Ulster University

Ulster University - Microsoft Power Platform Professional Services

25 Incomplete applications

22 SME, 3 large

13 Completed applications

7 SME, 6 large

Important dates

Published
Tuesday 12 October 2021
Deadline for asking questions
Tuesday 19 October 2021 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications
Tuesday 26 October 2021 at 11:59pm GMT

Overview

Off-payroll (IR35) determination
Contracted out service: the off-payroll rules do not apply
Summary of the work
Ulster University seeks to secure a Microsoft accredited supplier of Professional Services to support the Digitisation Project team in delivering our Power Platform solution for digital business processes.
Latest start date
Monday 22 November 2021
Expected contract length
1 year with the option to extend for any periods up to including 18 months
Location
No specific location, for example they can work remotely
Organisation the work is for
Ulster University
Budget range
Up to £500k for the initial delivery phase (March 2022), not exceeding £2m over the lifetime of this contract.

About the work

Why the work is being done
Ulster University has committed to moving to a paper-lite environment and digital-first approach for processes, supporting both the University’s 5&50 Strategy for Operational Excellence and the Digital Strategy (2018).

The University has embarked on a 2-year Digitisation Project that is currently in its delivery phase. The project has the business objective of reducing the volume of paper records held across the University and replacing legacy, paper-based processes with digital forms and workflows.

The University has procured Microsoft Power Platform as our preferred solution for the delivery of Paper-Lite processes. The project team have finalised To-Be requirements for the first batch of Paper-Lite processes and development tasks are underway.

Delivery of the in-scope Paper-Lite processes is required by 31st March 2022.
Problem to be solved
The University need to procure professional services from a third-party supplier to provide the expertise and methods needed to support the UU project team in delivering Microsoft Power Platform solutions.

These are new application tools, and the University does not currently have resources with expertise level skills and knowledge in-house. The supplier will provide the necessary advice, skills, and knowledge to lead analysis, development, test, implementation, and post-Go Live support tasks, supported by the University project team.

Best practices need to be established to ensure that the University can adopt the platform at scale.
Who the users are and what they need to do
The users are:
a) staff and students who need access to secure, digital forms with automated workflows so that they can easily submit and track requests.

b) departmental managers who need access to data analytics so that they can effectively plan work and identify process bottlenecks.
Early market engagement
Any work that’s already been done
The Digitisation project team have finalised To-Be requirements for the first batch of Paper-Lite processes.

The licencing for Microsoft Power Platform has been procured and our approach to solutions architecture and governance is defined.

The data model has been defined for student processes, and both Dataverse build and core integration with our student records system are in place.

Development of the first batch of student PowerApps is in progress.
Existing team
The supplier will work with the Digitisation project team, reporting to the Digitisation project manager and supporting solutions architecture and development resource from the University's Digital Services directorate.
Current phase
Live

Work setup

Address where the work will take place
Ulster University has multiple campus :

Belfast, Jordanstown, Coleraine & Magee campuses, Northern Ireland
Working arrangements
For the first 3 months, resource will work remotely on a full-time basis. Onsite visits are not required and appropriate secure remote access to University systems will be provided.

Microsoft Teams will be used for collaboration.

As the project progresses, occasional face to face engagement may be required for key tasks and will be agreed with in advance with the project manager. These will be completed onsite across the Ulster University's Belfast, Jordanstown, Coleraine and Magee campuses.

Rates must be fully inclusive of all costs, expenses, travel, and subsistence.
Security clearance

Additional information

Additional terms and conditions
framework standard T&C's

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 the ability to mobilise and allocate resources on the contract proposed start date (22nd November 2022) and to deliver the initial project outcomes by 31st March 2022.
  • Demonstrate experience in Microsoft Power Platform, including Power Apps, Power Automate, Power BI and Dataverse
  • Demonstrate experience of similar project delivery of a similar scale
  • Suitable implementation approaches for multiple concurrent workstreams, including design, testing, end user training, deployment, and stabilisation
  • Demonstrate experience of data integration with existing core applications
  • Demonstrate experience of providing technical leadership, including during design phase
  • Demonstrate experience of providing business analysis support to define efficient ‘to-be’ process models that will utilise the full capabilities of the Microsoft Power Platform
  • Demonstrate experience of using agile methodologies
Nice-to-have skills and experience
  • Provide support on a call off basis for KingswaySoft integration
  • Provide support on a call off basis for Microsoft Power Platform applications and workflows
  • Demonstrate experience of digital transformation implementations within the Higher Education environment
  • Demonstrate experience of rapid mobilisation of the project delivery and ensuring that Best Practices are leveraged

How suppliers will be evaluated

All suppliers will be asked to provide a written proposal.

How many suppliers to evaluate
3
Proposal criteria
  • Ability to provide sufficient resource to meet initial project deadline of March 2022. Please provide organisation structure and resource capacity.
  • Methodology for establishing effective Power Platform solutions
  • Experience in delivery of similar services
  • Skills and knowledge of team resources, demonstrated by CV
Cultural fit criteria
  • Be transparent and collaborative in engagement
  • Share knowledge and experience with other team members
Payment approach
Capped time and materials
Additional assessment methods
  • Case study
  • Work history
  • Reference
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence

40%

Cultural fit

5%

Price

55%

Questions asked by suppliers

1. 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?
Expected timelines are:

Shortlisting - 27 October 2021
Invite Shortlisted Suppliers to Assessment Stage - 1 November 2021
Return Deadline - 15 November 2021
Contract award - 29 November 2021

Presentation will not be used as an assessment method.
2. Who is the incumbent and how long they have been the incumbent?
Since October 2020, our Digitisation project has been supported by Codec DSS.
3. Who from your team will be scoring applications for this opportunity and what positions do they hold?
Glenn Millen, Head of Digital Project Management Office
Oonagh Kelly, Digitisation Project Manager
Clare Egan, Head of Procurement
4. Please elaborate what is KingswaySoft integration?
KingswaySoft is the third party data integration tool used by Ulster for integration between legacy systems and the Dataverse. The version of the product licenced is SS Integration Toolkit Ultimate Edition.
5. You’ve asked for reference of projects of similar scale. Can you indicate the anticipated scale of your project, including number of users, potential applications etc.?
The anticipated scale of the project is all staff (c.3500 users) and all students (c.24000 users). There are 24 business processes in scope of the initial project, however these need to be prioritised for development. This exercise will be included in project scope.
6. How many processes for students have been used to define the data model?
The data model has been defined using the 4 core student processes in scope of our phase 1 delivery.
7. How many Tables/Entities haven been defined in the data model and what is the expected capacity?
23 tables have been defined for the student data model. Until the in scope processes are further analysed we are unable to confirm expected capacity.
8. The work already completed mentions the data model has been defined for student processes. Are there any other processes involved (For staff and Departmental Managers) that would require an update of the data model?
Yes, there are further process involved that will require update of the student data model.

The staff data model has yet to be defined.
9. As you’re procuring for a live environment; is there an incumbent supplier who has delivered the discovery, alpha & beta services?

Follow up; will any discovery outputs be shared with the successful supplier to help shape the delivery of a live service?
The incumbent supplier is Codec DSS. All outputs will be shared with the successful supplier.

The deadline for asking questions about this opportunity was Tuesday 19 October 2021.