Awarded to The Dextrous Web (trading as dxw)

Start date: Thursday 13 September 2018
Value: £605,825
Company size: SME
Crown Commercial Service (CCS)

Crown Marketplace Foundation

6 Incomplete applications

4 SME, 2 large

6 Completed applications

5 SME, 1 large

Important dates

Monday 16 July 2018
Deadline for asking questions
Monday 23 July 2018 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications
Monday 30 July 2018 at 11:59pm GMT


Summary of the work
This work will provide the technical and architectural foundations for future digital buying of CCS-CAs, together with several self-service user journeys based on GDS service design standards. These will be the building blocks and components for the future digitisation of CCS-CAs.
Latest start date
Wednesday 29 August 2018
Expected contract length
6 months (possible extension up to 6 months). Incorporating on-boarding and post development support
Organisation the work is for
Crown Commercial Service (CCS)
Budget range
£750k - £900k

About the work

Why the work is being done
Public sector users access multiple CCS commercial agreements (CCS-CA) to buy common goods and services. Currently, this is a manual, paper based process which is complex and hard to use. These need to be turned into digital services that allow users to access these CAs online and via a self-service guided user journey. There are five CAs identified for digitisation and this work will form the foundation of a platform to support more CCS-CAs in the near future.
Problem to be solved
CCS requires an initial team to support the building of a platform based on a series of CCS-CA’s that have common repeatable elements and similar user needs. Each CCS-CA requires a consistent user experience and approach to delivery across the user journeys to be delivered as separate MVPs for each CCS-CA. The timelines for public betas are: Facilities Management 09/11/18, Management Consultancy 26/11/18, Legal Services 26/11/18, Agency Supply Teachers 29/10/18, Apprenticeship Training Service 27/11/18.
Who the users are and what they need to do
The primary user will have limited or no knowledge of a CCS-CA or how to use it. This user will however have personal experience of online shopping. User research has highlighted confusion when choosing which CCS-CA is appropriate, how to run a procurement and then select a supplier. The user needs to: find the right CCS-CA, be guided through the buying journey, filter results, shortlist suppliers, find local suppliers and compare supplier services. The user will require assistance choosing the appropriate mechanism to buy the most cost effective and compliant way.
Early market engagement
CCS has run a full test phase to fully understand the core service needs of our end-users, their buying habits, procurement methods and the end-to-end expectation of the service. A full evaluation of the capabilities of SaaS solutions has been conducted and work has been undertaken with GDS to design and understand both architectural and services designs. These findings have been incorporated into the service documentation that will be made available to shortlisted suppliers upon completion of a Non Disclosure Agreement.
Any work that’s already been done
Discovery and user needs have been gathered for all the agreements and architectural designs. The Alpha is currently in the process of testing both wireframes and business requirements and will be available to the successful supplier.

Link to architecture decisions:
Existing team
The existing team includes commercial subject matter experts, technical architects, technical and business operations, analysts and user researchers. There are also key interactions with GDS teams. CCS has a number of third party delivery partners which the successful supplier would be expected to work closely and co-operate with.
Current phase

Work setup

Address where the work will take place
The Supplier will work in a mix of premises (including their own) in mixed teams with the client and other suppliers. The Supplier will travel as required to work and to attend key meetings, stakeholder engagement events etc. at the client's premises in London at 45 – 59 Kingsway, Holborn WC2B 6TE or other locations. The team and locations will be agreed during sprint planning meetings and may include CCS and other team members working from the suppliers office. Any expenses must be pre-agreed and must comply with the CCS Travel and Subsistence Policy.
Working arrangements
The Supplier will be working within a development team that consists of a Product Owner and Delivery Manager. Other CCS roles may be added from time to time, including technical, design and operations colleagues. It will be a truly mixed team between the supplier and other suppliers and CCS staff. They will need to work closely with GDS to understand how the to keep the service architecture and design in step with the Digital Marketplace. The supplier will need to work within NCSC Cloud Security Principles.
Security clearance
Some CTC cleared personnel would be an advantage and we can sponsor the application.

Additional information

Additional terms and conditions
Any expenses must be pre-agreed and must comply with the CCS Travel and Subsistence Policy.

The Supplier must comply with the Digital Service Standard.

The Suppler is to develop the service in line with the Cloud Security Principles, the Security Design Principles and the Bulk Data guidance.

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
  • Confirm you have built a microservice systems to at least public beta in the past 2 years using Java, Javascript, Ruby or Python, ideally in a complex multi-user environment. 2%
  • Confirm you have at least 12 months experience operating microservice software. Describe how this was gained, ideally in an environment covering incidents, high resilience, logging and disputes. 2%
  • Confirm you have 2 years experience building public cloud architectures using a script based 'architecture as code' approach and describe how this experience was gained. 2%
  • Confirm you have 2 years experience operating in Continuous Integration environments shared with multiple teams, ideally with third parties and describe how this experience was gained. 2%
  • Confirm you have 2 years experience performing user research and using that data to inform their build and describe how this experience was gained. 2%
  • Confirm you have 2 years experience of working with mixed supplier and customer teams and describe how this experience was gained. 2%
  • Confirm you have 2 years experience of iterative delivery starting with an MVP and continuously adding value and describe how this experience was gained. 2%
  • Confirm you have 2 years experience building WCAG 2.0 level 2 (or equivalent) accessible web applications and describe how this experience was gained. 2%
Nice-to-have skills and experience
  • Describe your experience in building AWS based architectures, the more AWS services the better. 2%
  • Describe your experience in Docker, ideally in an orchestrated technology such as Kubernetes or AWS ECS. 1%
  • Describe your experience in Terraform, ideally for a complete service architecture including pipeline. 1%
  • Describe your experience in Python, ideally in a web application. 1%
  • Describe your experience in Salesforce data integration and how this was gained. 1%
  • Describe your experience working in a way similar to Government Design standards, including external assessment based governance. 2%
  • Describe your experience in Government OFFICIAL security standards or similar. 1%

How suppliers will be evaluated

How many suppliers to evaluate
Proposal criteria
  • Summary: Describe your overall approach to delivering our outcome,how you will plan, build and manage the project including risks/learnings you feel are important for successful delivery. 6%
  • Architecture: Outline your approach for multiple MVPs, using common records services (parties, agreements, catalogues, user needs, tasks) and other services (sector specific services, user registration and authentication). 6%
  • MVPs: Outline your approach to delivering a user journey based on microservices within a task-list, e.g. user finds, selects suppliers and compares services. Detailed example will be provided. 6%
  • Team: Describe your team and roles to support the multiple MVPs together with how they will work mixed with civil servants and other suppliers on a shared platform. 5%
  • Working together: Describe how you will work so you can meet your commitments, whilst stories prioritisation and certain design and technology elements are not under your direct control. 6%
  • Value: Outline your approach to delivering a platform with several CCS-CAs, each delivered as an MVP to its own dates and user groups, developing minimal but extensible platform components. 6%
Cultural fit criteria
  • Present what your approach to measuring quality of code would be when working within a multi-supplier and customer team. 4%
  • Present how you meet the needs of different stakeholders with conflicting demands, working on multiple MVP’s with different time scales and how you will manage and report resource usage. 4%
  • Present how you will work with other suppliers and CCS teams to maintain delivery timelines where collaboration may introduce outside dependencies or pressures. 4%
  • Present your approach to sharing learning, feedback and technical solutions within teams and how you communicate this with non-technical stakeholders. 4%
  • Present how you will document, share and then handing over an MVP to another team which could be another supplier and/or the CCS operations team. 4%
Payment approach
Capped time and materials
Assessment methods
  • Written proposal
  • Presentation
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence


Cultural fit




Questions asked by suppliers

1. Are you able to confirm if this opportunity is the consolidation of the four which were cancelled yesterday (16/07/2018)? Thanks
The four previous opportunities have been replaced by this single programme.
2. We are one of the SMEs that was shortlisted in the previous four opportunities before you cancelled them - how should we respond to the skills and experience stage for this replacement opportunity? Should we be finding and forming partnerships with other suitable suppliers *now* and submit one response that reflects our combined skills and experience, or should we focus on describing our own skills and experience as an SME, leaving selection of final suppliers down to you?
If suppliers, including SMEs, feel that they can provide the appropriate outcomes in partnership with other organisations with whom they have relationship they they can rely upon to submit a contractable response, (i.e. a joint proposal they lead, based on contractable agreements-in-principle), we would welcome a submission of this nature. Equally, if the supplier is able to provide the required skills and expertise and can call upon the requisite resources, then we would welcome a response as a potential provider in their own right.
3. Good Afternoon, Please can you advise how this tender requirement compares to the g cloud competition you ran in May and how the two requirements relate to each other? Thank you
During the course of the G-Cloud call-off for the Crown Marketplace development phase, CCS reviewed scope and focus including how CMp is fully integrated across CCS to ensure successful delivery. A decision was taken to focus on delivering digital projects which were already underway. As a result the G-Cloud Call-Off was withdrawn. A further decision was taken that four separate build programmes advertised through DOS would be replaced with a single programme - the current advertised opportunity. This will provide technical and commercial benefits, whilst enabling greater reuse of functionality to speed up delivery.
4. Will you be awarding the DOS opportunity as advertised to a single supplier, or might the responses be used to select multiple suppliers?
Under the framework we are not permitted to award to more than one supplier, and as such any award will be made to a single supplier.

Please see further response to Q2 ("If suppliers, including SMEs,feel that they can provide the appropriate outcomes...").