Awarded to Kainos Software Ltd

Start date: Friday 1 June 2018
Value: £4,500,000
Company size: large
Home Office - Digital, Data and Technology

Home Office Platform for Storage (HOPS) – development and delivery

4 Incomplete applications

0 SME, 4 large

9 Completed applications

4 SME, 5 large

Important dates

Thursday 8 February 2018
Deadline for asking questions
Thursday 15 February 2018 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications
Thursday 22 February 2018 at 11:59pm GMT


Summary of the work
We require a highly skilled, collaborative supplier with experience in development and delivering digital services that meet users’ needs, to support digitisation across the Home Office by enhancing a Beta phase digital file storage and retrieval cloud based store, and rollout to new customer groups.
Latest start date
Monday 16 April 2018
Expected contract length
Up to 2 years
No specific location, eg they can work remotely
Organisation the work is for
Home Office - Digital, Data and Technology
Budget range

About the work

Why the work is being done
Home Office Platform for Storage (HOPS) enables transformation across the Home Office by providing the mechanism by which digitised documents and data can be ingested, stored, accessed and interrogated. Removing the need and cost to move paper around the organisation it creates better re-use of data by being able to interrogate electronic files.
The aim is that HOPS becomes the strategic document store for the Home Office; built to GDS standards.
We require development of enhancements and onboarding of multiple customer groups during FY 18/19 and beyond; this needs to move at pace and allow users to realise benefits quickly.
Problem to be solved
Feature enhancements and development is required to support digitisation across the Home Office, establish HOPS as the strategic choice and make it an attractive solution in terms of capability, cost, and ease of onboarding for our customers. Work includes:

● Integrating HOPS as back-end document storage for a large case management system
● Onboard multiple user groups; projected user number growth FY 18/19 is to circa.10,000 users.
● Expose an API already built; enabling a new pipeline of circa. 3.9M documents p.a. into HOPS
● Continuous improvement
● Implement data migration policy, as users request, ensuring HOPS has suitable scalability
Who the users are and what they need to do
As a Home Office manager, I need to:
●understand HOPS features and how they will benefit my users so that I can make an informed decision to onboard
●understand how costs for using HOPS are derived, what they will be for my users and that design is shaped on lowering costs so that I can make an informed decision to onboard
As the HOPS project, I need;
●the service to provide the capabilities to meet our user's needs so that we deliver our goals
● help to make it a commodity that people want to use
Early market engagement
Any work that’s already been done
Currently in private beta, with around 300 users, the HOPS API is a RESTful web service to allow a simple means to add and retrieve both documents and metadata. Supported formats are pdf /jpeg/png - additional formats are in backlog.

Built using Alfresco One and deployed onto an AWS infrastructure, in a load balanced configuration (HA Proxy). Infrastructure builds and deployments are automated, using tools such as Terraform and Ansible, and Amazon services including Elasticache, S3 and EFS.
A viewer has been built using the GDS toolkit, which is a tactical component available prior to integration with case management systems.
Existing team
The supplier will mainly be working with a team of civil servants on this project but you will be expected to engage and build relationships with key technical and delivery leads across other parts of the Home Office. This will include the 3rd & 4th line support supplier, and a handover from our incumbent delivery supplier.
Current phase

Work setup

Address where the work will take place
Main location will be split between Croydon and Sheffield but with regular travel and, or, a base in Liverpool or central London. The supplier will need to consider flexible working arrangements in order to support delivery and engagement in our main hubs, and to be co-located with our team. Travel to other Home Office sites dispersed around the UK may also be required. Supplier premises may be used for some activities; subject to prior agreement.
Working arrangements
We expect a supplier to be flexible to our needs and be able to genuinely make working with a mixed team across multiple sites effective, high performing and inclusive. This would include some minimum on-site working (duration to be confirmed) at the different locations and demonstration of innovative ways to facilitate true collaborative working. Contract value will exclude travel and expense costs and be based on capped time and material charges.
Security clearance
All staff must hold SC Security Clearance to operate on this project, or undergo clearance process prior to engagement. Evidence of existing SC is required at written-proposal stage. Current SC can be transferred from relevant Government departments.
We are willing to sponsor clearance process for additional staff, at supplier's expense.

Additional information

Additional terms and conditions

Skills and experience

Buyers will use the essential and nice-to-have skills and experience to help them evaluate suppliers’ technical competence.

Essential skills and experience
  • Experience in designing and delivering outcome based services that meet both user needs and business requirements
  • Experience of designing and implementing solutions using Alfresco One software and AWS Platform Services
  • Experience and knowledge in tooling used including (or similar): JetBrains, IntelliJ, Microsoft Visual Studio Code, Jenkins, Swagger, Postman, Keybase, Virtualbox, Vagrant, Gradle, Maven, Nexus, JMeter, Gatling, Grafana, MacDown
  • Experience and knowledge in languages used including (or similar): Java, Python, JavaScript, Bash scripting
  • Experience of successful large scale platform rollout, with a focus on enhancing and developing an existing product
  • Experience of successful collaborative working and client engagement as part of a multi-supplier delivery team
  • Experience of successful release planning with agile delivery teams to articulate detailed delivery plans and managing dependencies between scrum teams and project delivery dependencies
Nice-to-have skills and experience
  • Experience of on-boarding mid-delivery and delivering effective handovers from incumbents
  • Experience of designing tools consistent with GOV.UK styles
  • Experience of passing GDS service assessment
  • Experience in working in government within a similar context

How suppliers will be evaluated

How many suppliers to evaluate
Proposal criteria
  • Ability to adopt methodology and technical solution already developed, gain detailed understanding to allow further development/enhancement to meet user needs and project goals (Presentations should focus on this requirement)
  • Technical approach to API build and deployment (include a brief overview in your presentation)
  • Team structure - availability of suitable resources from required date and guaranteed provision of resources for specified lengths of the contract; mitigating high turnover of resource and time/cost impact
  • Essential skills and experience, including quality of submitted CVs
  • Innovation (any alternative proposals to deliver the services or to improve the quality of the services delivered without re-building it)
  • Value for Money/competitive whole life costs
  • Ability to explain to clients how the technology works and will deliver their requirements
  • Identification of risks and dependencies that might impact deliverability of the project, and suggested approaches to manage them (Presentations should focus on this requirement)
Cultural fit criteria
  • Collaborative working with Civil Servants and other suppliers
  • Transparent and collaborative decision making and reporting
  • Have a no-blame culture and encourage people to learn from their mistakes
  • Ability to add value
  • Skills transfer to Civil Servant team
  • Work effectively as part of a multi-disciplinary team with split-site working
  • Clear accurate communications that enables all to understand technical design
Payment approach
Capped time and materials
Assessment methods
  • Written proposal
  • Case study
  • Work history
  • Presentation
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence


Cultural fit




Questions asked by suppliers

1. What proportion of this project involves customisation of an existing Alfresco1 product and what proportion involves bespoke software development work?
Alfresco1 is our chosen product and the development will require configuration of this software. Approximately 80% of the main solution is developed using Java and Javascript in an AWS environment. In addition to this are DevOp deployments that use tools such as Terraform and Jenkins. Development of a tactical viewer, uses the GDS toolkit, has already been completed and the current intention is to keep this as a vanilla offering as possible with only minor adaptations. However, future user needs may dictate further change.