Awarded to Numiko Ltd

Start date: Sunday 30 June 2019
Value: £300,000
Company size: SME
Ravensbourne University London

Invitation to tender - Ravensbourne University London, website redevelopment project

28 Incomplete applications

25 SME, 3 large

48 Completed applications

46 SME, 2 large

Important dates

Thursday 31 January 2019
Deadline for asking questions
Thursday 7 February 2019 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications
Thursday 14 February 2019 at 11:59pm GMT


Summary of the work
We are inviting tenders for a partner agency with demonstrable experience of building and developing large, consumer facing responsive websites (either on WordPress, Drupal or Umbraco CMS platforms) to redevelop Ravensbourne University’s website.

You will need to work with our existing digital team and deliver the website in April 2020.
Latest start date
Monday 22 April 2019
Expected contract length
2 years with a review after 1 year
No specific location, eg they can work remotely
Organisation the work is for
Ravensbourne University London
Budget range
£300,000 (including hosting, support and maintenance)

About the work

Why the work is being done is a critical business tool, but it needs to work much harder to help achieve our strategic and financial goals around student growth, and to more accurately reflect our brand differentiation, core offer and services.

We are keen to enhance the user experience and maximise interest in our courses to increase applications and enrolments. The website must also meet the needs of our commercial and educational partners. Ideally, we would like it to launch in March/April 2020.
Problem to be solved
An audit and review of our website has confirmed that the design and user experience require action.

Navigation isn’t intuitive so it can be hard to find pages, and moving between those pages isn’t always logical.

Our visual identity also needs to be more immersed in the website to bring out our creativity and innovation.

We are seeking a new CMS platform that will suit our complex requirements and bring content and technology more closely together.

The existing web content will need a complete overhaul so that it better supports the user journey, especially student conversion.
Who the users are and what they need to do
As a student or parent, I need to easily find information on courses, student services and open days so I can decide if the university is for me/my child.

As an industry professional or alumni, I need to feel confident in the Ravensbourne brand so I or my organisation can collaborate on future projects.

As a current student or staff member, I need a website that reflects who we are, so I feel proud to contribute content to it.

As a potential funder or partner, I need the right resources so I can decide whether to develop a future relationship.
Early market engagement
None undertaken.
Any work that’s already been done
Last year Ravensbourne University commissioned an external agency to conduct an audit of our website. This focused on the following:

(a) A high-level review of the site’s content, navigation, content hierarchy, messaging and visual approach
(b) A review of existing analytics and an SEO audit
(c) A workshop designed to map our broader digital strategic goals

The next step was a discovery phase, which laid the foundations for further work by examining the Ravensbourne University brand, our users, our technology needs and our visual approach, with the aim of recommending a new solution.
Existing team
The team consists of the:

(1) Head of marketing and communications within whose team the website sits

(2) Digital project manager who currently looks after the technical aspects of the existing website

(3) Digital content manager who manages our web and intranet content

(4) Programme IT project manager who will provide advice and input on the project

(5) Website redevelopment project manager (TBC). We aim to recruit for this post imminently. The project manager will be the main point of contact for the winning agency
Current phase
Not started

Work setup

Address where the work will take place
Ravensbourne University London
6 Penrose Way
London SE10 0EW
Working arrangements
The project will be delivered collaboratively in a quality-controlled environment, applying Prince2-Agile principles with pre-defined approval gates agreed by the Project Management Office (PMO).

Regular communication is essential, including weekly status review sessions and client access to project tools.

The supplier will identify a core team to work closely with Marketing and Communications, PMO, and subject matter experts across the university, on agile iterations and time-boxed deliverables throughout the project.

The supplier must attend on-site activities when required, in particular during IA, discovery, user experience journey mapping, content review, UX design and deployment support.

No expenses will be awarded.
Security clearance
No security clearance is required.

Additional information

Additional terms and conditions
There are no 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
  • Have demonstrable experience (3 live site examples) and track record in building and developing large, consumer facing responsive websites, on either WordPress, Drupal or Umbraco CMS platforms
  • Have demonstrable experience of strong responsive design work that closely reflects organisational brands and evidence of content design skills that optimise engagement
  • Be a full service digital agency with a full complement of roles such as IA,UI, UX, technical, build, development, support, project management and account management
  • Have experience of content strategy, migrating and rationalising content from an existing site
  • Have demonstrable experience and skills using project management tools and methodologies
  • Have experience of providing supporting technical and architectural documentation
  • Have experience delivering digital services to at least a AA WCAG 2.0 web accessibility standard and an awareness of WCAG 2.1
  • Have experience of optimising sites for continued improvement using mainstream analytics platforms
  • Hold or confirm commitment to obtain cyber security essentials certification before starting work
  • Have a good understanding of, demonstrable experience in, and provides guidance on, content optimised for conversion (CRO), SEO (on-page, architecture and technical) and engagement
  • Provide examples of successful website integrations with APIs, other applications and databases/feeds
  • Have experience of building search pages that can use tools (e.g. faceted, sort, displays, filters)
  • Have experience of information security controls demonstrating that core principles outlined in common information security frameworks (ISO27001, CSC, NIST) are actively applied to both development and service delivery work streams
  • Maintain the use of appropriate security and encryption protocols such as TLS 1.2 and is able to demonstrate this through regular vulnerability and penetration testing exercises
  • Demonstrate compliance with the GDPR and UK Data Protection Act 2018, with sufficient technical and logical controls applied to maintain the confidentiality, integrity and availability of personal data
  • Demonstrate the hosting environment provides an excellent user experience with <2000ms load times from any location
  • Provide a fully replicated test and development environment, for the suitable testing of system and plugin upgrades, configuration changes
  • Demonstrate that the hosting environment meets Disaster Recovery RTO (1hr) and RPO (1hr) times
Nice-to-have skills and experience
  • Can meet the planned start date of April 2019
  • Experience of building higher education websites
  • Experience of working with not-for-profit organisations

How suppliers will be evaluated

How many suppliers to evaluate
Proposal criteria
  • Further breakdown of criteria and scoring will be provided after shortlisting
  • Demonstrate the proposed technical solution
  • Demonstrate a transparent financial structure and fair pricing for the project
  • Demonstrate that the team has relevant individual qualification and skills and capacity to complete work
  • Demonstrate how the project will be kept on track, meet requirements and delivered to time and to budget
  • Demonstrate approach to project methodologies to deliver project
  • Demonstrate outline of approach to testing, quality assurance and training and support
  • Proven relevant web development and user centred design skills and experience from case studies and references
  • Demonstrate how risks and dependencies will be identified, and managed
Cultural fit criteria
  • Share knowledge and experience with other team members.
  • Challenge the status quo with realistic and workable solutions.
  • Be comfortable standing up for their discipline.
  • Accepts responsibility for work.
  • Be able to present in layman's terms.
  • Be adaptable and consultative in approach. Be able to win buy-in from staff by being transparent and collaborative.
Payment approach
Fixed price
Assessment methods
  • Written proposal
  • Case study
  • Work history
  • Reference
  • Presentation
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence


Cultural fit




Questions asked by suppliers

1. Would you consider an alternative, Commercial-Off-The-Shelf CMS to WordPress, Drupal or Umbraco if;

a) The supplier had extensive experience in the HE sector,
b) They met ALL of the other essential criteria, and,
c) The solution was equally as cost-effective
We may consider alternatives but would need reassurance of how widely the solution is used, the depth and availability of resources for improvements, support, development, and enhancements.
2. We asked a question last week – the answer to which will determine whether we can tender for this opportunity. If the answer isn't received until the 13th (and the submission date is the 14th) we simply wouldn't be able to submit in time.

Could we ask that the answers are returned to offer a fair amount of time to submit a response.
The deadline for suppliers to submit questions is Thursday 7 February.

We are busy compiling all the answers and you will see replies appearing this afternoon until tomorrow 5pm.

Thank you for your patience.
3. How many internal users/content contributors are there?
35 internal users that contribute content sporadically.

2 active users that are in the CMS daily.
4. How do we join the advertised Q&A session?
Digital marketplace Q&A - Monday, 11 February - 10:00 – 11:00

To join the video meeting, click this link:

Otherwise, to join by phone, dial +1 440-732-0264 and enter this PIN: 184 678 505#
5. What are the current usage volumes (no. visitors/sessions) per month for the last 12 months?
Period 07 Feb 2018 to 06 Feb 2019
Page Views 1,925,224
Users 282,804 (UK users 207,819 and London accounted for 130,314)
Sessions 478,786
Pages/session 4.02
Avg Session Duration 00:02:22
Devices: desktops - 56.7%, Mobiles - 39.6%, Tablets - 3.8%
OS: iOS 33.52%, Windows 30.11%, Macintosh 19.58%
6. Your choice of CMS's cover both php and.NET. Would you consider an alternative CMS such as EpiServer which has additional functionality?

Or, are you limiting your CMS choice to open source with no annual licensing fee's?
We may consider alternatives but would need reassurance of how widely the solution is used, the depth and availability of resources for improvements, support, development, and enhancements. Of course, we'd also need to see how it would serve us and see what it can do.

Regarding licensing and other fees, we aim to implement a solution with low overheads going forward.
7. Would you allow the redevelopment work to leverage the supplier’s offshore resources if the supplier can provide enough evidence for data privacy and data protection?
Yes, provided the following are upheld; data privacy, data protection, fast and reliable reaction times to issues/bugs, high-quality service levels,
guaranteed of a UK contact to have regular face-to-face meetings with.

The offshore resource must work in compliance with our regulatory frameworks and availability must fall within the core substantive working hours.
8. Who was the agency that conducted the audit of your website and did you run the Discovery phase internally or with an agency? If the latter, who were they? In both cases is an incumbent agency also bidding for this work?
This is an open tender process, and we welcome all eligible companies - No agency is incumbent.

When answering questions the digital marketplace requests we 'remove any reference to the supplier’s name or any confidential information about the supplier' - so we are unable to say.

The research and audit were conducted by Ravensbourne and an external agency - we don't know if they will apply and the same rules will apply to them.

The audit report will be made available to all the successful shortlisted suppliers ahead of providing evidence of their skills, experience, and a written proposal.
9. Is there a particular rationale behind the chosen list of CMS solutions and are you 100% committed to the CMS solutions listed? Are vendors therefore not allowed to propose a solution that might be more appropriate to a Higher Education institution?
Not 100% committed. We may consider alternatives but would need reassurance of how widely the solution is used, the depth and availability of resources for improvements, support, development, and enhancements.

Of course, we'd also need to see how it would serve us and see how flexible and easy the CMS is to use.
10. You stated that the project will be delivered applying Prince2-Agile principles. Could you give some brief background/rationale for this? Do you currently use Prince, or Agile, and what are your levels of experience/comfort with each?
Our projects are delivered applying Prince2-Agile principles, the specific approach will be specified during initiation.
11. The opportunity states that the solution should be built either on WordPress, Drupal or Umbraco CMS platforms. Can you clarify the reasons why these CMS platforms are mandated?

Perceived value versus TCO?
Mandated by IT/Business?
Would the stakeholders allow bids proposing alternative technical solutions?
We may consider alternatives but would need reassurance of how widely the solution is used, the depth and availability of resources for improvements, support, development, and enhancements.

Bespoke, closed support, and possibly licensing structures that limit us to a specific supplier and toolset will not be considered.
12. Can you please confirm if you would consider other leading open source content management systems/frameworks?
We may consider alternatives but would need reassurance of how widely the solution is used, the depth and availability of resources for improvements, support, development, and enhancements.

Bespoke, closed support, and possibly licensing structures that limit us to a specific supplier and tool set will not be considered.
13. You specify WordPress, Drupal or Umbraco as your possible content management systems. Would you be willing to consider a proposal for a solution built on Wagtail? Wagtail is Open Source and the preferred CMS within the NHS and other public bodies (
We may consider alternatives but would need reassurance of how widely the solution is used, the depth and availability of resources for improvements, support, development, and enhancements.

Bespoke, closed support, and possibly licensing structures that limit us to a specific supplier and tool set will not be considered.
14. We have experience of creating e-learning and recruitment portals but have not worked on creating a higher education website specifically.

Is this a necessary requirement or a nice to have?
This is detailed in the 'nice to have' section.

While it would be beneficial to have sector experience, we would consider working with a vendor from a non-higher education background.
15. We are currently in the process of ISO auditing right now.

Are we still eligible to apply?
Provided you can show your experience of information security controls demonstrating the core principles outlined in common information security frameworks (ISO27001, CSC, NIST), please apply.
16. Please can you provide details of what the next steps are following this initial application i.e. deadlines for the written proposal/presentation?
Q&A session to answer supplier clarification questions (Google Hangouts) - details see above no' 4.
Closing date for suppliers to apply - Thursday 14 February 2019 (23:59)
Deadline for shortlisted suppliers to provide evidence and proposals - Friday 8 March 2019 (17:00)
Successful agencies invited to present proposals at Ravensbourne - Thursday 21 March 2019 (17:00)
Tender presentations from the shortlisted agencies -Tuesday 2 April 2019 and Wednesday 3 April 2019
17. Who from your team will be scoring applications for this opportunity and what positions do they hold?
Chief Operating Officer
Head of IT Services
Head of Marketing and Communications
Digital Content Manager
Digital Project Manager
Management Accountant
18. Please confirm who the people on your selection panel are and their individual roles and responsibilities.
See above answer.
19. What is your current CMS? What are the biggest issues you have with it?
Our current CMS is Umbraco. If you fulfill our eligibility criteria and are shortlisted you will be sent the full report of the recently conducted website audit that details all found strengths and weakness of the current platform.
20. If appointed, we would be undertaking this project in collaboration with one of our partners. We have been successfully delivering projects with this partner in the past; a detailed contract to clarify the terms of our collaboration is in place.
Instead of working as two separate suppliers, we would be operating as one team and under the same contract.
Would it be possible to use some of our partner's case studies as evidence at this stage of the procurement process?
If you fulfill our eligibility criteria and have taken into account the criteria presented in the answers on this page, please do apply.
21. What are the environments are you looking for? Dev, Test, QA and Live?
We will need all, but inhouse (in Ravensbourne) we will only need access to the QA and live.
22. Can you provide details of how much of your teams time will be assigned to this project and whether they will be ready to start on the expected start date?
Yes, there will be a dedicated project manager assigned to this project and ready to start work on the expected start date. The existing web team has this project set as a priority so will also be ready to start work.
23. Is there a CRM involved?
Yes, we have a CRM - HubSpot. The CMS platform must be compatible with the current services that are interfaced with it as well as planned future interfaces (i.e. the new student records system, new CRM).
24. What are your key criteria for the successful performance of the site?
If you fulfill our eligibility criteria and are shortlisted you will be sent the full report of the recently conducted website audit that details the criteria we expect from a successful site.
25. Please confirm who the people on your selection panel are and their individual roles and responsibilities
If you fulfil our eligibility criteria and are shortlisted you will be sent the full details going forward
26. Was the discovery work you mentioned previously conducted in accordance with GDS standards?
It was not based on Government Digital Services (GDS) standards. The supplier used their own methodology / framework for the discovery work and report.
27. What is your intended infrastructure? E.g. IaaS, PaaS, SaaS
The organisation requires a fully managed offsite service
28. Are there any complex database environments attached? Is it transactional or are there other drivers for performance?
No, we do not need to integrate the website with a database environment. No transaction processing take place on website/CMS. No user log-in access systems, etc.
29. Could you advice if you are looking for a cloud based or private network solution?
The organisation requires a fully managed offsite service.
30. - How do you want us to ensure the new systems reflect/integrate with your asset management database?
- Any preferred ticketing system for bugs,issues? Or are you ok to use our systems?
- Any formal requirements to conduct demonstrating DR/BCP?
- Is sub-contracting/ bidding as a consortium of implementation partners acceptable?
- Is onsite presence of vendor technical experts expected during discovery/envisioning phase and/or other subsequent phases?
- There is no asset management system and no integration needed.
- We are fine with using your system if it's easy to use and provides an audit trail. We are keen to keep ongoing costs low so access at no extra cost is good.
- Contractual commitment confirming your ability to meet our RTO& RPO requirements will suffice.
- Yes, as long as full ownership and accountability lies with the primary supplier and that continuity in development and support can be demonstrated.
- Yes. In addition, ongoing support&dev must also be available during UK work hours. See RTO/RPO requirements.
31. - What's the preferred Hosting environment -public/private cloud/Data Centres?
- Is development of native mobile app in scope?
- Any preference of hardening standards or hosting of servers on CIS standards is ok?
- Any specific requirements for 3rd-party penetration test to be conducted prior to go-live? If so, any preferred partners for us to work with?
- What are current internal solutions for multi-factor authentication that we can leverage, integrate, use for development?
- Do you want the systems on which website is hosted, to be part of your domain?
-Is there any asset management DB in place currently?
- We seek any solution that is fully managed, secure, available, resilient and provides optimal performance globally.
- No
- Compliance with NIST or ISO 27001 is desirable however compliance with the 20 CIS Standards is also acceptable.
- Yes. This is confidential and will only be supplied to the successful candidate.
- This is not a requirement - the vendor would be expected to fully manage the service.
- Not currently but potentially we would introduce one in future.
32. - Does scope includes restructuring existing website features only or adding new features/functionalities/components?
- RPF mentions improving experience of Visual Identity. Is re-branding including Logo,digital marketing activities (SEO, SMO, SMM etc) also in scope?
- Could we get copy of result/report of Audit conducted of "work that’s already been done"
- Is Wordpress/Drupal/Umbraco Techstack mandatory or other appropriate techstack is fine? If not,could you clarify why not?
- What is the future daily hits, concurrent active users expected?
- Any upstream/downstream systems to be integrated ?
- Future Data transfer/data transactions expected?
Are we expected to procure any proprietary software/licenses?
- Scope is full re-implementation of website/CMS. No changes/new functionality required
- No. Re-branded recently but re-implementation/new implementation is in scope.
- Short-listed suppliers get report.
- Other appropriate tech_stack's can be considered if they can demonstrate future sustainability from development and support perspective.
- Aiming for high footfall of prospective students to information affecting choice for Ravensbourne (i.e.course_pages, student_information).
- Currently only embedding Hubspot forms, links to YouTube/Vimeo/Eventbrite/etc.
- In future likely need to integrate with systems through common API's. Potentially CRM, StudentRecordSystem, Enterprise Service Bus technologies.
- Unknown as yet, however budget specified must include all resources required.
33. Is the budget for this project £300k for the full 3 years or is this for the first year of delivery? Is there an extension budget available, if required?
The £300,000 is maximum total figure, incl VAT for 1st delivery year. If we apply a hypothetical slippage of 10% the total comes to £270,000. We are keen to see solutions that come in lower than the total figure and it covers the implementation of new website and has to be spent entirely in the next financial year if possible (we don't practice budget rollover and have to reapply for budget). We are keen to keep annual maintenance costs and further developments low as possible so focus is on getting website delivered in a fullest and final form before go-live.
34. What do you see as the identified risks around the delivery of this work?
Too early to discuss as a formal risk evaluation has not been concluded