Awarded to Binary Vision

Start date: Thursday 27 July 2017
Value: £305,725
Company size: SME
Royal Air Force

ACT/04567 RAF Website Redevelopment BETA Through Live

16 Incomplete applications

13 SME, 3 large

27 Completed applications

21 SME, 6 large

Important dates

Monday 19 June 2017
Deadline for asking questions
Monday 26 June 2017 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications
Monday 3 July 2017 at 11:59pm GMT


Summary of the work
Re-development the RAF website ( to better serve audiences on all platforms, in line with Digital Service Standards. The RAF is looking to work with a proficient digital agency with experience in the design, creation and launching of websites to develop and maintain the website for a 2 year period.
Latest start date
Wednesday 26 July 2017
Expected contract length
2 Years
South East England
Organisation the work is for
Royal Air Force
Budget range

About the work

Why the work is being done
The work is necessary to follow on from the discovery phase which was completed in 2016. The RAF website is a critical part of the RAF’s digital engagement with the Public. It was visited over 12 million times in the past 12 months by over 7 million individual users. It has not changed significantly since 2008. It is not optimised for mobile devices (tablets and smartphones); its size and structure creates an inefficient and confusing user experience; technically, some of the software is no longer supported; and loading content is overly complex
Problem to be solved
Outcomes based on user needs and follow GDS Service Standard and GDS design principles. Website needs to be responsive. Improve accessibility support. To make managing content easier for non-technical staff, a new CMS is identified and procured to replace Opentext WSM 11.2. Hosting accreditation and assurance to comply with Government Cyber Essentials Certification. Hosting will be within existing environment but consider need capability to migrate over to new platform. Inconsistent look and feel. Improve IA and user journeys. Capture internal stakeholder needs. Meet minimum Level AA (WCAG) 2.0. A greater focus on SEO when creating content. Enhance management of content.
Who the users are and what they need to do
The Discovery Phase identified key audience groups and their requirements: 1. Potential recruits are the primary audience for the website and certainly should be regarded as a high priority. 2. Family members are an important audience as the website is often their first point of contact with the RAF. 3. Advocates are a wide audience group amongst them journalists, teachers, local advisers and tourists. 4. Veterans have information and service needs from the RAF long after they finish their active service.
Early market engagement
Pre-market tender was carried out at the end of 2016 to for the Discovery and Alpha phases.
Any work that’s already been done
The RAF completed the Discovery phase of this project in 2016. This report provided: • Key recommendations that are formed from insights drawn from all research • In-depth qualitative user research with recommendations • A technical review and best-practice technical recommendations • A content review and content recommendations • A suggested information architecture – which will need to be reviewed - developed from insights from the research and tested on users. • A Service Delivery Plan for Alpha phase including recommendations on duration and cost
Existing team
RAF - ACAS-Media-Snr Digital Manager
Current phase

Work setup

Address where the work will take place
It is expected to be a mixture of on-site and off-site working. If on-site, staff will mainly be working at HQ Air Command in High Wycombe.
Working arrangements
The supplier will work closely with the Air Media and Comms Team who are based at HQ Air Command in High Wycombe. It is anticipated that most of the work will be conducted remotely at the supplier’s usual place of work but keep in regular contact with Air M&C Digital Manager via regular telephone and email correspondence. However, the contractor will base some resource with the HQ Air at key points throughout the engagement. The cost of attending any meeting or performing tasks away from the contractors premises shall be borne by the future contractor.
Security clearance
All work will be conducted at the OFFICIAL classification level. No security clearance is required as the project team will be escorted at all times when on site.

Additional information

Additional terms and conditions
These MOD DEFCONs form part of this Contract: DEFCON 5J (Edn 18/11/16) Unique Identifiers, DEFCON 76 (Edn 12/06) Contractors on site, DEFCON 129J (Edn 18/11/16) Electronic business Delivery Form, DEFCON 516 (Edn 04/12) Equality, DEFCON 520 (Edn 18/11/16) Corrupt gifts and payments of commission, DEFCON 522 (Edn 18/11/16) Payment and Recovery of Sums Due, DEFCON 531 (Edn 11/14) Disclosure of Information, DEFCON 534 (Edn 18/11/16) Subcontracting and Prompt Payment, DEFCON 566 (Edn 07/14) Change of control contractor, DEFCON 642 (Edn 06/14) Progress meetings. The following DEFFORMs will be used: DF111 Addresses And Other Information, DF10 Acceptance Of Offer Of Contract

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
  • Must be available to meet the latest start date.
  • Go live/partially live by the end of Sept 2017
  • Have a multidisciplinary team that can design, build and operate the website, leading on information architecture, content design and content migration.
  • Analysis and evaluation of existing user research to create IA and content plan.
  • Experience using agile project management. Creating responsive websites based on user needs.
  • Delivering projects in line with Government Digital Service Standard.
  • Designing and launching websites in line with Digital Service Standard.
  • Demonstration of delivering projects at speed with clearly identified deliverables and timescales.
  • Evidence of delivering projects to meet timescales.
  • Designing websites that are intuitive and easy to use on all devices.
  • Technical knowledge of website hosting environments. Experience of mitigating security and cyber threats to websites.
  • Launching MVP websites with scope to migrate large amounts of information post launch.
  • Understanding, experience and implementing website metric software such as Google Analytics.
  • Working with third party stakeholders.
  • Relationship management.
  • Good planning, coordination, communication and project management skills.
Nice-to-have skills and experience
  • Building and managing large websites (1000+ pages).
  • Working with the UK Military, other nations Military, other Government Departments and Not-For-Profit organisations.
  • Have experience of assessing and mitigating security and privacy issues, including Cyber Essentials certification..

How suppliers will be evaluated

How many suppliers to evaluate
Proposal criteria
  • A detailed project plan
  • Team structure
  • Detailed resource plan
  • Value for Money – any additional work
  • Approach and methodology - How proposal will meet requirements
  • Stakeholder engagement – How to capture requirements
Cultural fit criteria
  • Demonstrate expertise and experience of working with public sector organisations, the Military, Other Government Departments and Not-For-profit organisations.
  • Suppliers should demonstrate their understanding of the RAF and how it operates.
  • Ability to work with clients with limited technical knowledge.
Payment approach
Fixed price
Assessment methods
  • Written proposal
  • Presentation
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence


Cultural fit




Questions asked by suppliers

1. Am I correct in this is the same opportunity, just relisted as Outcomes instead of Specialist? If so, do I need to resubmit clarifications? submitted under the previous advertisement?
Yes, this is the same opportunity and has been relisted under Outcomes. All clarifications previously submitted have been captured and will receive a response under this opportunity.
2. 1. In the SoR document, B5, it states "Provide CMS and website support to RAF M&C Digital Comms team and content owners for legacy website on Magenta and Mura CMS.” Can you clarify if there is a requirement to replace both these current CMS systems; and clarify what the extent of supporting them will entail (e.g. for how long do you expect to need support on these current CMS systems, and what the current level of support needs looks like)?
We are looking for a new system, something modern and simple with training available for end users. It must be Open Source with layered permissions allowing end users in the RAF the ability to change elements of their own areas. We would work with the winning supplier to choose a suitable CMS, subject to the project budget and incorporate current use of Magenta and Mura. Over this 2 years contract the current CMS systems needs to remain in place for a period of time; project management and timelines for this will fall to the digital company to advise and deliver.
3. It states you would like the website 'live' by September are we assuming that it is not a complete build project.
Correct, MVP by the end of September is required to prepare for the launch of RAF100 in October.
4. Are you looking for a complete redesign/new build in 2 months?
No, the MVP will be required for the end of September. Over the course of the contract the remainder of the website will be redeveloped under project management of the winning bidder.
5. What do you want to be 'live' by September?
The RAF Home page, RAF Station home pages and Sqn Home pages. An area to host the RAF100 microsite must be working which will probably be on/via the RAF Home page.
6. What sort of 2 year maintenance plan are you wanting?
It must fall within the project budget and we would like companies to state what they can provide.
7. "Go live/partially live by the end of Sept 2017" - can you elaborate on this? Presumably this is MVP - can you elaborate on what MVP includes?
The MVP is for the new RAF home page (including the RAF100 website), Station home pages and Squadron home pages to go live by the end of September.
8. How many phases will the procurement be, considering a go live date of Sept. Is there a particular event or announcement, you have scheduled for the end of Sept, that is the driver for the Sept live date?
There will be Beta and Live phases. The Alpha and Discovery phases have already been completed. The driver is the launch of RAF 100, (2018 being the RAF’s centenary year). The scheduled launch of the RAF100 campaign is October/November 17, hence the redevelopment of the website must be partially complete and be ready to host the RAF 100 website by the end of September.
9. Was the discovery/alpha done internally or externally? If the project up to alpha, has been done internally or with another supplier, is there a reason they are not doing the beta?
The Discovery/Alpha phases were completed both internally and externally. There is no specific reason why the supplier for Alpha and the Discovery Phases is not doing the beta phase.
10. Will you be formally assessed by GDS? has this assessment been scheduled into your timeline for a sept delivery?
There will not be a full GDS assessment. However there will be an internal assessment undertaken in line with GDS standards. GDS will also be kept up to date on progress throughout the project.
11. We find a mixture of face to face time on client side, and more focussed development time in our own office, normally fits most public sector clients, do you have any expectations around the amount of time spent onsite at your office? Is there a requirement to visit other offices?
It is for the supplier to determine the solution to the Authority’s requirement; this includes proposing the most suitable ways of working in order to deliver the outcome.
12. You've identified a need for a new CMS: have you done any work as part of Discovery/Alpha to understand CMS needs that would feed in to inform CMS decisions; do you have any constraints/preferences around future CMS choices?
There has been work conducted during the Alpha and Discovery phases which should be used to help choose a new CMS which is modern and simple with training available for end users. It must be Open Source with layered permissions to allow end users in the RAF the ability to change elements of their own areas and work with the RAF 100 website (currently on Mura). The Discovery Phase Report will be made available to those companies who are shortlisted to deliver presentations. Constraints for future CMS will be budgetary and ease of use, the simpler to use the better.
13. In the SoR document, B5, it states "Provide CMS and website support to RAF M&C Digital Comms team and content owners for legacy website on Magenta and Mura CMS.” Can you clarify if there is a requirement to replace both these current CMS systems; and clarify what the extent of supporting them will entail (e.g. for how long do you expect to need support on these current CMS systems, and what the current level of support needs looks like)?
We are looking for a new system, something modern and simple with training available for end users. It must be Open Source with layered permissions allowing end users the ability to change elements of their own areas. We would work with the winning supplier to choose a suitable CMS, subject to the project budget and incorporate current use of Magenta and Mura). Over the 2 years of the contract the current CMS systems will need to remain in place for a period of time, the project management and timelines of this will fall to the chosen company to deliver.
14. Will the associated sub-sites in scope for redevelopment include the recruitment website and the centenary website?
No, the RAF Recruitment site is a separate site. The RAF100 is a microsite which will be housed on the redeveloped RAF Website. The RAF 100 site will require the same CMS as the redeveloped RAF Website and will need minor adjustments only to content and some minor redevelopment (but only if required).
15. Is support required for Magenta and Mura required for the duration of the contract?
Yes until a new CMS is fully operational.
16. Is all legacy website content expected to move off that platform?
This will need to agreed between the chosen digital company and the RAF; some legacy content will need to be moved off the platform in order to reduce the pages from +10,000 to approx. 500 . Other content will need to be redeveloped depending on user requirements.
17. Regarding requirement B.5 : "Reduce the content of the RAF website to between 500-1000 pages", will RAF require editorial resources to assist with this process?
18. Regarding B.5 " with Royal Navy, British Army website CMS management systems where possible", please could you explain what kind of link RAF have in mind, i.e. for what users and purpose?
The purpose is to bring digital media platforms closer across Defence. Use of similar CMS could assist with this, this is only aspirational; closer working with the Royal Navy and British Army would be beneficial but not a priority.
19. Under the Problem to be Solved section, it states 'a new CMS is identified'. Please could you confirm that part of the project is to recommend a CMS - and not that a specific CMS has already been identified as the preferred option.
The digital company will be expected to recommend a new CMS according to what is best for RAF requirements.
20. Have you identified a CMS you wish to use?
21. Will you be able to share Discovery phase deliverables (key recommendations, qualitative research, technical review, best-practices technical recommendations, content review, suggested IA, etc)?
A copy of the Discovery Phase Report will be made available to those companies who are shortlisted to deliver presentations.
22. Is additional research required before the September 2017 launch?
The Alpha and Discovery phases produced comprehensive data which will be given to the shortlisted suppliers before they present their proposals. The Discovery report is over 12 months old, therefore it is possible that some research will need to be carried out initially to check. However, It will be at the discretion of the winning Digital Company how much research they believe is required.
23. Could you please clarify the level of detail required for the project plan and do you expect this to be attached to the bid?
This is at the discretion of the bidder.
24. Have you agreed a Minimal Viable Product and can you provide any information on that?
As an MVP we would like the new website to go partially live (at least) by the end of September 17. We would like the RAF Home Page, Station Home Pages and Squadron Home pages to go live as a minimum.
25. How much effort/ how many sprints have you anticipated to get to the September 2017 delivery date.?
This is at the discretion of the bidder.
26. Do you have any requirements regarding integration with 3rd party software?
It depends what the 3rd party software is.
27. Will careers/recruitment/reserves sections be part of the redevelopment?
28. When will the winning bid be notified?
We will be looking to award the contract 26th July 2017.
29. You state the successful supplier should 'Demonstrate expertise and experience of working with public sector organisations, the Military, Other Government Departments and Not-For-profit organisations.' Does the successful supplier need experience with all categories of organisations? For example, could they have worked with Government Departments and Not-For-Profit organisations but not the Military?
No, the successful Supplier will not be expected to have worked with all those listed and this is not a mandatory requirement it would just be advantageous.
30. Does the budget VAT excluded/included?
The budget is exclusive of VAT.
31. What are the expected timescales for document delivery and presentation?
We will inform those who have been shortlisted by CoP 4th July.
You will have 5th-11th July to submit your written proposal and evaluation for these will take place 12-13th July.
The presentations will be held 20th-21st July.
32. You've stated that "Hosting will be within existing environment but consider need capability to migrate over to new platform." Can you elaborate on the current hosting infrastructure/tech stack please?
OS: Windows 2008 R2 Standard 64 bit[1]
vCPU: 4
vRAM: 8GB vDisk:
• 100GB C Drive System Partition
• 250GB D Drive Data Partition
• 50GB E Drive Log Partition

OS: Windows 2008 R2 Standard 64 bit
vCPU: 4
• 100GB C Drive System Partition
• 250GB D Drive Data Partition
• 50GB E Drive Log Partition

OS: Windows 2008 R2 Standard 64 bit
DB: MS SQL Server 2012 edition
vCPU: 4
vRAM: 16GB
• 100GB C Drive System Partition
• 250GB D Drive Data Partition
• 100GB E Drive Log Partition
33. In the Statement of Requirements you list 'Have experience of designing websites with content in languages other than English, including Welsh' as a 'Nice to have skill/experience' (B.13). However, it is not listed as a criteria we will be assessed against on the Digital Market Place opportunity. Is this not a requirement?
No this is not a specific requirement, it is ‘a nice to have’ only.
34. In A11.1.a You state "For the purposes of contract monitoring, representatives of the Contractor will report formally each month to the Designated Officer on the performance of the Contract and make the Designated Officer aware if any issues arise." Do you have any specific requirements on the detail of what is reported on each month?
This will need to be established at a later stage once the contract has been awarded but will need to include information regarding any issues, an update on progress, lessons identified and solutions for issues – for example. The format and content are yet to be determined.
35. Is the section included in this project?
36. Would you be happy with a custom built CMS or do you wish to purchase an off-the-shelf solution?
If there is a custom built CMS that is fit for purpose and within budget then it would be considered.
37. There is mention of specific technology stacks in the Statement of Requirement document, e.g. Java, Windows. Do you have any specific requirements on the technology used for your new website?
This is something we would take advise on from the company who is awarded the contract.
38. 2. What is the underlying technology of the Magenta CMS?
This is a bespoke CMS build in Coldfusion Markup Language (CFML)
39. Does the specified budget exclude the hosting which is managed directly with Rackspace?
Yes, hosting for Rackspace is currently and will continue to be paid for by a different budget.
40. A number of questions and answers here refer to a Statement of Requirements (SoR) which was available on request in a previous Specialists opportunity (now withdrawn). Is that SoR still relevant ? If so, is it still available for bidders for this, Outcome opportunity ?
Yes, this is the same SOR that was listed under the 'Specialist' opportunity.
41. You state you require a 'Fixed Price' for the work. How tied to that are you? Would you consider a time and materials price with an upper limit?
We require the bid to be a fixed price.
42. Whether you want the supplier to conduct user research through to live and onwards (someone has to do it and there’s quite a bit to be said for the kind of close integration and knowledge transfer you get from doing it within the one team)?
Yes, there will be a requirement for this. It will need to be carried out closely with the user research work from the Alpha and Discovery Phases.
43. Whether you want the supplier to script some content (as well as doing content design and migration).
Yes, some content will need to be scripted.
44. Is the Air Cadets website part of this project?
45. Will the CMS have to work on the DII (until MoDNet fully rolled out)?
Yes, for a time, the versions of the browsers used on both DII and MODNet are below.
46. Will the CMS have to work on the DII (until MoDNet fully rolled out)?

Internet Explorer 8 – Version: 8.0.7601.17514
Google Chrome – Version 50.0.2661.94 m


Internet Explorer 11 – Version: 11.0.9600.18665CO
Google Chrome – Version 50.0.2661.94 m
47. Is it acceptable to submit a response as a partnership please?
This is acceptable as long as the company you intend to partner with is a listed supplier on the Digital Outcomes Specialist Framework.
48. There is a weightage of 60% on Technical competence. Also, there are 16 Essential skills & 3 Nice-to-have skills. Can you share how these 19 skill questions are weighted to total 60%?
The weighting does not apply to the 'essential Skills/Experience' these will be marked on a pass/fail basis.
The weightings will be used to score the proposals of those who are successful at the initial shortlisting.
49. What time on Monday 3rd do submissions close?
Submissions will close at midnight on Monday 3rd July.
50. How many calls does the support desk get on a daily basis, and what is the annual total. Can you break this down into discrete types of call, for instance ;- how to use, technical faults, system failures, network alerts etc. How many helpdesk hours do you expend daily/monthly/annually?
The RAF doesn't have a help desk but the Digital Office does field calls regarding issues with elements of our website, for example if the CMS is not working correctly. We receive about 5-10 calls a week but this increases if there are problems with the website.
51. What are the hours of cover required;- 9-5, 8-8, etc and does the help desk run outside normal hours.
Normal hours are 0800-1800. We would expect contingency mechanisms to be put in place so that out of hours work is minimal and can be dealt with the next day.
52. What are/is the standard approach for new or updated web development? What process do you currently use to progress website development?
The website is updated with information by the 'owner of that area via CMS. The website has not had a technical update for sometime.
53. Who is the ultimate client for the website. i.e. Who will be the key stakeholders?
The ultimate client id RAF Media and Communications, key stakeholders are the main area owners, such as our RAF Stations and Squadrons.
54. What sort of agency are you looking for? i.e. are you looking for a boutique/new project team with 2-3 staff members per role that is highly agile. Or are you looking for a large enterprise level, established agency with a brand portfolio.?
We are looking for a team who we can work with who are professional and knowledgeable, who can deliver the work required.
55. How involved will the agency need to be in terms of your hosting and IT infrastructure? Will they host your website or will this be supported/provided by your teams?
To start with it is envisaged that there will be a lot of involvement with the RAF. Once the website is redeveloped and running well, it is envisaged that this will decrease. It is up to the digital company to gauge their resources accordingly.
56. Our relevant project team is available from the 1st July 2017, do you have an idea of what dates you want to work too for launch etc?
Launch will be the end of September.
57. Is there any one in the existing team who is available for the 'Migration' work? Or, you are expecting the supplier to do that from scratch?
We have 'owners' for specific areas of the website who vary in their IT skills, but are ready to assist. Some migration work has already been started, but this is embryonic.
58. You mention that "new CMS is identified and procured to replace Opentext WSM 11.2". Could you share the name of the CMS?
A new CMS has not been chosen yet.
59. How open are you to open source CMS platforms (for example: Enterprise WordPress, Silverstripe / Laravel) or do you require a paid licence CMS like Kentico (.net)?
We would like to use Open Source CMS rather than a paid license CMS.
60. In SoR A.1.a it is mentioned: "Any party considered for the work can meet the assurances required by Joint Server Farm (JSF) SyOps". Could you provide some documentation regarding JSF SyOps?
This information will be made available, on request, after the initial sifting of proposals.
61. Can you confirm which CMS(s) the Royal Navy and British Army use for their websites, please?
The Army use OpenText WSM 11.2. The Royal Navy use Sitecore.
62. For ongoing research and verification with users during Beta and Live, does the RAF have access to 1. Potential recruits 2. Family members, RAF. 3. Advocates and 4. Veterans who could participate in research?
Yes, this can be organised should it be required, however a lot of information was collected as part of the Alpha and Discovery phases which can be used.
63. Will there be a handover of technology and information on running the bespoke Magenta ColdFusion CMS?
This will be for the winning digital company to manage.
64. Is the Mura CMS currently managed as an in-house RAF project, or an external 3rd Party?
No, it is a bespoke package run in conjunction with our current providers, but is open source.
65. Who will be providing a handover of technology and information on running Mura CMS?
Sites using the bespoke packages will not be moved over to the new website, except the RAF 100 element and as the new CMS will be Open Source then it be easy to share /move information. Discussions with the current providers can be arranged through the RAF Digital team when this information needs to be shared.
66. Are there any areas of the current MURA or Magenta websites that have extended functionality as far as interactions with users go, past simply presenting CMS content to users?
Examples might be job listings that allow online submission etc. This is minimal, but includes Classified Adverts on the FTRS site, elements of the RAF 100 site and the ongoing RAF Photographic Competition.
67. Are there any specific reason that the proposed solution must be built on an Open Source CMS, or is it acceptable to offer alternative, well supported Enterprise products?
Yes, Open Source is mandated for all Government owned sites. Additionally, Open Source has been chosen to fit in with our community of CMS users across the RAF who are often fairly unskilled in their use of CMS. Although potentially less secure, Open Source provides great benefit and suits our needs better. Closed source CMS options will not be considered.
68. Could you clarify if the MVP scope includes all the pages under Squadrons (50) and all the Stations (60), along with the RAF home page and a microsite for RAF100?
Correct, this is the aspiration.
69. How many trouble tickets do you get on a daily/monthly/annual basis. Can you break this down into discrete types of tickets, for instance ;- error messages, technical faults, system failures, network alerts, hard disk errors etc.
The number of tickets/phone/email support incidents we get annually is around 900. The details are broken down (approximately) below:
CMS queries for both Magenta and Mura – 650
Site errors – 110
Server alerts – 65
Network alerts – 25
Others - 50
The bulk of the support requests that come through the ‘helpdesk’ are for general CMS queries and account reset.
70. How many incursions has the system had in the last five years. What is the current solution to stop hacking or malicious activity, or does one not exist. How or who monitors activity on the web sites?
There have been some DDOS and SQL injection attempts on the infrastructure and sites, and these were successfully mitigated with intrusion detection systems. Good coding practice is followed and the estate is periodically penetration tested by third parties. Monitoring of server metrics are available via a Control panel for (Ram, disk, CPU, running processes). Application level monitoring is by a real-time Java Application Performance Monitor which gives a granular overview of the state of the website and helps to minimise server downtime. Third party tools like Pingdom are also used to monitor for site outages remotely.
71. How many hours of upgrade activity are expended on the web site annually?
There is a minimal amount of general upgrade work, approximately 1-2 weeks developer time annually.
72. Can you give us a copy of the standard reporting that you have on a the system?
This information is not available within the current timelines.
73. Do you currently track user journeys (1), and (2) can the current system support such tools?
1) No and 2) yes user journeys could be supported on the current system.
74. There are links to other sites: - RAF charity ( - Defence Gateway - RAF Club ( - RAF museum ( Are these sites in scope of redevelopment? Or, Does the selection of CMS need to be able to serve these sites in future
No, however there are over 130 microsites, each with their own CMS user(s) while many fall into groups – eg Station sites, there are a number that are fairly different, notably:
• RAF100
• RAF Photo Competition
• RAF Reserves vacancies