Start date: Wednesday 18 May 2022
Value: £32,755
Company size: SME
Oxford City Council

M365 Platform Implementation

9 Incomplete applications

8 SME, 1 large

9 Completed applications

8 SME, 1 large

Important dates

Wednesday 22 December 2021
Deadline for asking questions
Wednesday 29 December 2021 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications
Wednesday 5 January 2022 at 11:59pm GMT


Off-payroll (IR35) determination
Contracted out service: the off-payroll rules do not apply
Summary of the work
Support Oxford City Council with the technical discovery and design for the preparation of the M365 platform ready for deployment to users.
Latest start date
Thursday 10 February 2022
Expected contract length
No specific location, for example they can work remotely
Organisation the work is for
Oxford City Council
Budget range
We anticipate that the budget will be up to £35K and we will be looking for suppliers to provide us with ideas that will provide value for money to the council

About the work

Why the work is being done
Implementing Microsoft 365(E3) is the main component of the Customer Experience Strategy due to be delivered during 2021/22The intention is to provide employees with modern digital tools so they can work more flexibly and productively. It will also provide tools to better manage security, simplify infrastructure and to modernise services. It will address existing challenges e.g. limited collaboration between partners; inconsistent ways of communicating; unproductive time when out of the office; over reliance on physical meetings and lost time due to travelling; time spent on mundane tasks due to lack of automation.
Problem to be solved
Oxford City Council has a small IT Team that doesn't have the capacity to undertake this project without external support. Oxford require technical assistance who will work in conjunction with the in-house team to prepare the platform for Exchange and all components of Microsoft 365 ready for rollout.

This will consist of: Discovery and Technical Design – (Technical Architecture, Design Principles); Support with creating a detailed technical Project Planning (milestone/resource plan, risk and governance; monitor delivery);
Who the users are and what they need to do
Users of the M365 platform are the Council and Councillors. There are 1300 users and 2400 mailboxes and public folders that will need to be migrated.
Early market engagement
Any work that’s already been done
Implemented ADFS and AD connect
Existing team
The Council maintain an in-house IT department that support the IT applications and infrastructure. The team is quite lean and working on a large number of projects and ongoing support and maintenance, so there is an expectation that the delivery partner will bolster the programme and technical implementation with resources where there is a capacity or skills issue. Knowledge share is also a key component of this programme to ensure that the in-house team acquire the skills to support and maintain the M365 platform. The council also work with SCC our Data Centre.
Current phase

Work setup

Address where the work will take place
Working arrangements
A standard business working day, hours and working pattern as needed to deliver the programme in an efficient way (Monday to Friday). Predominantly remote working is expected during Covid-19 lockdown which would revert to a mixed on-site and remote delivery model once lockdown restrictions are removed. All costs must include expenses.
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
  • Demonstrate knowledge and experience of developing detailed analysis of an organisation’s technical architecture relating to M365 products and production of proposals to shape the implementation plan and future architecture decisions.
  • Demonstrate knowledge and experience of developing detailed implementation plans for M365 tailored to similar sized organisations and complexity, including activities, key milestones, resource and skills, communications and risks management.
  • Demonstrate knowledge and experience of providing technical and programme resource to support in-house IT team on similar implementation. To include provision of additional capacity/technical expertise, utilise support provided by Microsoft.
  • Demonstrate knowledge and experience of developing design principles tailored to a specific organisation's requirement including information governance and process design to ensure that implementation of M365 is sustainable and secure.
  • Must be at least a Microsoft Gold Partner
Nice-to-have skills and experience
  • Demonstrate Knowledge and Experience of working with Sophos UTM integration
  • Demonstrate knowledge and experience with other local authorities in the UK
  • Demonstrate knowledge and experience of working with hybrid data centres

How suppliers will be evaluated

All suppliers will be asked to provide a written proposal.

How many suppliers to evaluate
Proposal criteria
  • The approach and methodology to delivering the technical specification for the platform
  • Estimated timeframes for the work
  • Demonstrate value for money for the delivery of the technical solution
  • How risks and mitigations will be identified and approaches to manage them considering our current platform configuration
Cultural fit criteria
  • Please demonstrate where your organisation can meet Social Value considerations linked with Foster an inclusive economy Deliver more affordable housing Support thriving communities Pursue a zero carbon Oxford
  • Work collaboratively as part of a multi-disciplinary team with our organisation and with another partners
  • Ability to effectively engage with staff and stakeholders at all levels to progress outcomes while understanding other demands on their time and other priorities.
  • Ability to challenge and question existing behaviour or perspectives while maintaining good working relationships
Payment approach
Fixed price
Additional assessment methods
  • Reference
  • Presentation
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence


Cultural fit




Questions asked by suppliers

1. Q1.Can we please request an extension to tender submission, this will assist in ensuring to ensure Oxford City Council get the best possible submissions. Unfortunately this tender only provides respondents with 5x working days to develop a proposal for submission and will hinder many providers ability to respond.
This is the timetable set by digital outcomes and so we cannot extend the dates.
2. a) Can you please share some details of existing setup/platform?

b) You would need 1300 E3 licenses or total quantity is equal to your mailboxes quantity?

c) New setup will be on premises or you will use Microsoft cloud platform?

d) Hardware will be provided by your company or vendor has to provide hardware in case of on-prem setup?

e) What is the expected duration of completion from your end for this project?

f) Software licenses will be arranged by your company or vendor has to provide you?
a) The work includes a review of current platform

b) We understand we require necessary E3 Licences any advise will be included in the work

c) The setup is currently on prem this is to prepare to move to M365

d) Any Hardware will be sourced by OCC working with SCC our Data Centre Provider

e) We are expecting the supplier to provide us with a timeline

f) OCC will provide any Microsoft Licenses and third party tools required will be for discussion
3. Do Oxford City Council have a Microsoft Enterprise Agreement?
4. Have the E3 licenses been purchased already?
Yes we currently have purchased 1300 Office 365 E3 and Enterprise Mobility + Security E3 licences for this project.
5. What is the size of the data to be migrated?
6-7TB for Mailboxes although the project does not require the complete migration of ALL mailboxes.

We are intending to have a hybrid setup so whatever mailboxes remain at the end of the project can be migrated by our own ICT staff using normal methods of batch process or scripting.

The project is to plan and implement a working hybrid environment for user and public folder migration.
6. What is the current connectivity to the internet for end users? Do you know what the capacity and utilisation is?
Internet access is provided via a third party proxy hosted by our service provider SCC. Any proxy/firewall requirements for M365 access will need to be submitted to them prior to the project commencing. Capacity is 300mb burstable to 1gb
7. Are users predominantly working from home or in the office? Or is there Hybrid working?
OCC intend to work in a hybrid manner with 75% remote and 25% in offices
8. In terms of Oxford County Council IT resources, what is the level of M365 knowledge?
For Oxford City Council, in the terms of this project IT M365 knowledge is a service desk who can manage user administration/two factor and a Infrastructure Engineer who has assisted with two small scale M365 migrations previously with different organisations.
9. Do Oxford County Council have a strategic roadmap for M365 products / services? i.e. Teams, OneDrive and other features such as Data Loss Prevention and Information Protection etc?
For Oxford city Council, all apps within our E3 Licencing are being trialled albeit in a degraded state awaiting the M365 mailbox/calendar integration to allow additional features.
10. Are Oxford County Council aware of the security benefits an E5 license (Or E3+security bolt on) would provide over a standard E3 license?
Oxford City Council currently have purchased 1300 Office 365 E3 and Enterprise Mobility + Security E3 licences for this project.
11. Are there any applications which will require integrating with M365 products / services?
There may be one or two of our applications which require additional settings or API integration at a later date, but most will utilise SMTP via our main public IP's within the MX records. We use Civica Open Revenues which integrates via the OCC Data Centre using IMAP
12. For M365 to work efficiently on native desktop applications, our recommendation for end user devices is that they will have a minimum spec of: i5, 8GB RAM and SSD – is this the case for Oxford County Council end users?
All Oxford City Council end user equipment meets or exceeds the recommendation from Microsoft.
13. Are there any components of the infrastructure which are nearing end of life? I.e. current Exchange environment? What is the version of the current Exchange environment?
Rather than going for a cut over migration we will be implementing a hybrid environment with our on premise Exchange 2010 sp3. Once all mailboxes and public folders are migrated at a later date we will decommission the on premise servers.
14. Are there any dependencies on other projects / pieces of work which could impact the design of this solution?
Not in relation to any known upcoming projects although "Pieces of work" could include the compatibility of our current mail filter (Sophos UTM 9), which currently scans all incoming and outgoing mail and may have an impact on a hybrid configuration. The supplier will need a plan to migrate away from the Sophos UTM as mail router/scanner
15. Are there any products in-scope for replacement as part of this design? i.e. decommissioning of certain applications/services?
Due to time constraints we will be working with a partner to implement a hybrid M365 with our current Exchange 2010 SP3 servers. The plan would then be to decommission the 2010 on premise servers once we have fully migrated at our leisure to M365 servers. We also have our inbound and outbound email filtered via a Sophos UTM 9 mail filter service which will require an exit plan. Once M365 is live OCC expect to replace the Exchange 2010 on prem server with a Hybrid server of latest version to support any legacy applications not currently M365 aware
16. Is there any Citrix / VDI (such as RDS) infrastructure in place today which will need to be encompassed into the design?
17. Would Oxford County Council be willing to undergo Microsoft Assessment(s) free of charge to complement the discovery phase and design?
18. Do you have an incumbent supplier for Microsoft services and consultancy projects such as this?
This is a stand alone project. All suppliers that can deliver the requirements are invited to apply.