This opportunity is closed for applications

The deadline was Tuesday 20 July 2021
Royal Borough Greenwich

SPS2454A - ICT Technology Partner

14 Incomplete applications

11 SME, 3 large

29 Completed applications

20 SME, 9 large

Important dates

Published
Tuesday 6 July 2021
Deadline for asking questions
Tuesday 13 July 2021 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications
Tuesday 20 July 2021 at 11:59pm GMT

Overview

Off-payroll (IR35) determination
Supply of resource: the off-payroll rules will apply to any workers engaged through a qualifying intermediary, such as their own limited company
Summary of the work
Technology partner to provide:
-Technology landscape/systems assessment
-Recommend/advise that aspects of architecture/infrastructure should prioritise for modernisation
-Future council technology development
-large physical to cloud data migration in October 2022 preparation
-Help plot a path away from our legacy systems
-Staff remoteworking improvements
-Provide bridging infrastructure/engineering skill set while team grows.
Latest start date
Friday 13 August 2021
Expected contract length
1 year with the option to extend for a further 1 year
Location
London
Organisation the work is for
Royal Borough Greenwich
Budget range
Up to £500k

About the work

Why the work is being done
Please email andrew.clark@royalgreenwich.gov.uk for futher information

Royal Borough of Greenwich has a new and ambitious digital strategy that identifies 6 key workstreams and major areas of opportunity. One of these is to radically improve our infrastructure, including moving services to the cloud. The lead department, Digital and Customer Services, is undergoing a significant restructure and building an entirely new team with in-house development capability. While that team will be able to realise our strategy independently in the future, we won’t have the full team for some time, and we need a partner to begin the work, advise us on our use of technology, and help our new team bed in and upskill.
As a result of this work, we want the council to have modern, resilient and fully supported infrastructure, systems and platforms; to have a full and self-sufficient internal infrastructure skill-set, and to have achieved some of the major milestones prioritised as a result of the work.
Problem to be solved
Royal Borough of Greenwich is beginning to realise its digital strategy. We have some clear internal and external delivery priorities for the year, but we don’t yet have the team in place to deliver on these. In particular, our technology function is growing at a slow pace, with some skills and strategic roles proving difficult to recruit to, but we have some major pieces of work on the horizon which need specific and intense technical advice and development.

We need a technology partner to:
• Assess our current technology landscape and systems
• Provide us recommendations and advice about which aspects of our architecture and infrastructure we should prioritise for modernisation
• Help us develop a vision for the future of technology in the council
• Help us to prepare for a large physical to cloud data migration in October 2022
• Help us to plot a path away from our legacy systems
• Help us to improve remote working for our staff
• Provide us a bridging infrastructure engineering skill set while our team is growing.
Who the users are and what they need to do
The users are residents and staff of Royal Greenwich Council
Early market engagement
None
Existing team
We have a technology team of around 20 people across infrastructure, application support and service desk. We don’t currently have any architects, cyber-security experts or hands-on infrastructure engineers.
Current phase
Not applicable

Work setup

Address where the work will take place
Likely to be initially from home due to Covid restrictions, but moving over the summer and beyond to up to 3 days per week at The Woolwich Centre, 35 Wellington Street, London SE18 6HQ.
Working arrangements
We would eventually prefer co-location onsite for 3 days a week (as soon as Covid-19 allows), most weeks in order to engage with the current team, building broader engagement with the style of working (eg through show and tells), and capability building activity through activities such as pair programming/design review. However, we also know that remote working is both possible and will also be necessary over the next few months.
Security clearance
BPSS – we will ask for evidence of this from incoming partner staff

Additional information

Additional terms and conditions
None

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
  • Technical architecture, including knowledge of cross-government patterns and platforms, knowledge of Java and PHP, knowledge of AWS and Azure
  • Infrastructure engineering, including knowledge of AWS and Azure
  • Software engineering, including knowledge of Java as well as common API protocols such as REST
  • Business analysis, preferably with technology-heavy skill set
  • Cyber-security/ethical hacking including knowledge of NCSC guidance and good practice
  • Knowledge of modern remote desktop/VPN protocols
  • Knowledge of managing and configuring enterprise-wide networks
Nice-to-have skills and experience

How suppliers will be evaluated

All suppliers will be asked to provide a written proposal.

How many suppliers to evaluate
5
Proposal criteria
  • Ability to meet the team size and skill criteria set out
  • Understanding our needs across delivery, upskilling and support/handover - Clarity of approach
  • Experience from a similar engagement
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
  • Take responsibility for their work
  • Have a no-blame culture and encourage people to learn from their mistakes
  • Ability to put forward a representative team for the diversity of our council and borough
Payment approach
Capped time and materials
Additional assessment methods
  • Case study
  • Work history
  • Presentation
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence

50%

Cultural fit

20%

Price

30%

Questions asked by suppliers

1. Additional Information. (Part 1)
We expect the following outputs from the period of engagement:
1.One or more architectural diagrams and associated documents, mapping whole of the RBG technical/systems landscape.
2.Recommendations document setting out our options for improving remote desktop/VPN, as well as engineering necessary to redesign/rebuild if agreed
3.Documentation as necessary to support our transition to the cloud. This documentation may relate to our data centre migration or to wider cloud engineering or replatforming
4.Newly developed code as necessary, engineered to agreed cross-government standards and published if appropriate
5 A recommendations document about cyber-security in the council, followed by newly engineered services/components as necessary
2. Additional Information (Part 2 and Final)
We expect the following outputs from the period of engagement:
6. A skills assessment and recommendations as to key skills gaps.
7. Full documentation of anything else built, advised upon or recommended.
8. Assistance in recruiting our infrastructure and application support teams, including advising on technical skills to put into job specifications, and potentially sitting on recruitment panels or technical tests.
9. Some dual running of partner skills and our skills.
10. A series of handover meetings with our team at the point the partner leaves, allowing us to be fully self-sufficient.
3. The opportunity lists the start date as 1st April 2021, and my time machine is broken.... :-). Please could you confirm if a future start date would be possible, as opposed to one in the past.
As already answered in Q.1. This is a typing error and the start date is 1st August 2021.
4. Please can you clarify the reason for the Off-payroll determination and whether you would consider applications from a business whose operating model utilises outside IR35 resource with appropriate contracts and working practices.
RBG will consider companies who use external people (eg an associate model) to be outside of IR35 and welcome applications from such organisations provided they have the appropriate contracts in place with associate and subcontracted organisations
5. Evaluation Criteria (Part 1)
Technical Competence: Total 50 % Broken down as below:

Ability to meet the team size and skill criteria set out - 20%
Understanding our needs across delivery, upskilling and support/handover - Clarity of approach 20%
Experience from a similar engagement 10
6. Evaluation Criteria (Part 2)
Cultural Fit: Total 20% Broken Down as below:
Work as a team with our organisation and other suppliers 4%
Be transparent and collaborative when making decisions 4%
Share knowledge and experience with other team members 4%
Take responsibility for their work 3%
Have a no-blame culture and encourage people to learn from their mistakes 3%
Ability to put forward a representative team for the diversity of our council and borough 2%
7. Evaluation Criteria (Part 3)
Price 30%

Price will be evaluated based on the blended rate card provided by bidders using the formula:
Lowest Price/bid price x price weighting %
8. Evaluation (Part 4)
Scoring Rationale: 0-5:

0 = No response
1 = Weak Response (Serious Reservations)
2= Poor response (Minor reservations)
3 = Acceptable Response (Meets Expectations)
4 = Good Response (Above Expectations)
5 - Excellent Response (Outstanding with added value)
9. Please confirm both the Capital and Revenue budget for this project and detail any areas where any cost savings are anticipated?
We can’t estimate capital and revenue split at this time. £500k is the total budget, but this is part of a much wider digital investment. For cost saving proposals, please read our digital strategy.
10. What IT changes were implemented to support normal operations due to Covid and what improvements have been made over time.
We have moved our office tools (Office 365) to the cloud. We have upgraded our VPN so that staff can now work from home, and we have rolled out laptops, tablets and mobile phones to all staff who need them.
11. How is service and fault issued managed and supported for the current IT environment? Please provide details including number of service tickets issued per Month and associated Service Level Agreements
Service and fault issues are managed within our technology team – first line supported is provided by our service desk, second line by our application support team and third line by our infrastructure team. We received 100-300 contacts a day; service levels are currently being reworked and the successful supplier would help with this.
12. How is information backed up for both office and home workers?
All information, regardless of where worker is, is accessed from Cloud/server storage (no data held of devices is ‘primary data’. M365 data relies on Microsoft ‘natural’ resilience (additional backup capability is being considered). On premise data is held on local or, mostly, SAN storage and is backed up to disk and then replicated to tape. The backup platform is being reviewed at present.
13. How is information stored currently both for office and home based workers?
Again, same regime applies to both office and home-based workers.
M365 data is stored by Microsoft in UK data centres.
Majority of LoB (line of business) systems and file shares data is held on SAN on own hardware. Systems and data are spread across 3 different data centres.
14. Describe the standard home worker IT set-up to include hardware and software provided and supported?
Majority of computer users are enabled to work from home/remotely as well as from the office.
Corporate Dell laptop is the standard issue, some staff have, variously, corporate Microsoft Surface Pro (WiFi or LTE) or Macbook.
Primary smart device is iPhone. Some iPads and Android phones deployed.
BYOD home PCs and smart devices (currently) permitted.
Remote workers access M365 Office Suite and/or VPN services to allow access to some office- based systems. Blend of client and browser based VPN services.
M365 and VPNs are protected my Microsoft MFA.
15. Describe the standard home worker IT set-up to include hardware and software provided and supported? (Part 2)
Software:
Full M365 Suite ie Email, Teams, SharePoint, Office Suite
Majority of office-based systems are presented on virtual desktop (RDS). Some staff connect directly to a physical office PC via same VPNs. Most databases are SQL, with 2 Oracle systems. ‘Classic’ Windows file servers hold personal and shared drives
16. What security and cybersecurity is in place for all IT users, both office and home based.
Office LAN : Unique username for computer accounts. Complex password. Separate account/password for LoB systems. Anti-virus. Multiple Firewalls. IDS.
Remote users: As above. Microsoft MFA. Microsoft Endpoint/InTune MDM. Geographic access controls. Encrypted equipment.
17. What are the major pieces of work on the horizon requiring specific and intense technical advice and development?
Move to cloud hosted infrastructure – Azure/AWS - in exploratory phase.
Refresh of backup platform – in discovery phase.
Refresh of Firewalls – in delivery phase.
Refresh of Unified Comms Platform (back office telephony) - in discovery phase.
De-coupling and retiring of legacy infrastructure and technologies
18. What are the clear internal and external delivery priorities for the year
For technology, there are many of these with more still to be determined. A selection:
a. Moving our on-prem data centre to the cloud
b. Connectivity upgrades across the estate
c. Moving shared drives to the cloud - OneDrive/SharePoint
d. Implement new service desk software and iterate our internal offer
e. Full review of architecture and infrastructure
19. 9. What are the clear internal and external delivery priorities for the year
For technology, there are many of these with more still to be determined. A selection: (Part 2):
For the wider digital team:
A. New work in council tax
B. Housing transformation
C. Intranet replatforming
D. Work in street services
20. 11. The summary of work includes a Technology landscape/systems assessment. When will you be able to provide detail of the current architecture/infrastructure (e.g. network design, software applications (including security) and equipment information, connectivity information etc)?
a. We will discuss this with the successful supplier.
21. Is there a view on the target capabilities you need?
a. We will need software developers (Java-predominant) to work on our digital services
b. Infrastructure and networking engineers
c. Technical architecture
d. Cyber-security knowledge
22. Under “problem to be solved” you say that you “have some clear internal and external delivery priorities for the year” and you “have some major pieces of work on the horizon”, can you provide a list of what these are?
Refer to previous question
23. There is a long term IT strategy to be executed and a brief overview of this has been shared, do you have a more detailed strategy to share, including highlighting the key priorities and the areas deemed to deliver most value to the organisation?
You can find our digital strategy online
24. How are the teams structured, are you looking to pursue a new delivery model centred around Product and not Project?
Yes, we have done this already. We have four teams: technology, delivery, product and data. The successful supplier here will mainly be working in the technology team, but also with product people (to form multidisciplinary teams) and less so with delivery and data.
25. Do you have an overview of the current infrastructure and systems and is there a view of system and business capabilities in the organisation?
Yes – we will discuss/share this with the successful supplier.
26. Could you elaborate what do you mean by “Cross Government Patterns and Platforms” ?
a. We are thinking of GOV.UK Notify and GOV.UK Pay mainly, but also the GOV.UK design system, the cross-gov user research library, and any open-source code or patterns which could help us achieve our goals.
b. More details can be found here Government Transformation Strategy: platforms, components and business capabilities - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
27. 1. What is the Authority specifically looking for in Infrastructure engineering in below essential question? “Infrastructure engineering, including knowledge of AWS and Azure”
we mean that any software developers fielded by the partner should have hands-on experience of building software either in AWS infrastructure and with AWS tooling, or with the equivalent in Azure.
28. Could the Authority clarify the essential question “Business analysis, preferably with technology-heavy skill set”. What technology-heavy skill set?
what we mean by this is that any business analysts fielded by the partner should have experience doing business analysis in software projects, not just in general projects.
29. Published Timetable
Requirements issued to CCS - 6th July 2021
Final date for receipt of bidder’s questions - 19th July 2021
Final date for receipt of bids - 20th July 2021
First reading of bids - 21st July 2021
Completion of evaluation of bids - 30th July 2021
Bidder Demo/Presentations - W/B 2nd August 2021
Contract Award - Early-Mid August 2021
Proposed Contract Start Date - Mid-Late August 2021