Do you have any specific design requirement? If yes, then please share.
5. Who will provide Hosting Server?
6. Are you OK with complete offshore (outside UK) development?
7. What is expected from Presentation? Please elaborate.
These are duplicated questions and have been answered just prior to this.
20. What additional skills are they looking for that they don’t have in the existing team for IU configuration?
IU configuration (sic) is assumed UI configuration.

The UAL team has skills in this area but may need to call-off specific UI integrations as requirements are established from user workshops. These workshops are ongoing, and needs arising regularly. The successful supplier will join sprint ceremonies and will hear about new requirements that we wish to call-off
21. What additional skills are they looking for that they don’t have in the existing team for UI configuration?
Duplicate of previous question and answer
22. Could you give any estimation of the licensing costs for the project :the budget is very low, the costs we estimate are circa £20k in licensing,if so it makes the project uneconomic.
Thank you for your consideration of the requirement. If it is uneconomic for you then please do not submit an application. We would not want to enter in to a working relationship with an organisation that felt money pressures from this project, and that would introduce an element of risk to the project that may not be sustainable for the supplier relationship in the longer term.
23. Could you be more specific about the experience and evidence you seeking in the following areas please. UI extension configuration, Middleware (CMS) configuration and Licensing & implementation?
Integrations with common media hosting sites is one example. Specifics are still being gathered, hence the service flexibility built-in to this requirement.

We seek a supplier that can add value, and the best insight we can provide is: in the fullness of time our supplier should be well-enough acquainted with the project, site and detailed requirements to make valuable recommendations that further the objectives of the site being hosted on the CMS
24. Could you be more specific about the experience and evidence you seeking in the following areas please. UI extension configuration, Middleware (CMS) configuration and Licensing & implementation.
Regarding licensing and implementation, we need a hosted service for Contentful and migration of a PoC to a production instance. Licensing for two years ideally
25. If implemented and configured correctly to meet your needs, would you still consider using Strapi CMS or are there other reasons why you do not want to use it?
UAL has a need for better workflow, better roles and access. Strapi is acknowledged by all teams involved to be short of the requirement so is not under further consideration
26. May I ask if you are considering Adobe AEM as the worlds market leading CMS?
Adobe AEM is not a headless CMS. This requirement is for a Contentful CMS.
27. Is there a preferred hosting platform?
We are a Microsoft house, but would expect this solution to be SaaS and not need to manage the hosting arrangement ourselves.
28. Does the site current site build against the strapi instance’s REST or GraphQL API?
REST API
29. Please could you describe the workflow you need in the solution?
The primary workflow need is for quality assurance of student profile submissions, including descriptive text, tags and images/videos.

QA teams drawn from College staff will review student profiles and can edit (for typos) and accept & publish, or reject with feedback. The student receives a notification with the QA team comments on rejection; or receives a notification that their work has been accepted.

The QA team will have access to a view of all student profiles in a queue awaiting QA.
30. What are your primary drivers for this development? e.g. is it efficiency for teachers or insight for UAL with regards review / QA performance or student engagement
The current CMS does not provide the foundations needed to support and operate the site's complex requirements without a lot of manual intervention and staff time spent in support, briefings and error fixing. The technology requirements listed should drastically reduce this overhead.
31. Is the bid being judged solely against the features requested or will the reviewers evaluate/ take into consideration any value add elements?
The bid will be assess 60% against the fit to technical requirements, and 30% on cost, including value-for-money. The final 10% is cultural fit, including adapting to our ways of working (Agile Sprint Ceremonies, Jira) for the implementation period
32. Given you have an in-house team, how do you see the supplier working with you? What is the model for getting this live? What kind of support is needed in the development and deployment side?
In terms of setup it would be a supporting role. Work is done in agile methodology with sprint ceremonies. There is not fixed pattern, but usually work in 2 week windows and releases.

We may need to call-off from FE development services.
33. Clarification on if UAL are obligated to choose a service listed in G-cloud from a legal standpoint, or if there is a specific requirement on that.
Yes, for the speed of procurement. In a sense that a full competitive dialogue process with action will take too long.
34. Are you considering a fully SAAS solution or are you expecting the solution to be deployed within your specific cloud or reserved instance? Are you ok with a shared instance as a tenant with other customers? Do you have requirements for your specific dedicated instance?
Would be more comfortable with a multi tenant, but from a security perspective, it is preferred that a questionnaire is sent to Contentful that includes our security questions. We wouldn’t necessarily look into multi tenant or single tenant. Note that due to the nature and speed of the project, a SAAS solution would probably be the best approach.
35. Is there any functionality currently missing? What are your must haves, should haves?
The main one is workflows, in the current configuration there are no approval workflows. On some of the content there needs to be a few workflows especially around how student projects come through. Another key one is around making the backend more user friendly. There are issues with lack of roles on Strapi, there needs to be some work done on roles.
36. The main one is workflows, in the current configuration there are no approval workflows. On some of the content there needs to be a few workflows especially around how student projects come through. Another key one is around making the backend more user friendly. There are issues with lack of roles on Strapi, there needs to be some work done on roles.
Part of the central team at this point, as part of a scope control exercise. Joshua's team does training for the rest of the organisation. It is his team that will be trained before they train the rest of the organisation.
37. In terms of current content you have, are there any content classes that are private? I.e.. Private access to specific content types
Not at this point, though there is a sensitive material flag that is used for content.
38. Question on workflows, has there been any formal evaluations of the workflows required? Is Contentful able to meet those?
A UAL developer has been looking at Contentful which has the workflow and has assessed that this is a solution that Contentful can deliver.
39. Are you expecting to do a lot of front end redevelopment or are you adapting your current front end to use the Contentful API's rather than the existing Strapi ones?
The ideal direction would be If we don't have to change anything, this project is about this middleware and having a better workflow as part of this middleware.

However, we may need to call-off from FE development services.
40. What is the architecture being looked at? Will there be ongoing technical support to the middleware in the future?
The aim is to put something between the new content management system that maps over to what we had previously on the front end and also from the back end. Support is specified/ required for the duration of for the CMS middleware.
41. In terms of current use case, will the CMS be used in other products, projects? What does the future look like for this CMS? What nuance of workflows exist, are there things that would need to integrate with your internal systems in the future?
There is potential to be used for other sites in future, but this requirement is for a single site and project, which is the scope of this meeting. There is a potential for any system procured to be used anywhere else in future. It is too early to know what would need to integrate with internal systems in the future, or what nuance of workflows exist.
42. Are there any unmet front end requirements that you are looking to address potentially? Where is frontend currently hosted? Are there any other channels beyond the web channel that you want to address now or in the future in this project?
We are comfortable with the internal team improving the front end. Light integrations would be useful at this stage from the current platform into website eg. a few images and links, YouTube. Front end hosting is with IBM cloud for the showcase which is unlikely to change.
43. What are the steps being taken to get a final decision?
Three suppliers will be shortlisted after the first submissions. A presentation will follow after the submission deadline. The shortlisted will be notified to present (bringing in references and the work history spanning the last few years).
44. Question on migration, is only text content migrated? Are you migrating images? How big is the actual base of content in terms of objects?
Its not a content migration piece. The site holds pieces of text around their names, course, description of project, as well as imagery, video, or audio associated with the project. An image manipulation service is used to transform and optimise imagery, nothing really needs to be dealt with in terms of imagery. For video, youtube or vimeo is used depending on what platform the student wants to use. for audio its primarily soundcloud. in terms of object numbers there are around 3000 student uploads last year, aiming for higher (4500 baseline) this year and in following years.
45. Are the workflow needs documented?
The as-is and to-be processes will be shared on marketplace with the shortlisted suppliers and the requirements will be shared then too.
46. Is there is a need for the team to dynamically adapt these workflows and modify at will without the need of engaging 3rd parties.
The workflows broadly will not need too much change once setup, but flexibility would be good to have.
47. Does each team need help working on their adapted workflow given there may be up to 100 teams?
No, most of them will be one workflow. They'd all be using the same variation workflow, but selecting a different set of the student projects to be uploaded
48. Are you happy with the hosting? Will that be moved to another place?
It is not the focus of the project. No change for now.
49. Team and ways of working. Do you expect the supplier to deliver the work as an independent team or is there blending with UAL SME’s and development teams?
Work with the UAL team in 2 week sprints. Work is prioritised on JIRA. This is the preference, to adapt to UAL ways of working.
50. How do you see these systems integrating? Is the content partially or fully synced with the headless CMS?
Our back end has been adapted as the workflow mechanism to create this project. The students have a login to upload all their work, the middleware is a live sync with this, which is where the approval process is done for their work. once approved is when its passed on and published on the front end. There is only one student upload tool. the CMS middleware part is where you have data coming in from the student upload backend.
51. Do you want the ability to be in sync to be with your backend data source or do you want to not migrate content from the current CMS instance?
We want to come off the old CMS completely. Cannot maintain all artwork on the same site. Intention is to continue using backend for students to push their projects to a CMS. The CMS is what we want to replace. There will be migration of the existing data from old CMS across to the new CMS.
52. Question on DOS application process. What would you like to see as a response to those questions to indicate value for money for UAL?
Put in anything extra that will enhance the service offering, i.e. training, innovation, added value from supplier over the life of the contract
53. Security and pen test – how do you see this happening with cloud based instance? On security questionnaire, is this something that will be shared with shortlisted vendors or publicly available? Will a current report of a 3rd party agency pen testing help with timelines?
Short security questionnaires were sent to Contentful, they confirmed they will contact the vendors to complete the initial questionnaire. When a system is ready to go live, a vulnerability test is performed, the third party vendors are engaged for pentesting, but the first vulnerability testing is done in-house. sharing or previous pentests would be welcomed, vulnerabilities found in our pentest will also be shared with the supplier.
54. Will security questionnaire be sent from Contentful, will that be done directly or are they operating on behalf of you as the client for the procurement?
Only had a few discovery meetings with Contentful. It will be requested from the supplier of the system, with whom we enter in to contract
55. Can supplier start work while contract is being signed or will it have to be signed for supplier to get involved?
The contracts are fairly straightforward, if there aren't many changes from the supplier side, UAL will work with the supplier to ensure work commences as quickly as possible. If the supplier feels there is work that needs to be done at their own risk, they can go ahead, UAL will work alongside them to facilitate.
56. Will the security questionnaire be shared with shortlisted vendor before the next step?
The short version of the questionnaire will be provided with the as-is and to-be workflow diagrams and the requirements to the system. The SQ will be sent to the three shortlisted suppliers alongside an invitation for presentation.
57. Could you be more specific about the experience and evidence you seeking in the following areas please. UI extension configuration, Middleware (CMS) configuration and Licensing & implementation.
Licensing and implementation is straightforward. We'll need to procure a 1 - 2 year license for Contentful, and have our own instance setup. We will need configuration from a proof-of-concept migrated over too.

UI extension configuration could be one-time requirements to integrate with other third-party sites e.g. YouTube, Vimeo. These are examples as we have these on the front end already.

Middleware configuration would be helping us to rapidly develop Contentful itself, including reports and templates that can be tied in to the front end.