Homes England

Microsoft Partner for SharePoint Online Design, Configuration and Expert Support

19 Incomplete applications

15 SME, 4 large

5 Completed applications

5 SME, 0 large

Important dates

Published
Wednesday 12 January 2022
Deadline for asking questions
Wednesday 19 January 2022 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications
Wednesday 26 January 2022 at 11:59pm GMT

Overview

Off-payroll (IR35) determination
Contracted out service: the off-payroll rules do not apply
Summary of the work
The focus of this work is the design and configuration of SharePoint Online as the foundation platform of Homes England MS365 tenancy and on which other services, including Teams and Yammer are provided, and as our replacement to SharePoint On Prem (2010)
Latest start date
Tuesday 1 February 2022
Expected contract length
12 months, with possible 12 month extension
Location
No specific location, for example they can work remotely
Organisation the work is for
Homes England
Budget range
The anticipated budget range between £400,000 and £800,000, spread over 12 months

About the work

Why the work is being done
The rollout of office 365 by Homes England (HE) has delivered several significant benefits, including a cloud-based communication and collaboration platform that includes Outlook, Teams, OneDrive and Yammer; however, also provided instance of SharePoint Online (SPO) where there is little control, structure or governance. 800+ Teams have been created, some using Team sites to store documents. These sites have no retention policy or governance. This increases both our risk and potential non-compliance. Content is being created, shared and deleted with little control. If unaddressed, we risk an incident occurring and greater effort will be needed to transition to the new solution. As Homes England currently lacks in house SPO expertise, this has resulted in an inconsistent approach to how it is being used, along with a risk of data breaches. It is also evident we are not exploiting the opportunities and capabilities that come with this platform and the significant investment Homes England is making in MS365 and our E5 licences. In addition, Homes England uses SharePoint On Prem (SP2010). This is out of support and no longer fit for purpose. The content and InfoPath forms that sit in SP2010 need to be reviewed and where needed migrated to SPO.
Problem to be solved
Lack of governance and control means Homes England SPO tenancy exposes the organisation to risk beyond our appetite. Supplier to advise on the governance and controls needed and provide the model.

Lack of inhouse knowledge and skills means HE are not making the most of the platform and the opportunities this provides. Supplier to assess skills and provide knowledge transfer and a training plan for admin and support staff.

Department head and programme leads are frustrated by not being able to use SharePoint Online as this has not been certified for a range of use, delaying both process change and efficiency improvements that the platform could support. Supplier to provide tested and accessible SPO templates the Homes England can use to build hubs, sites, web parts and data feeds.
Who the users are and what they need to do
As Head of P&I I need my team trained and resourced, so we can support the platform, business and users.

As Head of Information Security, I need SPO to have the correct configuration and governance so we can maintain data protection, data security and governance.

As Homes England’s DPO I need our use of MS365 and SPO to be complaint with DP legalisation and HE polices.

As a Programme Manager / Department Head I need tested and approved SPO templates, that includes the required feature and components, so I am confident the sites we build meet user, business, accessibility, governance and security needs.

As a manager I need insights and reports that support my area so I can take the decisions needed and track progress.
Early market engagement
PTME run in December

We propose to run an open Teams call for all interested parties to present our requirements and take questions.

Date for this session will be Friday 21st January.

All interested parties should register an interest in these session by emailing spo@homesengland.gov.uk before close of play Wednesday 19th January to allow for the timely issuing of invitations to the meeting.
Any work that’s already been done
Document Management project (in Alpha) has defined a wide set of user needs that the platform should help meet.
An external consultancy has produced a new IA, Governance model, Retention policies and schema that will inform the configuration of the Compliance centre.
A data strategy has been developed, putting data in the hands of user and at the centre of our decision making. New Azure + PowerBI Data platform has been created.
Azure AD and cloud hosting have been adopted.
MS365 has been rolled out and adopted. Teams is used for chat, voice communications and as our main collaboration tool.
Existing team
A collaborative approach is anticipated, with Homes England contributing a Product Manager (1), Delivery Manager (0.5), BA (0.5), Enterprise Architect (0.2), Lead Data and Information Architect (0.2), Cyber Security (0.2), DPO (0.1), Infrastructure Ops Manager (0.1), Cloud Solutions Engineer (1), Platform Engineer/Developer (1) and a Trainer (0.1).
Current phase
Beta

Work setup

Address where the work will take place
None. Fully remote although visit could be arranged to Home England offices in London, Coventry, Liverpool and Newcastle if face-to-face meetings are desirable.
Working arrangements
Work should follow GDS Agile framework and organised as fortnightly sprints.
Work will be remote.
Homes England will provide laptops and accounts on our MS365 tenancy
Security clearance
Minimum BPSS is expected for staff working on the project.

Additional information

Additional terms and conditions
Standard Framework and Call Off Terms and Conditions subject to the changes and special terms inserted in the order form and schedules. Any expenses shall be submitted in line with Homes England standard T&S policy. We will not consider any further amendments from the supplier. Please confirm your acceptance of the order form and schedules plus special terms and amendments to call off terms. If you are unwilling to accept the order from as drafted, you will be excluded from the selection and award processes.

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
  • Microsoft ‘gold’ Partner status, or able to demonstrate an equivalent level of platform skill and expertise
  • Demonstrate experience in the design and configuration of SharePoint Online for a UK Government agency or able to demonstrate equivalent experience.
  • Demonstrate experience setting up SharePoint Online governance and compliance centre and documenting roles and responsibilities.
  • Demonstrate experience training SharePoint Online administrators and service desk.
  • Demonstrate experience migrating a previous version of SharePoint to SharePoint Online
  • Demonstrable experience of providing a skilled technical team that worked collaboratively in a multi-supplier environment.
  • Demonstrate experience of identifying the technical ‘building blocks’ to support business capabilities.
  • Demonstrable experience of developing as-is and to-be architecture models factoring in wider programme activities.
  • Demonstrate experience in the configuration and testing of connectors.
  • Demonstrate experience in configuring advanced search across MS365 and connected application.
  • Demonstrate experience of connecting SharePoint Online to an Azure data centre to make use of common / master data sets
Nice-to-have skills and experience
  • Demonstrate innovative use of advanced collaboration and automation tools
  • Demonstrate MS365 uses of AI and Machine Learning
  • Demonstrate experience migrating SharePoint2010 InfoPath forms to SharePoint Online

How suppliers will be evaluated

All suppliers will be asked to provide a written proposal.

How many suppliers to evaluate
3
Proposal criteria
  • Technical knowledge and experience (40%)
  • How the approach meets our goals and user needs (10%)
  • Estimated timeframes (5%)
  • Team structure (5%)
  • Value for money (40%)
Cultural fit criteria
  • Work as a team with our organisation and other suppliers
  • Take responsibility for their work
  • Share knowledge and experience with other team members
Payment approach
Time and materials
Additional assessment methods
  • Case study
  • Work history
  • Presentation
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence

40%

Cultural fit

20%

Price

40%

Questions asked by suppliers

1. Please can you provide an anticipated timeline for shortlisting notification of stage 2, submission deadline for stage 2, presentation, and award notification
We propose to have a shortlist of 3 suppliers agreed by 4 Feb 2022. This shortlist will be invited to tender, with written responses week ending 25 Feb 2022.

Presentations will be scheduled for week commencing 28 Feb 2022.

Contract will be award shortly after for work to start in April 2022.

Please note that these are indicative only and are subject to change.
2. Could you please clarify what is the incumbent organisation?
There is no incumbent supplier of MS365 or SharePoint Online services.
Metataxis were engaged in 2021 to work on a Document Management project. They have produced a new Information Architecture, Governance model and Retention policy. This contract ends 31 Jan 2022.
BJSS were engaged in 2020 to develop Homes England’s data platform and analytics in Microsoft Azure. This contract has now ended.
3. On Additional Assessment, can you please elaborate on “Work history”?
What evidence is needed in Work history and what should they contain?
Work history means evidence of similar type of projects carried out in the last 2 to 3 years. We are expecting to see a brief summary of the previous work, when this was done, and the value added.
4. What version of SharePoint do you have on premise?
2010
5. What is involved in “Work history” ?
Work history means evidence of similar type of projects carried out in the last 2 to 3 years. We are expecting to see a brief summary of the previous work, when this was done, and the value added.
6. What is involved in “Work history” ?
Work history means evidence of similar type of projects carried out in the last 2 to 3 years. We are expecting to see a brief summary of the previous work, when this was done, and the value added.
7. Please list the name of the “external consultancy “ that produced the new IA, Governance model. Was the external consultancy a Microsoft Gold partner ?
Will they be bidding for the project ?
Metataxis were engaged in 2021 to work on a Document Management project. They have produced a new Information Architecture, Governance model and Retention policy. This contract ends 31 Jan 2022.

BJSS were engaged in 2020 to develop Homes England’s data platform and analytics in Microsoft Azure. This contract has now ended.

We do not hold any information regarding any suppliers MS Partner status or if they intend to bid for this work
8. Please list the name of the “external consultancy “ that produced the new IA, Governance model. Was the external consultancy a Microsoft Gold partner ?
Will they be bidding for the project ?
Metataxis were engaged in 2021 to work on a Document Management project. They have produced a new Information Architecture, Governance model and Retention policy. This contract ends 31 Jan 2022.

BJSS were engaged in 2020 to develop Homes England’s data platform and analytics in Microsoft Azure. This contract has now ended.

We do not hold any information regarding any suppliers MS Partner status or if they intend to bid for this work
9. Who is the incumbent supplier for the programme ?
There is no incumbent supplier of MS365 or SharePoint Online services.

Metataxis were engaged in 2021 to work on a Document Management project. They have produced a new Information Architecture, Governance model and Retention policy. This contract ends 31 Jan 2022.

BJSS were engaged in 2020 to develop Homes England’s data platform and analytics in Microsoft Azure. This contract has now ended.
10. Do you support SME participation for the bid and is Homes England aligned with the Government SME guidelines?
Yes - Homes England is aligned with the Government SME guidelines
11. Are you fine with offshore design and development by a Large Enterprise with global presence to reduce cost?
We do not permit data processing or data transfer outside of the EEA and the successful supplier and any third party supplier will need to complete and pass our 3rd party ICT security questionnaire which requires details of where data is stored and processed and details of third party processors.
12. Why is it necessary to be a Gold Partner for this bid? What additional value does Gold partner bring to the table?
As per the published requirements, the supplier does not need to be ‘Gold Partner’. For ease of reference, the published requirements read; “Microsoft ‘gold’ Partner status, or able to demonstrate an equivalent level of platform skill and expertise”

We understand a Gold Partner means the supplier has proven they have staff certified in a range of areas that will be needed to deliver this type of work. We expect all suppliers to demonstrate they have the skills and expertise needed to deliver the work to a high standard.
13. Why is it necessary to be a Gold Partner for this bid? What additional value does Gold partner bring to the table?
As per the published requirements, the supplier does not need to be ‘Gold Partner’. For ease of reference, the published requirements read; “Microsoft ‘gold’ Partner status, or able to demonstrate an equivalent level of platform skill and expertise”

We understand a Gold Partner means the supplier has proven they have staff certified in a range of areas that will be needed to deliver this type of work. We expect all suppliers to demonstrate they have the skills and expertise needed to deliver the work to a high standard.
14. Please elaborate on “innovative use of advanced collaboration and automation tools”? Are you planning to use additional collaboration tool in addition to M365 tools ?
MS365 is an evolving platform. We cannot predict how this will change but want to be able to take advantage of these changes. We are seeking a partner who can demonstrate their skills in adapting to the changes and support the organisations they work with make the best use of the tools provided.
15. What version of sharepoint do you have on-premise ?
2010
16. Will HomesEngland offer BPSS clearance ?
No, the supplier will need to arrange this themselves.
17. Does the budget range of 400k to 800k also cover for year 2 ?
As per the published details, the anticipated budget range is between £400,000 and £800,000, spread over 12 months

Year 2 budgets have not been set. At this stage it is not known what if any work will be needed from the partner in year 2.
18. Will you be physically supporting our work and actively working with us on the work package? Indicators like 0.5 says to be yes but only available for half of their time?
Yes, we will support this project as indicated and have a range of resources that can be freed from other tasks.

As indicated, Homes England expects to take ownership of the platform and responsibility for its support but lacks the full range of skills and resources needed to do this ourselves.

We expect the partner to work with our inhouse resources, and transfer the skills and knowledge needed.
19. Does the data metadata need to be protected?
Who is responsible for devising the definition of data? i.e. categorised etc
Who is responsible for profiling the data to determine its rest place? i.e. live, archived, deleted etc.
Are there archiving services available for data that needs keeping but not in a live capacity?
Is there a need to provide data hosted in SP to external third parties i.e. ONS, if so, is there a mechanism for this?
We expect the partner to help answer this type of question, with input from our Information Security and Data teams. The data classification, storage and sharing rules have not been defined as these relate to MS365 and SharePoint Online.
20. The on-prem SP solution is out of support, are the client expecting the project to support during migration? If so to what level? i.e. SLA etc.

Is the on-prem SP infrastructure under support?

Are there any MOG or upcoming business restrictions that will impact on the delivery?

Who is responsible for funding PEN Testing?
No – our Platform and Infrastructure team provides the support needed for SP2010. We expect the supplier to prioritise the migration from SP2010 to SharePoint Online to ensure continuity of service.

Yes – the on prem platform is supported.

No – there no business restrictions that we are aware of at this time that will impact delivery.

We don’t know what you mean by MOG.

Homes England will arrange and fund Pen testing.
21. Can data migrations occur in hours?

Is there capacity for a change freeze to SP online environment for discovery and determining its configuration?

Are there any design artefacts that can be referenced for legacy? New SP environments?
Data migration requirements are to be determined and agreed through the project as migration strategy/approach would be an expected deliverable by the supplier.

If required as a key step of the project a change freeze can absolutely be reviewed and agreed if necessary

We can share, during the ITT, information from the Microsoft 365 Usage Analytics Power BI app (or the like) to provide some information.

Legacy SharePoint design documentation will be provided during the ITT.
22. Which suppliers did you engage with during the pre-tender market engagement?
28 potential suppliers responded to the PTME. We are not in a position to list them.
23. Which supplier did you work with to produce a new IA, Governance model, Retention policies and schema that will inform the configuration of the Compliance centre?
Metataxis were engaged in 2021 to work on a Document Management project. They have produced a new Information Architecture, Governance model and Retention policy. This contract ends 31 Jan 2022.

BJSS were engaged in 2020 to develop Homes England’s data platform and analytics in Microsoft Azure. This contract has now ended.
24. You’ve listed: “Demonstrable experience of developing as-is and to-be architecture models factoring in wider programme activities.” Are you referring to the information architecture that will be designed for SharePoint Online? Please provide an example of how wider programme activities might influence this information architecture.
Homes England has many legacy systems, with several at or near retirement.

We are mid-way through a 5-year programme to evolve our IT and working practices. New systems are being brought online, including a new Azure data centre and a new ERP. PowerBI is being used to deliver reports.

MS365 (Outlook, Teams, OneDrive and Yammer) has been adopted, but lack governance. Our partner will need to consider how these applications are connected to SharePoint Online to provide a single source of truth and deliver the information and services our users need going forward.
25. You’ve listed: “Demonstrate experience of connecting SharePoint Online to an Azure data centre to make use of common / master data sets”. Are you potentially referring to the ability to keep a SharePoint list’s data in sync with a master data set in Azure (e.g. a SQL table)? If not, could you please provide a concrete example of what you are referring to?
Yes – our new Azure data centre will (most likely) provide our primary data source.
26. You’ve listed: “Demonstrate experience in the configuration and testing of connectors.” Are you referring to PowerApps connectors (also available in Power Automate)? If not, what connectors are you referring to?
Yes – Power App and Power Automate, and Logic Apps connectors. Potentially connectors to File Share and/or Azure Files.
27. You’ve listed: “Demonstrate experience in configuring advanced search across MS365 and connected application”. What search functionality over and above out-the-box functionality would you consider to be “advanced search”? What other applications would you want to connect to (I assume you want search to find content from these other connected applications?)
This is for the project to define. We expect the partner to bring this knowledge and experience that we can learn from.
28. Regarding “Demonstrate innovative use of advanced collaboration and automation tools”

1. Are you looking for the automation and collaboration within Sharepoint Online or outside the tool ?

2. Can the example be a generic Automation tool that we use ?
This is for the project to define. We expect to use collaboration and automation tools provided by MS365 and SharePoint Online but are not limited to these. We expect the partner to bring this knowledge and experience that we can learn from.
29. You’ve listed: “Demonstrate experience of identifying the technical ‘building blocks’ to support business capabilities”. Would you please provide concrete examples of what you consider as being a “building block” and “business capabilities”? For example, could you be referring to Power Automate workflows as a building block, which supports the end users ability to drive automation in their business processes?
Homes England would expect the chosen supplier to be able to determine the right and best way to deliver this project, understand the scope and collaboratively work with Homes England to design, configure and implement both the technology and the governance to result in a sustainable service. We would expect supplier expertise and knowledge to guide this and follow Microsoft best practice.

Homes England is not able to list the technical building blocks as we are not experts in SharePoint Online. This is why we are seeking to engage an experienced partner.
30. Regarding “Demonstrate experience of connecting SharePoint Online to an Azure data centre to make use of common / master data sets”, please find our queries :
1. Please clarify what Azure datacenter mean ?Do you mean Azure Cloud or Azure services ?
2. Do you have application deployed in Azure cloud?
3. What kind of interface is expected with Azure ?
4. Are there any existing interface thats needs to be used ?
1. Our new Data Centre is hosted in Azure. Further details will be provided in the ITT.
2. Yes, we have a number of applications within Azure Cloud.
3. Azure Interface - Unknown, to be determined by supplier engagement
4. Potential interface with Azure Data Platform but would depend if this is within scope of this project

The deadline for asking questions about this opportunity was Wednesday 19 January 2022.