This opportunity is closed for applications

The deadline was Thursday 19 January 2017
Application Services and DevOps Tower (ASDT), MOD Corsham

Tooling, Process Automation and Integration for Defence as a Plaform (Hosting) [DaaP (H)]

0 Incomplete applications

16 Completed applications

6 SME, 10 large

Important dates

Published
Thursday 5 January 2017
Deadline for asking questions
Thursday 12 January 2017 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications
Thursday 19 January 2017 at 11:59pm GMT

Overview

Summary of the work
Assist an existing Agile scrum team that is currently working on supporting tooling, process automation, and integration service solutions for Defence applications hosted on the DaaP (H) hybrid-cloud environment. The successful supplier will assist in identifying customer needs with regards to these services, and will develop prototype solutions for these.
Latest start date
February 2017
Expected contract length
2 months
Location
South West England
Organisation the work is for
Application Services and DevOps Tower (ASDT), MOD Corsham
Budget range
"Total budget: £131,000 Calculated at; Maximum of 4 x SFIA Level 5
Over two months, at 20 days a month"

About the work

Why the work is being done
DaaP (H) is a service that affords customers easy access to a hybrid-cloud hosting solution for defence applications; the aim is to dramatically reduce the current hosting lead times and provide hosting that meets specific security requirements. Alongside core hosting capacity provided by cloud services, part of the customer offering is a variety of supporting curated services; both front-end interfaces and supporting back-end infrastructure will need to be configured or developed to deliver these. A Single Point of Contact will be established if user needs require it. Beta phase for DaaP (H) is expected to begin January 2017, aiming to reach live from late 2017.
Problem to be solved
Work alongside teams delivering Beta service to identify how their work and needs of their users can be better supported (in terms of speed, efficiency and user experience) by tooling and automation. Anticipated to entail a mix of product selection/ configuration, and potentially bespoke development. Functionality is expected to include (but not be limited to) handling customer transactions (including integration with Finance, IT Service Catalogue and Configuration Management systems), information dashboards meeting needs of a variety of stakeholders, and workflow automation. Actual development priorities will emerge based on which transactions/activities turn out to be most frequent or onerous in practice.
Who the users are and what they need to do
"As a ‘customer’ (initially the Armed Forces, with potential for further government departments later), I need a coherent end-to-end service for hosting a new application or similar, including billing and monitoring capability, so that I can quickly and easily meet the needs of my application service.
As a member of the cyber team, I want information on the current risk and vulnerability relating to cloud hosted services, so that I may advise and act to protect them.
As a supplier of cloud services, I want an easy and coherent way to transact with the MOD as a customer."
Early market engagement
N/A
Any work that’s already been done
DaaP (H) has just moved into Beta (January 2017). Throughout this phase a select number of applications will become hosted and functional on DaaP (H), and the supporting services will be manually operated. The successful supplier will be joining the team to help automate these in advance of moving into a full capacity Live phase.
Existing team
ASDT works in agile scrum teams, each working on part of Defence as a Platform Hosting environment. Sucessful applicants will join the Blue Team which is currently working on processes, automation, and interfaces (Framework Services). Blue Team currently consists of crown servants covering the roles of Scrum Master, Web Developer, Business Analyst, User Researcher, and Community Manager. Team makeup is dynamic and can be altered to suit business needs. Work will fit in with tasks of wider teams which are working on application containerisation, virtual infrastructure and cloud platform creation, and current and future applications.
Current phase
Beta

Work setup

Address where the work will take place
MOD Corsham
Westwells Road
Corsham
Wiltshire
SN13 9RA
Working arrangements
The team works in a collaborative way, and meets regularly for progress check-ins and priority updates, as is standard with agile working methods. This is currently conducted face-to-face, however if necessary remote working could be accomodated.
Security clearance
Due to the urgency of the post and likelihood that successful applicant may come into contact with information regarding SECRET applications hosted on Defence as a Platform, the applicant must already hold SC Clearance.

Additional information

Additional terms and conditions
N/A

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
  • Experience designing services and components that automate DevOps and related IT management and support processes including, but not limited to:
  • Workflow automation; Dashboards; databases; agents; APIs and Portals managing billing, sales, security, and other information.
  • Experience designing and building services that interact with:
  • IT Service Catalogues, Cloud Brokerage, Cloud Deployment, Configuration Management, and Verification Services (whose function is to verify the functional or non-functional performance of a third-party service).
  • Experience designing and building services that are compliant with departmental and legislative security standards.
  • Experience creating user journeys that are tailored to suit the needs of a variety of different audiences, both in form and function.
  • Content design skills, with a focus on the communication of information in the form of visual mediums such as dashboards.
  • Design and implementation skills with regards to search functionality and filtering of data, and displaying this in an audience appropriate format.
  • Data engineering skills to enable the orchestration of the transfer of data from a wide variety of sources, and organize its storage in the manner best suited for later analysis.
  • Ability to create data analytics on a large variety of data from various sources, including the use of public APIs and in-house tools.
  • Experience designing and creating automatic processes for the above analysis of data, and improving the performance of such systems once established.
Nice-to-have skills and experience
  • Has used agile methodologies and worked effectively within such environments, particularly the Scrum framework and ceremonies.
  • Experience leading user research sessions, using data to improve services. This includes identifying user needs, making decisions on what information is most pertinent to a user, and communicating to team.
  • Knowledge and understanding of GDS design principles, and experience implementing these particularly regarding accessibility and readability. A full understanding of why these are important factors for a government service.
  • Knowledge of cloud based application hosting, particularly with regards to the use of Virtual Machines and Containers.
  • Experience developing prototypes (wire frames/coded prototypes/etc.) and iterating these through user testing.
  • Knowledge of technologies (especially Cloud) such as Docker, Cloudify, AWS, Azure would be advantageous.

How suppliers will be evaluated

How many suppliers to evaluate
8
Proposal criteria
  • Technical solution
  • How the approach or solution meets user needs
  • Approach and methodology
  • How the approach or solution meets your organisation’s policy or goal
  • How they’ve identified risks and dependencies and offered approaches to manage them
  • Value for money
Cultural fit criteria
  • Evidence of approaching problem solving by putting the user needs first.
  • Has a creative problem solving approach, and a willingness to experiment to create innovative solutions.
  • Communicates with colleagues who do not necessarily have high levels of technical expertise, and has a willingness to share knowledge and experience with other team members.
  • Works in such a way that all interactions build a positive team ethos, and genuinely values the input of team members.
  • Is transparent and collaborative when making decisions.
  • Works effectively within a diverse team, willing to comply with all relevant MOD diversity policies and strategic objectives, demonstrates a wider commitment to diversity and inclusion within the workplace.
  • Understands and works in adherence with the core values and standards expected of civil servants.
  • Has worked effectively within a flat hierarchy.
  • Has a no-blame attitude and fosters an environment in which people can learn from their mistakes.
  • Challenges received wisdoms where these are no longer rooted in valid rationale.
Payment approach
Time and materials
Assessment methods
  • Written proposal
  • Case study
  • Work history
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence

60%

Cultural fit

20%

Price

20%

Questions asked by suppliers

1. Can you confirm that your requirement is for a team of 4 people for the full 2 month duration?
We have anticipated that in order to satisfy the required number and level of SFIA skills and to complete the tasks in the desired time, a team of four people over two months will be the most suitable. However, providing that the required SFIA skills are accounted for and to the required level, a team with less people will be accepted. Similarly, the duration of the post has been anticipated to last two months with the option to extend if required.
2. Please can you confirm if this is a requirement for a Team of 4, or an individual, as the tense/text is not consistent in places.
We have anticipated that in order to satisfy the required number and level of SFIA skills and to complete the tasks in the desired time, a team of four people over two months will be the most suitable. However, providing that the required SFIA skills are accounted for and to the required level, a team with less people will be accepted. Similarly, the duration of the post has been anticipated to last two months with the option to extend if required.
3. Will the team of 4 work together as part of ASDT’s Blue Team?
The winning bidder’s team will join ASDT’s Blue Team, and will be expected to fully integrate with their (and ASDT’s) working practices.
4. Are you expecting 4 x SFIA level 5s or can suppliers offer a different team mix provided it remains within the budget and covers all requirements?
ASDT believes that the skills listed at SFIA Level 5 will meet the requirements. However, bids that do not follow this make up will not be automatically discounted.
5. The range of essential skills and experience is considerable. a. Can you be more specific about the skills you need from the team please? b. Do you have a view of the breakdown of the skills required by the suggested four team members?
The winning bidder’s team will have all the essential skills and experience as listed in the tender, spread across each of the team members.
6. The ‘Proposal Criteria’ section lists criteria such as ‘Technical Solution’ and ‘How the approach or solution meets user needs’. Can you explain further what you expect from suppliers under this section please? Without a requirements specification it will be difficult to provide a thorough response against these criteria.
The technical solution to be achieved through this work is developing framework services to support the wider DaaP (H) user experience such as billings services, portals, and dashboards.
7. Are there any other technologies (other than those listed) that you require the supplier team to be experienced in?
It is currently anticipated that we will use all the listed technologies. However, as we are currently in BETA phase, there may be other technologies involved in the later stages of the work. Prototypes and wireframes may be constructed using technology at the supplier’s discretion.
8. We have applied for this opportunity via the DOS portal, but we are concerned about timescales for the bid submission. Are you expecting submission of a full proposal by the 19th January? The Contracts Finder portal states that the deadline is 12:00noon and highlights a start date of the 6th February. If so, can you provide any more information? How you would like the bid submitted?
We will expect a full proposal of your solution, along with your bid submission by the 19th Jan. Please include your written proposal and case study with your bid submission.
9. Clarification to all interested supplier regarding this requirement and the answer to Q8.
Apologies for the confusion in the answer to Q8. Bids are required by the stated deadline in the normal manner allowed by the DOS framework bid process. Once bids have been received and the shortlist generated, these shortlisted suppliers will then be invited to submit written proposals and case studies.