Intellectual Property Office

Migration to VSTS

Incomplete applications

Incomplete applications
5 SME, 1 large

Completed applications

Completed applications
3 SME, 1 large
Important dates
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
Published Friday 4 August 2017
Deadline for asking questions Friday 11 August 2017 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications Friday 18 August 2017 at 11:59pm GMT


Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
Summary of the work A programme to migrate our requirements, code, build, test, deploy tooling pipeline into the VSTS cloud platform. We are looking to partner with a supplier to help plan, prove value and scale out this tool and develop our in-house capability, including skills and knowledge transfer, and provide continuity of service.
Latest start date Monday 18 September 2017
Expected contract length Up to 1 year, with statements of work defined during the duration of the service.
Location Wales
Organisation the work is for Intellectual Property Office
Budget range £150-£250k

About the work

About the work
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
Why the work is being done The IPO Software Development Services department will move all requirements, code repository, build, test and deploy to cloud hosted VSTS (Microsoft Visual Studio Team Services). The vision for this piece of work is "To consistently deliver high quality, working software into the hands of users in an automated, repeatable way whilst minimising service unavailability" and in line with our 'Cloud First' and 'Simplify IT' strategy.
Problem to be solved To simplify, unify and standardise our code tooling pipeline, methods and automation by migrating as much of our tech stack code, build, test and deploy into a single tool. Our carefully selected tool (VSTS) will provide the single ground truth for planning, requirements, build, test and deployment. This will simplify our IT real estate, reduce costs of multiple tools where possible and will increase our readiness to deploy our public digital services to a cloud platform in the future.
Who the users are and what they need to do Our users are our own software development, test, release and deployment staff as well as our partners and collaborators within the organisation such as business insights, product owners, project managers, analysts, UX designers and management. This work will be to provide advice, guidance and expertise to migrate our build, test and deployment tooling to VSTS with minimal disruption to our staff. As the work progresses we require training, up-skilling and knowledge in order to be self-sufficient at the end of the entire engagement.
Early market engagement To facilitate and inform upon the work described here a discovery phase has been completed with a 3rd party supplier.

This is an internal IT tool, so GDS Disco/Alpha/Beta/Live model not applicable. A 'Discovery' has been completed. Next, we expect to work through an alpha phase ('Validate') to prove value by migrating a representative subset of our tech stacks to VSTS. This will be followed by further phases (TBD) to 'Scale' out this validated solution across other tech stacks and teams and to optionally but not exhaustively complete the engagement with an 'Optimise' phase to optimise the solution and staff skills.
Any work that’s already been done Internal staff engagement to select candidate tooling pipeline (VSTS). A discovery phase has been completed to gather information about our 'as is' regarding technologies, tooling and process/behaviors. Candidate internal product with representative tech stacks has been identified to be used as a VSTS migration pilot.
Existing team Core project and continuous improvement teams include: SRO, Product Owner, Developers and Testers, User Experience Specialists, Business Users and IT key staff.
Current phase Not applicable

Work setup

Work setup
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
Address where the work will take place Intellectual Property Office, Cardiff Road, Newport, NP10 8QQ
Working arrangements Individuals will work as an agile delivery team reporting to a Software Development Manager and a member of the Release and Configuration team on tasks and ways of working. Each SoW will be developed with the successful supplier as outcome-based to define each of the 'Validate', 'Scale' and 'Optimise' phases. Work pattern will be a flexible approach agreed between the IPO and successful supplier as each SoW is agreed throughout the life of the contract.
Security clearance SC Cleared, or willingness to work towards SC clearance

Additional information

Additional information
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
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.

Skills and experience
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
Essential skills and experience
  • Have demonstrable technical competence in VSTS along with experience in migrating a range of tech stacks into VSTS.
  • Have demonstrable knowledge of VSTS product and configuration
  • Have demonstrable Knowledge of agile methods, DevOps
  • Have demonstrable knowledge, expertise and resource to deliver VSTS code, build, test and deploy pipelines in, Java and Scala.
  • Demonstrable depth of resource and expertise in supplying build tool configuration resources across a range of technologies and frameworks.
  • Have demonstrable experience of successfully understanding user needs and designing services to support them.
  • Have demonstrable experience of collaborative working with existing release, development, test and business teams, including coaching and mentoring, and knowledge sharing.
  • Be a Microsoft Gold Partner, preferably with certified or otherwise recognised expertise in VSTS products, Azure Cloud Platform and DevOps/Agile competencies
Nice-to-have skills and experience
  • have demonstrable experience across a range of technologies and frameworks, including C#.NET, Java, VSTS Git, Mule, Tomcat, Wildfly, DB (MS SQL), SonarQube and Scala.
  • adapt to legacy niche techstacks - e.g. Visual COBOL

How suppliers will be evaluated

How suppliers will be evaluated
Opportunity attribute name Opportunity attribute value
How many suppliers to evaluate 3
Proposal criteria
  • Case study evidence of delivery of similar services to similar clients, public sector preferred.
  • Day rates for proposed resources and how these demonstrate value for money.
  • Overall approach and methodology to meet requirements
  • Ability to meet published essential skills and requirements
Cultural fit criteria
  • Have excellent communication skills with staff at all levels of the organisation
  • Be positive and professional in their attitude
  • Be willing to collaborate and partner, including with other suppliers
  • Take responsibility for their work
  • Proactively share knowledge and experiences with members of team
  • Be innovative and promote ideas and suggestions as applicable
  • Attempt to achieve value for money in all activities
Payment approach Capped time and materials
Assessment methods
  • Written proposal
  • Case study
  • Reference
  • Presentation
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence


Cultural fit




Questions asked by suppliers

Questions asked by suppliers
Supplier question Buyer answer
1. Dear Sir/Madam, It read from your job posting that you would like this work to be carried out by a team on site in Newport, I just want to confirm that is correct as we would only be able to work remotely. Many thanks We are content for suppliers to undertake remote working occasionally, but we'd expect the significant majority of work to be carried out onsite, working with our engineers. The reason for this is that the engagement is not just for a supplier to give us a finished product, but to help our staff get up to speed on the new tooling and working collaboratively is the best way to do this.
2. Is it possible for some of the work to take place remotely (i.e. at the supplier's offices)? We are content for suppliers to undertake remote working occasionally, but we'd expect the significant majority of work to be carried out onsite, working with our engineers. The reason for this is that the engagement is not just for a supplier to give us a finished product, but to help our staff get up to speed on the new tooling and working collaboratively is the best way to do this.
3. How agile is the culture at IPO? We are asking this questions to understand if things like database requests, password changes, firewall access requests take time? The culture is fairly agile but these types of requests can take a few days to process.
4. Are there any restrictions on suppliers bringing their own devices to IPO while execution? Suppliers may bring their own devices but they are not allowed to connect to our network.
5. Could you please confirm if any product licenses or subscriptions are costed within the budget of this procurement? Are other related investments (e.g. test bench in Azure required for performance tests) which are used with VSTS for automated test and deployment, included in the budget, or would that be a part of the project budget? Product licenses are from a separate budget.
6. Are there any source control used? How strictly is this implemented or followed? All source code and associated build/deploy scripts are in source control. This is either TFS, SVN or git.
7. How big is the collection in GB? Please clarify what is meant by ‘collection’
8. What is the relevance of asking security clearance of the staff? Migrating to VSTS will require access to IPO internal IT systems and SC clearance is a mandatory requirement for all users having access to our systems.
9. What are the key reasons to move away from TFS, apart from 'Cloud-first' strategy? We do not only use TFS but several other tools as well so our other main driver is to simplify the IT estate and use consistent tooling across projects and technology stacks.
10. What is the level of current adoption of TFS? Is there any adoption of VSTS? Would cultural or technical training on Agile, Devops, TDD be required? How would you define the current level of adoption of DevOps in IPO development teams? TFS is used across the board for source control of .Net apps.
There is already significant adoption of VSTS for work tracking, but minimal use for the rest of the pipeline.
Some cultural training on DevOps may be required but our teams are already familiar with Agile and TDD.
There is minimal adoption of DevOps principals in the IPO currently.
11. What were the outcomes of discovery exercise? Main outcome was that there are no substantial blockers to adopting VSTS at the IPO. It was felt that a consolidated VSTS pipeline would bring us significant benefits in terms of a consistent and more robust toolset as well as improved visibility of project status.
12. What is the current use of GIT? Would migration of GIT to the VSTS single repository be desirable or required? There is currently minimal use of git but we would like to move all our source control over to git repos in VSTS.
13. Would you consider applications from a Microsoft Silver Partner with all of the relevent skills and experience outlined in your requirements? On this occasion we are looking for a Microsoft Gold Partner and this is a mandatory requirement.
14. You have mentioned it is essential for the vendor to be Microsoft Gold Partner alongside certified VSTS expertise, that leads to a very select few companies. Would this requirement be a show stopper for companies who do not have Gold Partner certification, but have fantastic VSTS expertise and experience? On this occasion we are looking for a Microsoft Gold Partner and this is a mandatory requirement.
15. How many users use TFS or other related tools? What is their proficiency in these tools? What is the current version of TFS deployed? All developers and testers use TFS or SVN for source control, with some git use as well. Users are proficient in the tools they use, but not necessarily in the others.
TFS version: 2010 and 2013
16. Referring to Q7. "How big is the collection in GB?" - we meant to ask the approximate size of data which needs to be migrated to VSTS? The size of data is approximately 500GB across TFS and SVN