This opportunity is closed for applications

The deadline was Monday 11 July 2022
Digital Foundry (Defence Digital) - UK Strategic Command, Ministry of Defence

DF/014 Acquisition, Capability and Management Service (ACAMS)

8 Incomplete applications

5 SME, 3 large

9 Completed applications

3 SME, 6 large

Important dates

Published
Monday 27 June 2022
Deadline for asking questions
Monday 4 July 2022 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications
Monday 11 July 2022 at 11:59pm GMT

Overview

Off-payroll (IR35) determination
Contracted out service: the off-payroll rules do not apply
Summary of the work
Aligning to Government Digital Service and MOD Frameworks and Policies, the successful Supplier will help grow and support the in-house capability for delivering Automated solutions to Defence, within a multi-disciplinary multi-supplier team, with a key focus on, Microsoft Power Platform utilising links from existing and new data sources.
Latest start date
Monday 3 October 2022
Expected contract length
2 Years
Location
South West England
Organisation the work is for
Digital Foundry (Defence Digital) - UK Strategic Command, Ministry of Defence
Budget range
The maximum anticipated throughput (not to exceed total value) is £9,500,000.00 (ex VAT). The initial contract value will (and overall initial commitment) be for £1.00, where Statement of Works (SoW) will be placed on the contract during the term, increasing the value of the contract on each occurrence. The MOD cannot guarantee any future works.

About the work

Why the work is being done
The Automation Centre of Excellence (ACOE) is a team that enables Defence automation through utilising Microsoft Dynamics 365 and the Power Platform suite of tools, on the MODNet system. ACOE sets and develops the Power Platform governance processes which enables MODNet users to exploit Power Platform in a scalable but controlled manner. ACOE also has an in-house development capability to deliver apps and business process automations for MOD customers, both locally and pan-Defence.
ACAMS is a service managed by ACOE. ACAMS is responsible for building and delivering bespoke apps and automations to help modernise and automate defence business processes. It currently supports several Defence applications including two key acquisition apps for Defence: Capability and Acquisition Management System (CAMS) and the Defence Approvals Tool (DAT). Both of these apps are currently Power Platform and Dynamics based.
A Delivery Partner is required to ensure the continuity of this service to support critical business applications and Defences’ wider automation agenda under the digital backbone.
Problem to be solved
Aligning to GDS and MOD Frameworks and Policies, the successful Supplier will help grow and support the in-house capability for delivering Automated solutions to Defence, within a multi-disciplinary multi-supplier team, with a key focus on, but not limited to, the Microsoft Power Platform, where the Supplier will utilise links from existing and new data sources.
The Supplier will provide a cost effective, flexible and scalable Automation DevSecOps team that exploits Defence’s investment in MODNeT and the Microsoft-Power-Platform, and other Automation-Technologies, to satisfy demands placed on ACOE from across Defence to digitise Defence processes.
The service provision must be flexible and able to rapidly respond to demands to support Defence throughout the Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) from Concept through to Production, with the associated support services including, but not limited to; training, live support, advice and guidance, in line with GDS and Defence principles and policies.
The ability to provide the support to the live services for which the specific format and support services will be the first SoW (without-commitment) on this contract; the supplier will need to provide a service desk to cover queries and issues for all applications (existing&new) in the portfolio. Please email hannah.boreham100@mod.gov.uk for a Service description.
Who the users are and what they need to do
The Users of the service are Defence Civil-Servants, Regulars, Reserves, and Defence Contractor’s, who could be located Worldwide. The applications are securely accessed through MODNet provided single sign-on capability on MODNet MicrosoftOffice 365 Portal. The digital services delivered by ACOE will improve Defences efficiency and effectiveness by creating process standardisation, create, maintain and utilise authoritative datasets, and provide a reputable auditable trail. All applications will be designed on the premise that they are reusable, scalable and have a repeatable pattern, with emphasis placed on ensuring enterprise data and wider business benefits can be realised.
Using Agile approach's based upon GDS, several large pan Defence applications have been designed, developed, and released, (e.g.CAMS, DAT) and high-profile automation to simplify and automate many business processes in the lifecycle which the successful bidder will be engaged in.
A Delivery Partner is required to ensure the continuity of this service to support critical business applications and Defences’ wider automation agenda under the digital backbone. Further information on 'Problem to be solved'.
Early market engagement
Any work that’s already been done
As capability has grown the support for each of the complex applications has been undertaken by ACOE utilising the current commercial arrangement. The specific format and support service are set out in detail in the associated Service-Design-documentation and the Management of the service via agreed reporting and service review against SLA driven by KPIs. This will be provided at Stage-2.
The Centre of Enablement has been established to govern, manage, and provide the governance and service wrap for the power platform. ACOE Federated DevOps users across MOD, which will be expanded to encompass the Automation Service, under the Digital Foundry.
Existing team
The ACOE consists of a multidisciplinary team of talented Crown Servants, including DevOps Engineers, Delivery and Service managers providing the continuity, supported by an industry partner (DOS contract), largely based in MOD Corsham. Every capability delivered, will have an associated Senior Responsible Officer and an empowered Product Owner who will work closely with the team to ensure success. As the Automation Service evolves other teams and external suppliers will support the work delivered, as either core team or federated users of the platforms.
Current phase
Not applicable

Work setup

Address where the work will take place
Mustang Building, MOD Corsham, Westwells Road, Corsham, SN13 9NR or agreed Hybrid Working.
Working arrangements
The successful Supplier will need to be able to rapidly provide and deploy key team members across the GDS/Agile methodology DevSecOps skills framework to support all roles as required, while being flexible in the numbers required as the programme fluctuates in response to customer demand. The Supplier will need to integrate with the existing team and be prepared for additional Contractors to join as future demand dictates. The service offering is Defence-wide, so meetings may be required varying sites. Hybrid-working is the current ways of working with collaborative working taking place either at MOD Corsham or Main Building when required.
Security clearance
Security Clearance (SC) required for duration of the role. BPSS will be accepted where SC has been applied for but must be agreed with the authority. Suppliers are responsible for obtaining and maintaining security clearances.

Additional information

Additional terms and conditions
• DEFCON 76 12/06
• DEFCON 129J 18/11/16
• DEFCON 503 07/21
• DEFCON 507 –07/21
• DEFCON 520 05/18
• DEFCON 524 – 12/21
• DEFCON 525 10/98
• DEFCON 532A04/20
• DEFCON 531 -11/14
• DEFCON 602B 12/06
• DEFCON 627 11/21
• DEFCON 632 11/21
• DEFCON 649 – 12/21
• DEFCON 658 –Cyber (RAR-849644869)
• DEFCON 659A
• DEFCON 703 06/21

DEFCONS are publicly available to view online. Please contact the authority if you have any issues obtaining these.

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
  • Provide your knowledge and experience of Microsoft Office 365, Microsoft Dynamics, Microsoft Power Platform, and Application Lifecycle Management.
  • Describe and provide assurance of your experience within the last 2/3 years of ... (Criteria 3 through to 13). Please insert 'as below' to this answer.
  • functional familiarity with Agile methodology, GDS Toolkit, and the GDS Design System, as the digital service will be run through an internal Defence GDS style Service Assessment.
  • implementing and supporting large scale solutions, that incorporate the full Microsoft Power Platform and Dynamics suite of tools, through the various stages of ALM to meet agreed customer requirements
  • integrating Power Platform and Dynamics services with 3rd party applications and Application Programme Interfaces (API) including on-premises & cloud-based services.
  • successfully building secure cloud-based applications, with primary focus of Power-Platform suite-of-tools, that collect and manage sensitive information with appropriate controls and protection in-line with Government/industry best practise, mitigating common industry-risks
  • implementing Enterprise Data Management, using, designing data models, reuse of authoritative Data verse sources, whilst being compliant with information assurance legislation and guidance
  • developing robust application documentation throughout the ALM process, ensuring the customer and stakeholders have the required information to enable continued support for the life of the application
  • providing the necessary security evidence required to satisfy accreditation requirements in line with Government and industry best practise
  • understanding and working within the bounds of restricted development environments and overcoming any technical limitations whilst still incorporating customer security requirements, for example abiding by JSP440 software development requirements.
  • full-DevSecOps-teams successfully understood users’ needs to collaboratively develop and deliver secure complex and scalable enterprise-level applications, using Power-Platform, Dynamics and office365 Suite-of-tools, in complex business environments, based upon Agile-methodology& GDS
  • providing application deployment administration support to end users with full advice, guidance and tooling to manage application, system and user configuration.
  • adopting, improving, and supporting tools originally produced/developed by third parties.
  • Demonstrate/provide evidence where you have managed application support incidents/tickets with an agreed time frame providing effective 1st/2nd/3rd line support
Nice-to-have skills and experience
  • Describe&provide assurance of your experience with relevant Microsoft certifications and qualifications or equivalent.
  • Describe&provide assurance of your experience within the last 2/3 years of ... (Criteria 3 through to 4). Please insert 'as below' to this answer.
  • developing and delivering effective training material to support the roll out of new capability to users in the form of videos and user guides.
  • successfully managing a quality service, through Agile methodology, to deliver high quality, secure, reliable and efficient solutions to support service delivery, in a cost-effective way
  • Describe&provide assurance of experience of delivering services at-pace with energy and professionalism within the last 2/3 years, whilst delivering quality outcomes in a collaborative and constructive way.
  • Describe&provide assurance of your experience of successfully leading and delivering change and improvements within the last 2/3 years ...(Criteria 7 through to 8). Please insert 'as below' to this answer.
  • using new and innovative ways of working to seek out opportunities to create effective change.
  • challenging the status quo and moving people to think in different, ‘smarter’ more focused ways
  • Describe&provide assurance of your experience of working collaboratively in a diverse and often dispersed multidisciplinary multi -supplier teams and alongside other partners within the last 2/3 years.
  • Describe&provide assurance of experience of knowledge-transfer to customers within the last 2/3 years to ensure building of their internal-capability to become self-sufficient in fully-operating their Dynamics-Centre-of-Enablement
  • Describe experience and skills within last 2/3 years in delivering intelligent-automation-technologies (including machine-learning, cognitive/AI tools) and individual automations through lifecycle [CONTINUED BELOW]
  • including preferred intelligent business process management (iBPM) technologies, preferred robotic process automation technologies(including BluePrism).
  • Describe&provide assurance of experience of Seeing the bigger picture of automation including use of robotic Process-Automation,API,Web Services, and integration with other Defence and Industry services and processes

How suppliers will be evaluated

All suppliers will be asked to provide a written proposal.

How many suppliers to evaluate
3
Proposal criteria
  • 0 Not Met - No evidence of required skills experience etc
  • 1 Partially Met - some evidence of required skills /experience etc
  • 2 Met - Reasonable evidence of required skills /experience etc
  • 3 Exceeded - Strong evidence of required skills /experience etc
  • NOTE – Any bidder who scores 0 for any of the essential skills and experience questions will be eliminated from the selection process.
Cultural fit criteria
  • Can you describe and evidence your approach for communicating effectively with users, policy owners, assurance community and technical architects to resolve issues amongst complex integrations. 15%
  • Can you provide a core team structure evidencing how they have, and will work together, and how they will fit into the agile culture of the Digital Foundry 15%
  • Describe&provide experience within last 3-years of working in open and collaborative relationships (at all levels), where excellent communication, co-ordination and collaboration when conducting Agile-methodology-ceremonies and Organisational-governance were required 15%
  • Explain how you’ll manage your team on-site as part of an existing customer and multi-vendor portfolio-team. Provide examples within the last 3-years demonstrating approach in an Agile-methodology /GDS scenario15%
  • 5. Provide evidence of how you foster an inclusive and professional working environment with no place for bullying or discrimination of any form and how you will for this commission10%
  • Explain how you’ll integrate into the existing team, of Customers and multi-vendors, and how you’ll work collaboratively as one team to meet and exceed the Customers’ needs15%
  • Explain how you’ll attract and retain the best-talent to create teams that reflect diverse workforce and deliver diversity of thought to the Authority and how you’ve previously achieved this15%
Payment approach
Capped time and materials
Additional assessment methods
  • Case study
  • Work history
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence

60%

Cultural fit

10%

Price

30%

Questions asked by suppliers

1. Will MOD sponsor security clearances for supplier personnel?
MOD do not sponsor security clearances for supplier personnel.
2. What answer would you expect to see for this question and how would you score it?
'Describe and provide assurance of your experience within the last 2/3 years of... (Criteria 3 through to 13). Please insert ‘as below’ to this answer'
Please answer 'AS BELOW' to this question. All responses will be scored a 4 for this skill to ensure scores are not distorted. Due to word limits, the Authority has used this line to include the start of all required skills from number 3 to 13. Please therefore insert this sentence at the start, when reading every follow on essential skills.
3. Which classifications will ACOE cater for?
Currently the focus is on OFFICIAL-SENSITIVE using the online O365 Power Platform on MODNET OFFICIAL – however, SECRET requirements do exist but have yet to be investigated due to insufficient demand signal verse investment. Should the requirement become viable then the team may engage in discussions around higher classification solutions and the correct of security cleared resources will be required at that time.
4. Who are the Federated Dev Op Teams?
ACOE is the central team delivering and managing D365 on MODNET. However, across Defence there are other TLBs (Top Level Budget-Holders) that have their DevOps Teams that are already developing their own Apps on the Power Platform. In order to go into Production, these teams will have to comply with the ACOE Governance and also utilise the core team’s platform management to obtain licences etc. The Federated DevOps Teams may also work alongside the core team for some apps and vice versa to share knowledge and improve the in-house capability across Defence and deliver scalable apps.
5. How many applications, or software systems, will be secured using the DevSecOps platform/team?
In accordance with the advert, the backlog has numerous applications in various stages of delivery, and are aware of requirements that may come in, but until applications are funded that cannot be progressed. The advert is to set up the service offering ready to respond rapidly to such requests as they come into the system.
6. Are suppliers that provide a combination of DevSecOps team and an existing automated DevSecOps Platform, which integrate with Microsoft Dynamics and Power Platform, considered for this bid?
1) DevSecOps will ensure that everyone in the software development life cycle is responsible for security, bringing operations and development together with security functions. DevSecOps aims to embed security in every part of the development process. Therefore, suppliers with a DevSecOps capability are eligible to bid in accordance with the criteria set out in the advert.

2) Automated DevSecOps should be operated from The Authorities platforms only.
7. Will there be other contractors working on ACOE Automation deliveries?
Yes – ACOE facilitates all of Defence to automate their processes in-line with best practice and through the governance being established patterns and templates will be available to follow. There are other contracts providing other automation tools that can be utilised by ACOE to deliver best value for Defence either individually or a combined solution. The Federated TLBs may also be supported by third-party contractors.
Additionally the team will look at future further contracts options, to ensure continuity of service to its customers, and additionally provide options for routes to market to drive value for money and high performance.
8. Could the Authority confirm the scope of the initial SoW mentioned in the ‘Problem to be Solved’ section – is it to provide a Service Desk in its entirety (software, processes, data, training ect) or only resource to augment existing functionality? Also, is there an indication around whether this will be 1st/2nd/3rd line ect support?
Could you also confirm whether your requirement to deliver solutions in future SoW’s is likely to be through a Service Desk environment i.e. a change to an existing service, or as the introduction of new services/products?
The service desk is currently made up of 1st- 3rd line support, delivered via internal and external teams. The 3rd line support currently delivered by the current incumbent is provided Mon – Fri during normal working hours. The service design documentation is available on request, that details expectations.
The service desk provides technical support to the M365 Power Platform products, which is detailed in the afore mentioned document. Any change to existing services and new products will be subject to agreed SOWs via the commercial route and not the service desk.
9. You mention there is a current commercial arrangement. Who is the engagement with? Are they bidding for this work?
Information on the previous commercial agreement can be located on Contract Finders via an Contract Award Notice - https://www.contractsfinder.service.gov.uk/notice/37bce6a1-4f23-4ad5-8ba1-22298bed8926?origin=SearchResults&p=1. Please note this is reengagement with industry and not an extension of the previous contract. In accordance with the Framework Process the Authority cannot confirm whether the incumbent will be bidding at this stage, as bids remain unopened until close.
10. What will stage 2 involve for the suppliers who make it to that stage?
[PART 1] As stated in the Advert, Stage 2 will comprise of a Technical, Cultural and Commercial Envelope. The Technical Envelope will comprise of Proposal Case Studies and work history to demonstrate how you will deliver a Statement of Work (SoW). This will be formed from a list of questions provided to allow you to demonstrate how you have completed X, how you would complete Y and opportunities to demonstrate previous examples of completing X and Y.
11. What will stage 2 involve for the suppliers who make it to that stage?
[PART 2]
Details of Cultural fit are available on the Advert and the Commercial Envelope will request a firm price of a provided rate card with pre-selected Disciplines and SFIA Grades the Authority will require for the anticipated SoW’s with estimated hours placed at each quadrant to evaluate the bid. Please note, all bids will be requested as Blind.
12. You have mentioned a multi-supplier team. Can you tell us who they are? Are these suppliers bidding on this?
ACOE currently work within AGILE delivery teams, made up of Delivery managers, DevOps Eng, technical architects (etc). A combination of crown servants and suppliers make up the profile of these teams. As stated in a previous response, the Authority cannot confirm what Supplier may bid at this stage, as bids remain unopened until close.
13. You mention existing and new data sources. What are the existing data sources? How are they currently consumed? And what technology platform do the data sources come from?
The existing developed solutions are built upon Microsoft Power Platform technologies with a primary focus on model driven and dynamics based applications, with some extension to Canvas Applications and Power Automate. The primary data source used for these is the Microsoft database system Dataverse. Outside of this, data sources such as SharePoint Lists, SharePoint Document Libraries, Office 365 services (such as outlook), Microsoft Azure AAD and in some limited capacity externally facing APIs have also been used. Due to the Restricted nature of the MODNet tenant, data sources are limited to the Microsoft platform with a primary focus on Dataverse.
14. What is MODNeT? Can we get a summary description of its makeup?
• MODNET is the replacement for DII, and Windows 10 Operation System
• Microsoft Office 2016 including standard Office 2016 products such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, Access and Publisher
• OneNote | free form notebook / information gathering tool
• OneDrive | cloud based, enhanced ‘My Documents’
• Skype for Business |
• SharePoint
• MOD private cloud | for data storage
15. You mention Automation-Technologies. Can you give examples of these other Automation-Technologies? What are they currently used for?
The primary focus of this contract will be around development with Power Platform, however the Authority have been using/exploring the use of other automation technologies and if the right requirement came through would like to exploit them where possible.
Intelligent Business process Management/Automation tools have been considered by the Authority.
16. What proportion of the work can be done remotely and what is the expected frequency of in person visits to the MoD offices?
The hybrid ways of working is successful and we see no need to change that at present. Collaboration F2F is encouraged when necessary and happens in MOD Corsham, MOD Main Building. F2F collaboration is expected as necessary and will depend on through put.
17. You state the automation service is supported by an industry partner. Is this the same partner as above? If not who are they, are they bidding for this work?
As mentioned in previous question responses, ACOE are currently supported by a blend of Contracted Support and Crown Servants. This blended landscape is expected to continue in the future. Details of all awarded Contracts are published on Contracts Finder into the public domain. The Authority has no knowledge of, nor can confirm, who will be bidding at this stage, as bids remain unopened until close in accordance with the Framework Terms.
18. Are responses referencing related and potentially directly connected engagements within the MOD acceptable.
We advise suppliers to use their most relevant examples for the current requirement. This can include evidence of previous work for all Government Departments including the Ministry of Defence.
19. Can the Authority please give guide dates of next stage.. down select, submission, contract award etc.
Please note the Indicative time frames below:

11/07/22 - Stage 1 Deadline
26/07/22 - Stage 1 results published
27/07/22 - Successful suppliers invited to complete Stage 2
05/08/22 - Stage 2 Deadline
11/08/22 - Stage 2 results published
12/08/22 - 10 day standstill period
25/08/22 - Proposed Contract Award

PLEASE NOTE - These timeframes are an indication only and are subject to change.