Awarded to e3 media ltd t/a Great State

Start date: Monday 7 January 2019
Value: £382,500
Company size: SME
UWE Bristol

Digital experience platform for UWE Bristol

7 Incomplete applications

5 SME, 2 large

17 Completed applications

13 SME, 4 large

Important dates

Monday 30 July 2018
Deadline for asking questions
Monday 6 August 2018 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications
Monday 13 August 2018 at 11:59pm GMT


Summary of the work
Replace the current Immediacy content management system with a dynamic and resilient digital experience platform which can better meet the needs of our users.
Latest start date
Thursday 31 January 2019
Expected contract length
up to 2 years with break points
South West England
Organisation the work is for
UWE Bristol
Budget range

About the work

Why the work is being done
The current web presence is held on an outdated and unsupported CMS which lacks agility in supporting the business and its core audiences. This work aims to deliver a responsive, integrated and engaging digital publishing environment which places users at the heart of its development and is distinctive in the market.
Problem to be solved
Replace the existing unstable content management system with a robust digital experience platform and appropriate hosting services.
Who the users are and what they need to do
The website has a wide range of users with a number of different needs (staff, current students, prospective students, partners, businesses, researchers). We have captured our requirements as user stories which can be shared after first responses have been reviewed.
Early market engagement
We engaged the market in July last year and discussed project approaches and current platform options with a number of suppliers. We are aware of the project phases we can expect to work through and the preference for agile working. We are also aware of the indicative costs that different platform choices may present. Based on market discussions, we have agreed our project approach will build on our existing core programming skill base, which is .Net and Java. These will be used alongside presentation layer development skills, HTML, CSS, JavaScript and associated libraries. We are not looking to implement a system that requires us to introduce new programming skills.
Any work that’s already been done
A discovery phase was completed with an agency partner in May 2017. The outputs of this work were a matrix of user needs divided into themes, competitor analysis, a card sorting and treejack exercise used to develop a draft Information Architecture. Requirements have also been gathered from across the business and the project is being reviewed for dependencies with other change projects (CRM, student records, curriculum management) as well as how it fits with a wider enterprise architecure of business capabilities.
Existing team
The supplier would work with the UWE core project team (Project Manager, Web Manager, Development Manager, Enterprise Architect, Business Improvement Manager), the web content team based in Marketing and the Corporate Systems team based in IT Services.
Current phase

Work setup

Address where the work will take place
Frenchay Campus
Coldharbour Lane
BS16 1QY
Working arrangements
Remote working can be accommodated but ideally time would be spent on-site with internal teams to develop solutions collaboratively and to support sustainable transition of the project outputs into business as usual.
Security clearance

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 developing multi-channel publishing solutions for large complex organisations
  • Demonstrable experience developing applications and services with an enterprise level CMS/DXP product using .net and/or java
  • Experience of planning and managing phased roll out of new website architecture / transition from current to future state (including migration planning)
  • Experience designing and implementing content governance models and content lifecycle workflows
  • Experience implementing multi-site/multi-domain publishing on a single platform
  • Experience of testing and optimising websites for search engine rankings and speed performance
  • Experience of developing structured content
  • Experience of integrations with data feeds and content feeds from other systems or third-party channels
  • Experience of integration with a CRM system to support user experience of the website
  • Experience of authentication and single sign-on integrations
  • Experience of planning and implementation of content personalisation
  • Experience of delivering hosting solutions appropriate to size of website and volume of traffic/usage patterns
  • Experience of implementing and configuring appropriate search tools
  • Experience of integrating with databases and asset storage systems
  • Experience of embedding accessibility principles in the design process and delivering to WCAG 2.0 AA standards with awareness of WCAG 2.1 compliance
  • Experience designing navigation and page types to work with multiple devices
  • Experience of rapid development of prototypes and iterating design concepts informed by user testing
  • Experience of content modelling and taxonomy creation
  • Experience creating a pattern library, source code repository and digital style guide
  • Demonstrable experience of impeccable design work
Nice-to-have skills and experience
  • Delivering digital projects with HE institutions
  • Using AI and machine learning to benefit user experience
  • A-B /multi-variant content development and optimisation
  • Expertise in privacy/GDPR compliance and awareness of wider compliance requirements
  • Experience of developing solutions for “headless” publishing

How suppliers will be evaluated

How many suppliers to evaluate
Proposal criteria
  • How the approach or solution meets user needs
  • How the approach or solution meets our project goal
  • Proposed approach and methodology
  • Proposed technical solution
  • Team structure
  • Estimated timeframes for the work
  • Value for money
  • How the supplier has identified risks and dependencies and approaches to manage them
Cultural fit criteria
  • Collaborative and knowledge sharing in working style
  • Transparent approach to work management
  • Committed to deadlines and delivery
  • Open and honest communications
  • Evidence of tailoring responses to client needs
  • Able to work well with in-house teams and non-technical stakeholders.
  • Goes the extra mile to resolve project issues
  • Uses lessons learnt in working style
Payment approach
Capped time and materials
Assessment methods
  • Written proposal
  • Case study
  • Work history
  • Reference
  • Presentation
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence


Cultural fit




Questions asked by suppliers

1. How come you're looking to use enterprise CMS? Have you considered OpenSource?
The solution we are looking for needs to be .net or java based and support a logged-in experience which can integrate data views and the delivery of micro-services alongside core content management functions. If there is an OpenSource model that meets those needs we would be happy to review that option.
2. Given the size of the project and that you're requesting an enterprise CMS, is it fair to assume that your budget does NOT include license or hosting costs.
Based on our pre-market engagement, we believe that the budget allocated would cover the first year license for an appropriate platform as well as the services to design, build and configure the solution. We would also like to have an illustration of likely hosting costs.
3. Please can you confirm who did the Discovery phase? Do you have a preference to any Experience tech ie Sitecore, Adobe etc?
The discovery phase was completed by one of the larger agencies in Bristol. While we have researched the different platform options available we have not pre-selected one so as not to limit the project options presented in supplier responses.
4. Within the requirements for the project and the experience, it suggests that you are looking for a headless/API-first CMS. However, I've noticed references to enterprise CMS in some parts (including the questions from other suppliers). By enterprise CMS, are we still referring to the specific "headless" CMS (which focus specifically on content creation and delivery) or are you looking for the traditional CMS (e.g. Sitecore, Adobe, Episerver, Drupal) which can be used as headless CMS?
Primarily, we want to procure the capabilities that a mature CMS platform will offer but we also have a desire to adopt a headless publishing approach (structured content separated from presentation layer) in order to support multi-channel opportunities further along our digital roadmap. The project needs to deliver a responsive front end web experience not just the content delivery system.
5. You mention that the CRM change project is underway. Do you have the other systems already in place (e.g. data/content feeds from other systems, authentication systems, asset management, personalisation tools) or would you be looking for the supplier to make recommendations on the software you will need alongside the CMS?
There are asset management, data middleware and authentication elements already in our technical architecture which will need to be factored into the project. We are aware that there are dependencies between the CMS and CRM project streams as well as some overlap in what capabilities each solution could deliver. If suppliers are able to illustrate what CRM products would work well with their preferred platform that would be a benefit. A technical architecture map will be made available to shortlisted suppliers. We are moving towards a service orientated architecture with standards based integrations.
6. Can you confirm for Q3 in the essential expertise category: Is this related to Information architecture or 'software architecture
This is a reference to the size of our current content information architecture and the need to look at ways we could phase the transition from current website (which includes content in standalone systems outside the CMS) to future state website
7. For .Net projects we have another agency that we have successfully partnered with to deliver projects of a similar size and scale to this one. Would you consider a joint-bid from two suppliers?
Whilst we welcome innovative proposals of how our requirements can be met, the contractual relations can only be with a supplier who is already on the Digital Marketplace. Any subcontract relationship would have to be fully managed by the contracted supplier.
8. Is a headless publishing solution mandatory for this project?
We are keen to separate content from presentation to enable multi-channel use – hence the requirement for headless approach. If there are other ways of looking at that requirement, it would be good to hear them.
9. Please confirm if by asset storage you are referring to digital asset management?
We are looking at digital asset management and document management but this may be as part of the product and / or external integrated solutions.
10. Does "multi-channel" include all digital (web, mobile, SMS, electronic signboards) and non-digital (print ) or a subset of these ?
We are planning for the future with multi-channel delivery, but we do have a current requirement for building apps that consume content from a single source and a content to print requirement for leaflets.
11. What is meant by a “pattern library”? Does this mean a page / site template or a process model/guide – or both?
Regarding pattern library, this would entail detailing all the design elements that underpin the website in a reference repository for developers and UX roles to refer to when compiling new services.
12. What is meant by AI/artificial intelligence in the context of this project
In terms of artificial intelligence, we are aware of opportunities to automate some processes using AI/Machine learning (eg image tagging/content association). Any illustrations of how these technologies could be used to improve project outcomes would be welcomed.
13. Does the CMS we propose should support translations?
The website should support a translation approach as a capability, this could be built-in to the CMS or provided in another way.
14. What is level of Content Approval process you are looking for?
Content approval would be a maximum 3 step workflow, but mostly a 2 step approach covering editor and approver roles.
15. Total number of user base?
The current user base is 50 editors.
16. How many pages does the current sites that need to be migrated?
There are up to 5,000 pages in the core website structure and we would hope to reduce that page count as part of this project.
17. How many third party site integration?
Third-party site integrations include social channels (eg YouTube videos, Twitter feeds, Flickr galleries), with further integrations for forms, analytics and embedded content such as maps.
18. What is size of there total Digital assets being used in the current CMS?
Our asset audit includes over 1000 documents and over 3000 images.
19. Please can you advise on the timelines for proposal and presentation stages of the procurement process?
Shortlisted suppliers will be notified 10 September 2018. The closing date for proposal submissions will be 5 October 2018. Supplier presentations will be on 16 and 18 October.
20. What level of consideration/weighting will be given towards the requirements and dependencies of other change projects and the wider enterprise architecture of business capabilities?
The CRM procurement running in parallel to this process and the capabilities and integrations that will provide will need to dovetail with the DXP solution. How the DXP will fit in the wider enterprise architecture is important and shortlisted suppliers will be provided with a copy of our enterprise architecture to further understand our infrastructure.
21. How much consideration has been taken to establish where a CMS capabilities end and what technologies would be required to extend a CMS’s capability to enable UWE to deliver a holistic and seamless omnichannel end-user experience across a plethora of use cases for the personas referenced in your document?
We recognise that a holistic and seamless omnichannel end-user experience for a wide range of user cases and personas is not going to delivered by a single product but by a platform of integrated products. We will need to decide on the right combination of solutions to meet our user needs.
22. Based on your information, as a point of reference, what are the current CMS and CRM systems?
The current CMS is Immediacy, and we have some capability on Microsoft Dynamics CRM.
23. Question 5 refers to multi-sites and multi-domain. What sites and domains are currently in use? - - -These are examples of sites that have been delivered outside of the central systems that we would like to enable and host on a single platform.
24. You referred to multi-channels, what channels are you currently publishing to?
Our platform will need to support content and publishing to a wide range of channels including social media, mobile apps and digital signage across the campuses. We also have a requirement for print fulfilment.
25. Can you give us an idea of the overall scope of this phase of the project - is just to cover or are the sites linked to from the site also in scope, e.g.
The consolidation of our core content under a single domain ( is a project objective. Our core publishing is delivered on with other key content on and This content will be prioritised. Sub-domains will be reviewed on a case by case basis and where appropriate will form part of our content migration plan.
26. What are the immediate, medium and long-term change projects and wider enterprise architecture of business capabilities you reference in your project description?
The Student Journey Programme is a long-term change programme. There are a number of projects in the programme which are at various stages of delivery. As we develop projects we are working to ensure people, information, processes and technology align across the organisation, and where procurement is taking place which will deliver overlapping capabilities, we will assess the best place to deliver value. Shortlisted suppliers will be provided with a copy of our enterprise architecture. We want to understand what your offering is, what capabilities it supports, and how it integrates with other solutions.
27. Are there any preferred deployment tools already in place e.g. Octopus Deploy, TeamCity, etc.?
Jenkins is used for some deployments at UWE but currently there isn’t an overarching approach. So we are open to suggestions / recommendations as long as it has the ability to integrate with Visual Studio Team Services.
28. Are code repository tools currently being used, e.g. GitHub? For either this or deployment tools, would you be open to the supplier's recommendations?
The primary code repository is Visual Studio Team Services Git. This is our preferred approach but are open to recommendations for this and deployment considering the overarching value it would bring to the project and to UWE development practices over the long term. We accept the possibility that we may use different tools during implementation, if that makes working with the supplier easier, and then migrate to our strategic in-house tools at the end of implementation.
29. Are there any preferred project management tools in place, or are you open to using supplier's tools, such as Jira, Basecamp, etc.?
For development Visual Studio Team Services is also used for project management. MS Project Online is used for project administration. Jira is used for some specific corporate systems.
30. Is there a business preference for hosting, e.g. prefer to host internally, and not in the cloud, or vice versa?
One of UWE Enterprise Architecture principles is Cloud First, so our preference is not to host internally, SaaS or PaaS would be our preferred version of cloud.
31. How are they implemented, e.g. are they SaaS/managed service, local installations, etc.?
Currently the majority of our core systems are hosted at UWE but we are in the process of moving or replace as many as possible with managed hosting or cloud versions.
32. Are there APIs for these systems?
Our direction of travel is for systems to be integrate using a cloud hosted integration platform, so wherever possible there are API’s. We avoid point to point integrations.
33. Which of these systems are most likely to change (as part of another project) during the implementation of this project?
The only external system likely to change during the initial implementation of this project is the move to a cloud hosted curriculum management tool.
34. Are there any details you can provide (e.g. vendors, versions, etc.) regarding other solutions that will remain in the digital ecosystem e.g. asset management system, student record systems, CRM, VLE, LMS, extranet, etc.?
Currently our digital ecosystem doesn’t have tight integration between our website and other key systems, relying primarily on links out to other services or branded web applications hosted on subdomains. One of the objectives is to put in place the capability to more tightly integrate our digital ecosystem, even if this is not utilised during the initial implementation. Key integrations for the initial phase will be in our curriculum tool alongside document and asset management.
SRS – in-house
LMS – Symphony
VLE – Blackboard
Intranet – SharePoint
Student CRM - tbd
Target architecture diagram will be provided to shortlisted suppliers.
35. Do you envisage developers working alongside the selected agency within sprints in the first phase? If so, how many UWE developers do you see working on the project?
We expect UWE developers to be involved in the project to enable knowledge transfer and ongoing development of the platform.
36. Do you have an enterprise agreement with any cloud vendors for hosting? (this will help us guide our CMS & hosting recommendations)
We have agreements with Microsoft, Google and Amazon for cloud services.
37. Would you be able to confirm if the agency involved in the discovery will be bidding for the development phase?
No we don’t know if the agency involved in discovery will be bidding.
38. In terms of content migration, is this something you see UWE owning or would the selected agency need to carry this out as part of the overall delivery?
We see the migration as being a partnership between UWE and the supplier. If needed UWE will own the migration but are interested in any suggestions for automating the migration and / or reducing the manual effort. Any suggestions will need to assure quality of content, meet our outcomes and needs of our users.
39. Are there any available metrics for monthly visits/sessions to the current platform and detail of any traffic peaks?
Traffic on the website varies according to the academic cycle so it is probably most useful to gauge by an annual page view count. On our external pages (08.17 to 07.18) it was 26.23 million with the most popular page being the home page with a little over 2 million page views. Peak traffic happens during Clearing week. On results day in 2017 there was 168,000 page views.
40. Does UWE have any existing marketing automation solutions/partners already in place?
UWE does not currently have a marketing automation solution.
41. Are there any other systems in place that would need integration with the digital solution? For example, Identity Management/SSO.
As part of the initial implementation there are several integrations that will be required, such as news feeds, our curriculum feed and several web applications, as well as Azure AD for editor single sign on. Key will be creating patterns for ongoing integration using our iPaaS.
42. Is there a requirement to take ownership of any existing systems as part of the overall migration program?
Unlikely that the supplier will be required to take ownership of the management of any existing systems for the migration, but this will need to be confirmed during detailed planning.
43. Is there any documentation on existing ways of working in relation to workflows available to review?
No documentation. We have a dispersed team of content editors across the university where web will be amongst other administrative tasks. All edits require approval from the central team. Workflows will need to be developed as part of this project.
44. Was the output of your partner agency’s discovery phase validated with end users? How was their work and user stories validated?
End users and key stakeholders were involved in the discovery work which gave us confidence in the validity of the outputs.
45. During the discovery phase, was there any primary research conducted?
Yes, primary research was conducted with end users and key stakeholders.
46. Who are the primary content editors and what are their responsibilities/ what does their day-to-day look like?
We currently have a central team of a Web Manager, 1.5 Web Officers, 2 Web Editors and 1 Web Analyst/Editor that look after the core of the website. We also have a dispersed team of approx. 40 content editors across the university where web will be amongst other administrative tasks. All edits require approval from the central team. This structure is under review as part of the web transformation project and will almost certainly change alongside the systems and workflow.
47. If selected to move to next stage, could we have access to the discovery phase information and output?
All shortlisted suppliers will be given access to the same material to complete their submission, including relevant material from the discovery work.