Awarded to Cognizant Worldwide Limited

Start date: Monday 2 September 2019
Value: £5,100,000
Company size: large
HM Revenue and Customs

Java Delivery Outcomes

11 Incomplete applications

9 SME, 2 large

23 Completed applications

12 SME, 11 large

Important dates

Published
Friday 21 June 2019
Deadline for asking questions
Friday 28 June 2019 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications
Friday 5 July 2019 at 11:59pm GMT

Overview

Summary of the work
This will contribute toward functinal and non-functional deliveries for CDS to ensure progress in its performance, stability, security and functionality etc. The suppliers are required to possess expertise in delivering robust, secure, stable and performant deliveries with high level of quality both functionally and non-functionally using Agile principles and methodology.
Latest start date
Thursday 15 August 2019
Expected contract length
2 years
Location
South East England
Organisation the work is for
HM Revenue and Customs
Budget range
£5.1m

About the work

Why the work is being done
Customs Declaration Services (CDS) is a large scale IT change programme being delivered through a combination of in house delivery groups supplemented by external suppliers and procured Commercial off the Shelf (COTS) software. CDS is a strategically important programme for HMRC and is driven by the principal need to first dual run with, then replace and decommission the CHIEF (Customs Handling of Import/Export Freight) system.
C&IT Delivery Group is the group responsible for the delivery of a number of CDS products and components and also for taking the lead in the CDS end-to-end technical integration.
Problem to be solved
HMRC user have one set of authentication/credentials. Historically users accessed both internal/external services/applications using multiple sets of logon/credentials.
The Single-sign-on (SSO) authenticates end user applications, eliminates further prompts when users switches applications during same session. Session and user authentication service permits users to one set of login/credentials accessing multiple applications. Design/develop(SSO solution), functionalities supporting design/development/testing/deployment(support)
Java Micro-services enhancements/maintenance. Identifying performance/enhancement issues, building(product backlog), design/develop/deploy changes, Test/maintain stability and performances. Designing Circuit Breaker preventing network/service failure from cascading to other services.
Component integration tested pillar features delivered to Test/Release Group for further testing before promotion to live.
Knowledge/Transfer between teams
Who the users are and what they need to do
Users need to be able to electronically submit HMRC declaration data so the movement of my commodities across borders can be maintained with minimal disruption and delay.

As HMRC, to ensure all electronic HMRC declaration data is valid and conforms to UK policies and tariffs so the correct duties can be collected, appropriate statistical information can be harvested and the UK borders are protected against prohibitions and restrictions.

Users need to have the right tooling available to monitor the stability and performance of the CDS system so that the service is available potential disruption to the service can be investigated.
Early market engagement
Any work that’s already been done
JAVA Delivery - is being completed by various suppliers working on JAVA Delivery through releases .
Existing team
HMRC has a mixed team including in-house staff, existing Service Providers plus contingent labour contractors.
There are currently a number of teams working on these services, in Southend. The successful supplier team will work with these existing capabilities. A part of the role of the supplier will be to assist HMRC in growing its own capability and we will expect a level of support for our staff at all levels from apprentice through to senior management.
Current phase
Beta

Work setup

Address where the work will take place
Alexander House - Victoria Avenue - Southend - Essex
Working arrangements
During the period of engagement the supplier will report directly to the C&IT Head of DevOps providing performance metrics and reports to demonstrate progress.
HMRC will provide regular feedback to the supplier facilitating continuous improvement. Line management and control of service delivery will be wholly retained and the responsibility of the supplier.
If it becomes necessary to replace appointed individual (s) with another equivalent resource during the period of this engagement, HMRC will be informed of the decision so they are able to access to systems and accommodation.
Security clearance
BPSS but if working in Production and Non Production then SC is required which HMRC will sponsor

Additional information

Additional terms and conditions
To be added. Various clauses but predominantly about tax compliance in UK

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 experience of providing the quality java spring boot roles required to form a Scrum Team, scaling up and down teams to accommodate new requirements or changes within delivery pipeline
  • Have demonstrable experience of collaborative working with a client's ‘in-house’ teams, including coaching and mentoring, and knowledge sharing.
  • Have demonstrable experience of successfully developing services using a pragmatic Agile approach.
  • good understanding of DevOps principles and benefits of CI/CD and are able to demonstrate their ability to stay up to speed with current developments in platform automation and DevOps principles.
  • Have demonstrable experience of proficiency with tools commonly used for automating deployments, particularly those used when adopting a DevOps framework such as open stack tooling.
  • Have demonstrable experience of providing additional and/or value added activities like contributing toward non-functional requirements through CDOS expertise to ensure stable, secure , robust and quality product.
Nice-to-have skills and experience
  • Supplier would ideally have had a significant multi team contract with a public sector body
  • experience of working on a multi-active cloud platform using open source software that includes Jenkins, java sprint boots etc

How suppliers will be evaluated

How many suppliers to evaluate
4
Proposal criteria
  • technical delivery
  • aproach and methodology
  • team structure
  • value for money
Cultural fit criteria
  • Able to start on the work immediately.
  • Have excellent communication skills with staff at all levels of the organisation
  • Be willing to collaborate and partner, including with other suppliers and HMRC staff at all levels.
  • Proactively share knowledge and experiences with members of team, especially with junior HMRC staff.
  • Be innovative and promote ideas and suggestions as applicable
  • Focus on achieving value for money in all activities
Payment approach
Fixed price
Assessment methods
  • Written proposal
  • Presentation
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence

50%

Cultural fit

10%

Price

40%

Questions asked by suppliers

1. Could you confirm the requirement for CDOS and meaning of the acronym please.
CDOS stands for Collaborative Devops, it is a framework of best practice Devops processes using Anisble/Jenkins and GIT.
2. Is there an incumbent in place?
I&T has a mixed team including in-house staff, existing Service Providers plus contingent labour contractors.
There are currently a number of teams working on these services, in Southend. The successful supplier team will work with these existing capabilities. A part of the role of the supplier will be to assist HMRC in growing its own capability and we will expect a level of support for our staff at all levels from apprentice through to senior management
3. Could you expand on the term "CDOS" please?
CDOS stands for Collaborative Devops, it is a framework of best practice Devops processes using Anisble/Jenkins and GIT.
4. Is there a current incumbent or preferred supplier?
There is/are incumbent supplier(s) but there is no preferred supplier
5. Is this opportunity to replace an incumbent supplier?
Are your existing suppliers able to expand their contractual TCV and apply for this opportunity?
This is an opportunity for any supplier, incumbent or new, to apply for this contract.
Existing suppliers, are able to apply for this opportunity as long as they are on the DOS, framework.
6. Please would you confirm what evidence you are seeking in response to the following question?
Have demonstrable experience of providing additional and/or value added activities like contributing toward non-functional requirements through CDOS expertise to ensure stable, secure, robust and quality product.
The evidence we are seeking are as follows:

• Previous experience in successfully implementing DevOps capabilities like:
a. Monitoring and alerting (which are configurable by the team operating the service) for measuring for e.g.:
i. Key system metrics such as latency, response time, resource utilization etc. for high volume real time systems using tools like SenSu and ELKs
ii. Business objectives derived from system metrics for example, measuring response time for customer satisfaction.
iii. On-demand access to real business metrics such as time on site, application opens, customer sign-ups etc.
7. Please would you confirm what evidence you are seeking in response to the following question?
Have demonstrable experience of providing additional and/or value added activities like contributing toward non-functional requirements through CDOS expertise to ensure stable, secure, robust and quality product.
b. Deployment and Testing patterns for building applications or services that can be reused.
i. Deployment reusable patterns alleviate the immediate pain and confusion of deployment. Continuous automated deployment using tools Kubernates, Ansible etc. Continuous integration and deployment tools like Jenkins etc.
ii. Encode reusable tests into automated testing tools like selenium, cucumber (java based) and share access to those tools along with the resulting reports or dashboards among all stakeholders.
8. Please would you confirm what evidence you are seeking in response to the following question?
Have demonstrable experience of providing additional and/or value added activities like contributing toward non-functional requirements through CDOS expertise to ensure stable, secure, robust and quality product.
c. Teams working collaboratively to contribute toward continuous improvements in tooling and process in accordance to HMRC guidelines. (Monitoring, Alerting, Deployments etc.)
i. Improvements to tooling to support cross-boundary data sources such as semantic logging; or new collaboration across teams at functional boundaries such as provisioning or release automation
d. Configurations being managed by a configuration management tool.
i. Automated configuration management using tools like Gitlab.
9. Please could you confirm the location(s) for this work – i.e. will personnel be required on site in Southend, or will they be able to work remotely (e.g. from our own offices)?
They will be required on site in Southend Alexander House.
10. For essential criteria: good understanding of DevOps principles and benefits of CI/CD and are able to demonstrate their ability to stay up to speed with current developments in platform automation and DevOps principles.
What do you mean by platform automation? Is it technology specific? Is it inhouse external facing automation?
Platform automation means using automation throughout the software life cycle, using various automation tools and realising the benefits through it. It is not technology specific. It is in house but not external facing automation.
11. Can you please confirm what you mean by “such as open stack tooling
Open stack is a group of open source tools that are used to build and manage services on cloud.
12. Please could you clarify your definition of multi-active in demonstrating experience of working on a multi-active cloud platform?
Multi-cloud is the use of multiple cloud computing and storage services in a single heterogeneous architecture.
For e.g.
AWS and Azure cloud computing used for two different functionalities.
Active-active or active-standby load balancing between multiple cloud providers spreads the risk across platforms, minimising the possibility of downtime.
Resource allocation can failover between providers optimising fault tolerance.
13. The requirements for this opportunity include a significant element of maintenance. Please can you confirm whether you have a requirement for out of hours support such as a call out arrangement?
Currently there is no-on call request in place however there is plan that the team will be required to work out of office hours from Sept 2019.
14. Please can you confirm what you mean by “working on a multi-active cloud platform” in the “Nice to have skills and experience”?
Multi-cloud is the use of multiple cloud computing and storage services in a single heterogeneous architecture.
For e.g.
AWS and Azure cloud computing used for two different functionalities.
Active-active or active-standby load balancing between multiple cloud providers spreads the risk across platforms, minimising the possibility of downtime.
Resource allocation can fail-over between providers optimising fault tolerance.
15. We would like to ask the following question please.
What is meant by “multi cloud”? Is this multiple vendors or do you mean multi active as in multiple regions/zones within the same vendor?
Your response is much appreciated. Thank you.
Multi-cloud is the use of multiple cloud computing and storage services in a single heterogeneous architecture. It meant multiple vendors like AWS and Azure.
16. Could you share the size of the team and roles that you are expected to start in Mid-August? And the ratio SC versus BPSS ?
The size of the team and roles will be dependent on the live support requirements. HMRC will initiate the SC for the identified resources.
17. Could you share detailed outcome deliverables for this opportunity?
The detailed outcome deliverable for this opportunity will be shared post evaluation phase
18. Could you please advise whether external suppliers provided support with Discovery? with Alpha? and, if so, who the respective suppliers were.
Yes, HMRC have engaged with external consultancy during various discovery phases.
19. Please ignore question 18 above. This refers to another contract
Please ignore question 18 above. This refers to another contract
20. Could you clarify please how many scrum teams does the requirement cover?
The requirement for this opportunity in terms of scrum teams will be shared after the evaluation phase.
21. In addition to core development, will the scrum teams be expected to support production (defect analysis, fixes), release application development and application maintenance?
Yes, they will be expected to support production (defect analysis, fixes), release application development and application maintenance.
22. Will there be an expected handover to a HMRC team during the contractual period? Or is the intent for a handover to HMRC (or another supplier) at the end of the contract?
Throughout the life cycle of the contract there should be knowledge transfer/hand over where possible as best practice.
23. In addition to code delivery, are there specific deliverables required and defined or will these be generated in an agile process and mutually agreed at the start?
Yes, there will be specific deliverable against each statements of work which will be mutually agreed at start of the work .
24. SC clearance is mentioned as required for both Production and Non-production environments, can HMRC please confirm whether this means that all members of all teams require SC clearance.
HMRC will initiate or transfer the SC for the identified resources based on the requirements.
25. The Problem to be solved section, states: "...design/develop/deploy changes, Test/maintain stability and performances. Designing Circuit Breaker....". Can HMRC please confirm whether the supplier will therefore be responsible and accountable for the low-level design of the developed services and components based on HMRC high-level design (functional, non functional and transactional design) and requirements.
The low level design of the developed service is the responsibility and accountability of the supplier. It needs be approved and agreed with the appropriate technical authorities in HMRC.
26. Can HMRC please clarify whether the requirement is for all the scrum teams to onboard at the same time or whether a staggered onboarding phase is acceptable?
The requirement for this opportunity for on-boarding team members will be shared after the evaluation phase.
27. Can HMRC please clarify whether the supplier has the ability to select and use their own tooling or if the choice of tooling is constrained/mandated by HMRC (e.g. specific tool to be used for all defect management for the purposes of collaborating with existing teams). If so, can HMRC provide a list of such mandated or existing tooling?
The requirement for this opportunity for in terms of tools used will be shared after the evaluation phase.