Awarded to Cadence Innova

Start date: Tuesday 7 May 2019
Value: £2,500,000
Company size: SME
University of Exeter

Digital Transformation - Programme & Project Partner. Call off Contract

26 Incomplete applications

21 SME, 5 large

40 Completed applications

31 SME, 9 large

Important dates

Friday 1 March 2019
Deadline for asking questions
Friday 8 March 2019 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications
Friday 15 March 2019 at 11:59pm GMT


Summary of the work
Provide PMO services and roles to support the Accelerated Digital Transformation Programme.
Latest start date
Monday 20 May 2019
Expected contract length
24 month call-off agreement during which time individual work packages will be commissioned.
South West England
Organisation the work is for
University of Exeter
Budget range
The total value of all work packages commissioned under the proposed call-off agreement will not exceed £2.5m.

About the work

Why the work is being done
To support the University in achieving its vision of being ranked among the Top 10 in the UK and Top 100 worldwide it is launching a Digital Transformation Programme that will implement cutting-edge digital products and solutions for its students, teachers, researchers and staff.

The education service aspires to provide high-quality teaching and learning experiences to students, the research service aspires to multiply research impact by creating more avenues for research and collaboration.
Technology-enabled interactive spaces, intuitive delivery and interdisciplinary learning play a key role to support staff better, use resources optimally, and build our impact regionally, nationally and globally.
Problem to be solved
We need a partner to help us manage a significant digital transformation programme, comprised of constituent projects to create and enhance our digital services, which will give the University of Exeter the competitive advantage when recruiting and delivering services to students from around the world, and supporting academics in their teaching and research.
Who the users are and what they need to do
Students need reliable and intuitive systems to support education and wellbeing, academic content, information about timetables or ways of working collaboratively with peers in both digital and physical spaces.

Academics need to be enabled by digital tools to deliver high quality education content and support to students with clear information, including processing of work. To be able to engage in, produce, collaborate, track and store research in line with the highest academic standards, in accordance with funding body and partner rules.

Administrators need clear, simple, reliable, integrated processes to support students and academics with seamless and responsive administrative functions.
Early market engagement
Work has been done at the University with external partners to shape the various work packages needed to deliver the enhancements required. Using market expertise and delivery experience within the UK Higher Education sector the overall programme has been scoped to give reasonable expectation of costs and time of delivery across all elements
Any work that’s already been done
Existing team
You will be working with the Chief Information and Digital Officer, the Digital Programme Director, the Assistant Director of Solutions Delivery and the wider Exeter IT team. You will work collaboratively with other suppliers and project teams working on digital projects. You will also work with senior stakeholders across the University of Exeter and partner organisations who manage the services that digital systems support.
Current phase
Not started

Work setup

Address where the work will take place
We are flexible about the location of the team, however it would be anticipated that an appropriate contact is on site five days a week throughout the delivery period in our Exeter offices.
Working arrangements
How individual capabilities are delivered depends of the requirements of the work stream so flexibility is key, but discussion will be required if a large number of people need to be accommodated on site in Exeter due to physical space constraints. Currently internal IT teams use O365 and MS Teams for collaboration. Any working arrangements put forward must allow collaborative working with internal teams to support knowledge sharing and skills development.
Security clearance
Supplier team members need to sign a non-disclosure agreement . There may be a requirement for some work to require security clearance checks. This will be detailed in the Statement of Work. The selected partner must follow UoEs IT and security procedures,policies in relation to access, data and equipment use.

Additional information

Additional terms and conditions
We will retain ownership of Intellectual Property Rights created during contract. Clauses 13.8/13.9 ofthe Call-Off contract will be deleted and read N/A.
Sub-contracting is only permitted with the University’s prior written consent. The University to have sight of sub-contract terms
Call-Off Contract will be updated to specifically link confidentiality to University’s IPR.
Indemnity provisions will be extended to include breaches of IPR.
Right reserved for fixed price Statements of Work; Supplier shall not unreasonably withhold agreement to such requests.
Requirement to add a formal condition for the supplier to transition services into BAU and the commercial agreement regarding this milestone

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 of coordinating delivery across programmes taking specific briefs from the Design and Architecture team and seeing them through to implementation using programme, project and change management capabilities.
  • Ability to provide roles which include (but not be limited to): PMO lead, programme/project managers, project support, commercial lead, financial lead and support, business case author, and communications lead.
  • Have evidence of managing complex digital delivery programmes.
  • Have evidence of working on complex digital transformation programmes with many dependencies and integrations with backend and legacy applications
  • Have evidence of iteratively delivering complex transactional digital services in accordance with agile development project phases from Discovery/Alpha to Live in the public sector
  • Have evidence of effective development; and creating digital services that have met the Government Digital Service Standard
  • Have evidence of iteratively delivering complex user interfaces and tools.
  • Have evidence of creating modern, modular software platforms
  • Evidence of delivering digital services using modern software development technologies and demonstrated understanding of applying appropriate security controls
  • Have evidence of using data to enable the delivery of digital services.
  • Have evidence of creating data products and services
  • Have evidence of building capability in client departments and leaving a self-sufficient, sustainable internal capability
Nice-to-have skills and experience
  • Experience of working in the education sector within a HE environment.
  • Have evidence of successful agile delivery methods combined with at pace governance models.
  • Experience in the following toolsets JIRA, Planview, MS 0365 & Teams.
  • Experience in the following frameworks or approaches PRINCE2, MSP, SCRUM, DevOps, Waterfall, LEAN & ITIL

How suppliers will be evaluated

How many suppliers to evaluate
Proposal criteria
  • Work History, including experience of the essential and nice to have skills and experience – 15%
  • Approach and methodology, including experience of the essential and nice to have skills and experience – 10%
  • Ability to scale resources as requested – 10%
  • Team structure, resourcing models, experience of working alongside clients in co-located - integrated teams, representative CV’s of key roles of the people involved in making the contract successful– 10%
  • Case studies with supporting references. We will follow up on all references given during evaluation so contact must be clear – 5%
Cultural fit criteria
  • Work as a team – Collaborate, establish good working relationships, generate team spirit – 4%
  • Innovate – Act on initiative, drive improvements, balance risks – 4%
  • Build capability – Encourage learning, share knowledge, address capability gaps, act on feedback – 4%
  • Focus on delivery – Focus on goals, set stretching targets, take responsibility for delivery – 4%
  • Provide value for money – Cost awareness, forecast and monitor performance, identify and address inefficiency – 4%.
Payment approach
Capped time and materials
Assessment methods
Written proposal
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence


Cultural fit




Questions asked by suppliers

1. Is there an incumbent
No incumbent.
2. You have asked for a programme and project delivery partner yet also included essential requirements for "evidence of effective development; and creating digital services" and "... modular software platforms" i.e. specific technical skills can you advise on whether you are really looking for a Systems Integrator or delivery partner to coordinate internal and supplier resources
We are looking for PMO support from a firm who have an awareness of software technologies and digital transformations with digital specialist PMO experience. We do not expect the roles in this work package to deliver code or integrations but understand the concepts and technology that it takes to deliver them.
3. The requirements are broad and touch upon daily interactions between Students, Academics and Administrators. The University has undertaken work to shape the various work packages to deliver the enhancements and has scoped out a programme to deliver its vision.
Are you able to provide a summary of the scope for the constituent projects that have been identified at this stage?
No. The constituent projects have not been scoped at this stage. The current opportunities will shape these.
4. Student numbers have grown to around 24k. Are any of these remote students enrolled on online education programmes, if so how many fall into this category?
Yes, although currently less than 1000 students but this is a growth area for the University.
5. The University mentions growth in online learning, how will this impact growth in students over the next 5 years?
We are unable to provide figures on our projections however the University have shown consistent growth in previous years.
6. Can you share ROI expectations, specifically a high level breakdown of how you see the expenditure delivering the required returns.
Until future work packages are defined we are unable to provide further detail. The work packages currently being tendered will create and support and ROI roadmap.
7. We would like to gauge key drivers behind the investment case, i.e:
1. Maintain steady growth and reduce cost-to-serve your Student population.
2. Ramp up Student growth without increasing cost-to-serve.
3. As 2 above but with reduced costs.
ROI cases have not yet been established
8. We are interested to understand what level of impact the University envisages automation, machine learning and AI will have on the process of delivering education from an Academics point of view.
We see substantial development opportunities in this area
9. we can imagine a world where Academics can be free of time consuming tasks and therefore able to spend more time on the delivery quality and individual needs of each Student.
Does the University and its Academics see this as a key requirement?
That is certainly one possible perception of how the future may be, the ROI roadmap will be a factor and the two work packages being tendered will shape the projects
10. What is the University’s stance on bootstrapping and customising existing platforms, both Open Source and commercial in nature?
We do not understand the relevance of this question for the PMO work package, it may be relevant to subsequent work packages but not this one.
11. What is the estimated annual budget for running the digital platform(s) post delivery?
This will depend on the platforms delivered throughout the project.
12. For the Essential Skills & Experience – our organisation has strong experience in all points, but we have not yet worked with Government and therefore have not yet created services to the Government Digital Service standard, but are confident we would be able to do so. Is it mandatory that we have previously worked with Government in order to be a supplier for this contract?
No this is not mandatory
13. Could we please arrange a call or meeting with the project team to discuss the programme of work in more detail?
This is not possible
14. We are a global agency with significant experience partnering organisations across the public sector, including higher education. One of the essential criteria listed is "creating digital services that have met the Government Digital Service Standard". We have delivered dozens of projects that fully follow and comply with GDS standards and approaches, with the exception of the final clause of "Test the service from beginning to end with the minister responsible for it." We always of course do this with the primary sponsor. Do you not wish to hear from potential partners if they have not met this final criteria?
No, this is not mandatory.
15. Could you elaborate on the process and planned time scales for evaluation and contract award following the down-select to 4 suppliers?
Bids will be evaluated in line with the Digital Marketplace guidance. The University is looking for a swift turn around on the initial evaluation.
16. Noting that this is a Call Off Contract and you have made reference to the Digital Outcomes and Specialists 3 Framework Agreement Call-Off Contract can you provide some detail on who specific Work Streams are likely to be placed on contract? Our assumption is that individual Statements of Work (SOW) will be brought onto the contract (at Schedule 3) as a result of negotiation with the Buyer to address specific Work Streams. Can you confirm your view and offer an insight into how the specific scope and duration of these SOWs will be agreed collaboratively prior to them being enacted?
We anticipate that high level analysis and planning will be required before work begins but we do not envisage a full SOW will be required. The PMO will work to a pipeline of effort but not necessarily a SOW.
17. By becoming a project management partner would this exclude our organisation from also being a delivery partner?
This will be assessed on a work package by work package basis.
18. What is the anticipated team make-up regarding split between project management role(s), QA, development and UX?
Not known at this time as it will be based on programme of work to be defined.
19. What is the expected team size range? For example, the minimum team size, maximum team size and the length of the notice period to scale the team up and down.
Not known at this time as it will be based on programme of work to be defined.
20. We notice the University is procuring for 2 separate Digital Transformation opportunities, if we were able to offer discounts by bidding for both can we show that?
Yes, this would be welcomed.
21. Will the existing partners that have developed the work packages also be bidding for the provision of these services?
We do not know at this stage
22. Is it possible to see an outline of the work packages and plan for delivery of the enhancements to understand the full extent of the services required?
The work packages advertised will define the full delivery roadmap
23. Are there any more detailed service descriptions that can be shared?
Please define your meaning of service descriptions
24. How do the University of Exeter want the representative CV’s to be provided?
Down selected bidders will be informed at that stage
25. Does the University intend to appoint a single supplier to provide all the required services?
No but it may be the case if a bidder is down selected and successful on both opportunities
26. There are two opportunities currently advertised to support Digital Transformation at Exeter University with a budget range of £2.5m. Our assumption is that the total budget range across both opportunities is £5m. Is this correct? Or is it 2.5m across both opportunities?
The individual budgets published are for each work package. £2.5 million per work package.
27. Can you confirm what information, if any, will be shared with potential suppliers who are selected for the next stage?
No further information is available at stage
28. Is there a roadmap of the projects and activities that can be shared to help us prepare an architecture resourcing plan?
No.The two work packages currently advertised will develop those
29. Please could you name the external partners that the University has been working with to date to help shape the various work packages?
This is confidential
30. Is there an anticipated profile of demand for each of the roles?
Until the work packages are fully defined we cannot provide this information.