Awarded to UBDS IT Consulting Ltd

Start date: Monday 12 July 2021
Value: £27,750
Company size: SME
Essex County Fire and Rescue Service

Network Specialist (SD-WAN)

11 Incomplete applications

8 SME, 3 large

25 Completed applications

23 SME, 2 large

Important dates

Wednesday 2 June 2021
Deadline for asking questions
Wednesday 9 June 2021 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications
Wednesday 16 June 2021 at 11:59pm GMT


Specialist role
Technical Architect
Off-payroll (IR35) determination
Summary of the work
Design and document the Fire & Rescue Service's future SD-WAN capabilities.
Latest start date
Monday 12 July 2021
Expected contract length
3 months
East of England
Organisation the work is for
Essex County Fire and Rescue Service
Maximum day rate

About the work

Early market engagement
Who the specialist will work with
You will be working with the ICT Enterprise Architect and the ICT Technical and Network Architect as part of our Digital and Data Programme. You will collaborate with the Programme Director and Project Manager.
What the specialist will work on
1. Understand objectives, gather high level requirements and propose a design that meets the Service's needs for wide area network across 50 fire stations, headquarters and several service delivery points.
2. Create a specification to procure an SD-WAN and associated services and components (including firewalls).
3. Prepare technical documentation as part of an Invitation To Tender or framework arrangement, including evaluation criteria.

Work setup

Address where the work will take place
Essex County Fire and Rescue Service Headquarters
Kelvedon Park
London Road
Essex CM8 3HB

Most of the delivery can be conducted remotely but some site visits within Essex will be required.
Working arrangements
You will be able to work remotely, collaborating with team members via Microsoft Teams. You will use your own devices to facilitate this. We will provide a M365 account and email address if required.

We may ask that you attend Headquarters for a number of face to face meetings throughout this assignment, and that you attend Service sites (e.g. fire stations) when required.

Be clear in your proposal about expected expenses reimbursement. We respectfully request you consider that we are a public sector employer.
Security clearance

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
  • Have demonstrable knowledge of software defined WAN options currently on the market
  • Have evidenced experience of deploying and managing wide area networks
  • Be able to produce extensive network architecture diagrams including associated components such as firewalls
  • Be competent and experienced in creating technical specifications
  • Be an effective communicator and collaborator
  • Be able to assess strategic objectives and align proposed technical solutions
  • Have experience balancing objectives/design with budgets
Nice-to-have skills and experience
  • Have experience implementing local and wireless networks
  • Have experience leading on WAN procurement
  • Provide evidence of delivering similar sized WAN deployments
  • Be qualified or certified in a relevant discipline
  • Have experience working with an emergency service or local government

How suppliers will be evaluated

All suppliers will be asked to provide a work history.

How many specialists to evaluate
Cultural fit criteria
  • Work collaboratively with members of ICT and programme team
  • Explain reasoning for recommendations, including benefits and disbenefits
  • Take responsibility for the quality and timeliness of their work
  • Willingly share knowledge and experience with others
  • Be open, honest and trustworthy
  • Value the contribution and direction of others
Additional assessment methods
  • Reference
  • Interview
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence


Cultural fit




Questions asked by suppliers

1. Can we get a budget for the specialist role?
We have approved funding and therefore a budget, however we are not publishing that at the moment.
2. is this role onshore or offshore
We have not specified but respectfully draw your attention to the fact that we are seeking a specialist (i.e. a named individual) and that they would need to be willing to attend various sites in Essex, UK.
3. inside or outside IR35
That is for you to identify in your proposal, and obviously depends on how you propose to offer a specialist.
4. Is there an incumbent in the role?
5. Is there a current incumbent or preferred supplier?
No. For clarity, if a specialist is provided by an SD WAN supplier, it may exclude them from future related procurement opportunities.
6. With regard to your answer to ‘5. Is there a current incumbent or preferred supplier?’, when you say “SD WAN Supplier” do you mean a vendor or a value-add reseller?
A direct vendor and value-add reseller with a particular commercial allegiance to a vendor, i.e. potentially not objective.
7. Please can you confirm the level of security clearance the chosen specialist will require (if any)?
None is required because the specialist will not be given elevated admin/domain privileges and will not come into contact with Official-Sensitive, Official-Commercial or Secret information.
8. Is this inside or outside IR35?
Please refer to Q3 above.
9. As the end-client, will you not be providing an IR35 SDS determination as required by the new Off-payroll working rules which apply to all public authorities and medium and large-sized clients?
We will take advice from HMRC and our payroll specialists, following all public procurement obligations and legislative requirements.
10. Is there a specific vendor you would like the specialist to have experience with, particularly in regards to firewalls?
No specific vendor. Experience with more than one vendor, and awareness of the current marketplace, will be advantageous.
11. Will you also be reviewing CV’s?

If so, where should they be sent to for review?
Not CVs specifically. Relevant experience and knowledge should be mentioned in your proposal.