Awarded to Codec DSS LTD

Start date: Monday 18 October 2021
Value: £2,500,000
Company size: SME
Queen's University Belfast

QUB/2096/21 Technical Resource for Digital Transformation Projects

10 Incomplete applications

6 SME, 4 large

4 Completed applications

2 SME, 2 large

Important dates

Tuesday 3 August 2021
Deadline for asking questions
Tuesday 10 August 2021 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications
Tuesday 17 August 2021 at 11:59pm GMT


Off-payroll (IR35) determination
Contracted out service: the off-payroll rules do not apply
Summary of the work
Queen's University Belfast seeks to appoint a Microsoft Accredited Partner to provide technical resource support for digital transformation projects.
Latest start date
Monday 1 November 2021
Expected contract length
1 year, with the option to extend by up to 18 months to deliver project objectives
Northern Ireland
Organisation the work is for
Queen's University Belfast
Budget range
For the first project, budget is estimated to be between £80k and £150k. Follow on projects are not likely to exceed £2.5m over the entire course of the contract.

About the work

Why the work is being done
Queen’s wish to engage the services of Technical Resource Support to augment the existing Information Services team at the University for specific projects.

The key objective of the Contract is to improve student and staff experience. For example, allowing students to interact with a chat bot on a 24/7 basis to answer frequently asked questions, with integration to our strategic systems to provide student specific information in real time.

Projects are likely to involve Dynamics 365, Power BI, Power Automate, Power Apps, Power Virtual Agent, Azure DevOps, Azure AD, Microsoft Identity Manager, Microsoft API Management Gateway and (optionally) Google Flutter. Therefore, the Technical Resource Support assigned to this Contract must be conversant with all these technologies (or supplemented by additional persons with appropriate expertise to the sum of one person).
Problem to be solved
The first project under the Contract will be to complete the implementation of a new Identity Management and Authentication architecture. The Supplier will advise on best practice implementation of this re-architecture and assist with planning, implementing and testing the migration as directed by the Queen’s Project Manager. The key elements of this initial project are as follows:
• Replace Novell Identity Manager with Microsoft Identity Manager (including implementation of interfaces with authoritative sources of identity, such as HR system and Student Records System (Oracle’s Campus Solutions).
• Migration from ADFS to Azure AD (approximately 20 systems), using App Proxy where required.
• Implement Self-Service Password Reset and Azure Password Protect.
• Implement Conditional Access Policies to enforce Multi-factor Authentication.
Who the users are and what they need to do
The users are students and staff primarily and the objective of the Contract is to enhance their digital experience with Queen's through the integration of our strategic systems.
Early market engagement
Any work that’s already been done
Queen’s has already moved to Office 365 and has widespread use of Teams for virtual meetings. We also use Sharepoint (both online, for any new content, and on-prem), Power BI and MS Forms extensively and have started to use Power Automate and Power Apps for automation of processes.

In December 2019, Queen’s appointed a Head of Digital Transformation and has now convened a Digital Transformation Steering Group to oversee the sequencing of digital transformation projects and ensure the expected benefits are realised. Many of these projects will use Microsoft technologies.
Existing team
The Supplier will report to the Queen's Digital Transformation Programme Manager and will be working alongside the existing Queen's Information Services team to provide the services.
Current phase

Work setup

Address where the work will take place
Belfast, Northern Ireland
Working arrangements
It is anticipated that for the first 3 months, the resource will be required to work onsite at Queen's alongside the Information Services team on a full-time basis. Thereafter, engagement will be agreed on a project by project basis, however it is anticipated that the vast majority of work will be completed onsite at Queen's University Campus in Belfast.

Rates must be fully inclusive of all costs, expenses, travel and subsistence.
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
  • Demonstrable experience in Power Apps
  • Demonstrable experience of similar project delivery of a similar scale
  • Scalability of resources to suit the project requirements e.g. 1 additional resource within 3 weeks' notice
  • Microsoft Certified Gold Partner in at least 3 of the required disciplines: Application Development, App Integration, Cloud Platform, DevOps or Cloud Business Applications
  • Demonstrable experience in MS Power Platform
  • Demonstrable experience in migration from ADFS to Azure AD for authentication
  • Demonstrable experience of MS Dynamics On-Prem and Dynamics 365 including Omni Channels
  • Demonstrable experience of providing technical leadership, including during design phase
  • Demonstrable experience of using agile methodologies
Nice-to-have skills and experience
  • Google Flutter experience
  • Experience of project delivery within the Higher Education environment
  • Demonstrable experience of digital transformation implementations
  • Microsoft Certified Gold Partner in four of the required disciplines: Application Development, App Integration, Cloud Platform, DevOps or Cloud Business Applications
  • Microsoft Certified Gold Partner in all of the required disciplines: Application Development, App Integration, Cloud Platform, DevOps or Cloud Business Applications

How suppliers will be evaluated

All suppliers will be asked to provide a written proposal.

How many suppliers to evaluate
Proposal criteria
  • Organisation structure and resource capacity
  • Methodology and approach
  • Key Technical Lead and Design CV for Project 1
  • Developer CV for Project 1
  • Experience of developing Power Platform solutions
Cultural fit criteria
  • Knowledge sharing with our team members
  • Transparent and collaborative approach to engagement
Payment approach
Capped time and materials
Additional assessment methods
  • Case study
  • Work history
  • Reference
  • Presentation
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence


Cultural fit




Questions asked by suppliers

1. Would QUB be open to considering distributed agile working, allowing for suppliers outside of Northern Ireland to apply for this opportunity?
Queen’s is open to applications from any supplier on the Digital Marketplace who is capable of meeting the essential skills.
2. Who from your team will be scoring applications for this opportunity and what positions do they hold?
Ian Purdy, Deputy Director and Head of Digital Transformation
David Smyth, Assistant Director Administration Support
Jim Cunningham, Assistant Director IT Systems and Services
Gillian Wasson, Senior Procurement Manager (moderation role)
3. Who is the incumbent and how long have they been the incumbent?
Queen’s has a range of suppliers providing technical resource and support for projects. Since July 2020, some of our Microsoft projects have been supported by Codec DSS.
4. 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?
The indicative timeline is as follows:

Shortlisting 30 August 2021
Publication of Tender 3 September 2021
Tender Return 17 September 2021
Clarifications/Presentations (if required) 27 September
Contract award 12 October