Invitation to Tender - Systems Development

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Vacancy - supplier

Invitation to Tender - Systems Development

WFD is looking for a technology service provider to project manage, design, develop, and successfully deploy solutions as part of a transformation of its cloud-based corporate systems architecture powered by the Microsoft 365 platform.

Overview

Westminster Foundation for Democracy (“WFD”) is the UK public body dedicated to supporting democracy around the world. Operating internationally, WFD works with parliaments, political parties, and civil society groups as well as on elections to help make political systems fairer, more inclusive and more accountable. 

We are a problem-solving, practitioner-led organisation that offers:  

  • High quality and impactful regional and country programmes that directly support the full spectrum of institutions in political systems to develop inclusive political processes, more accountable political systems, protection of rights and freedoms, and more pluralistic societies; 
  • Specialist analysis, research, and advice to inform policy makers on a range of democratic governance issues via its Centre of Expertise; and   
  • International elections observation on behalf of the UK.  

Aim of this Invitation to Tender  

WFD is issuing this Invitation to Tender (“ITT”) to a range of potential suppliers of services and would welcome a bid from your organisation. 

WFD seeks a service provider to partner with WFD to deliver a target technical architecture for its corporate systems that ensures that critical applications are able to efficiently integrate, adapt with the organisation, and provide the level of organisational reporting required at all levels.

Bid submission 

All bids should be submitted by 23:59 on 6 March 2024 in writing, must comply with the requirements of this ITT, and must include the information requested in the Bid Requirements below. 

The bid should be sent electronically and addressed to: Systems Procurement Team at procurement@wfd.org.

The same email address should be used for any questions related to this ITT.

WFD’s standard terms and conditions for tendering and key policies are found at Policies | Westminster Foundation for Democracy (wfd.org) and you can find a copy of WFD’s Code of Conduct at Code of Conduct | Westminster Foundation for Democracy (wfd.org)

Detailed Specification 

Objective 

Following a recent systems architecture review, WFD has decided to initiate a transformation programme to transition its current cloud-based corporate systems architecture powered by the Microsoft 365 platform and other external systems to a target architecture that ensures applications are able to efficiently integrate, adapt with the organisation, and provide the level of organisational reporting required at all levels. WFD is seeking a technology service provider that can partner with WFD to manage this transformation and design and deliver the improvements or new solutions required.

The key features of the transformationprogramme and target architecture will be:

  • A new data strategy and single data warehouse;
  • Robust requirements-gathering framework;
  • Standardised application development;
  • Effective change management process;
  • Redeveloped application(s) for managing new opportunities, programmes during implementation, and monitoring risks, activities, outputs, and outcomes associated across the portfolio;
  • Designing and delivering a single reporting tool; and
  • Developing a new contact/stakeholder management application.

The transformation programme will be overseen by WFD’s internal Outstanding Organisation Board, which will act as change acceptance board, and delivered in accordance with the Government’s Digital Service Standard, accessibility regulations and good practice, and WFD’s Managing Organisational Change and procedures. This includes WFD’s change project principles, namely: 

  • We will be opportunity/problem-driven and solutions focused
  • We will design and implement the project in a way that is user-centred and respectful of people’s time and commitment
  • We will be open and transparent about the changes proposed, the benefits to be achieved, and their realisation 
  • We will listen to the voice of our internal stakeholders to understand what they need and value 
  • We will always run an inclusive process involving staff from across WFD and do what we can to support them 
  • We will review the project results and take responsibility for continuous improvement 

Scope of work 

We are expecting the new target architecture to be built on the Microsoft 365 platform, including but not limited to leveraging M365 capabilities available through:
•    Microsoft Power Platform, in particular PowerApps, PowerBI and Power Automate
•    Azure App service
•    Python
•    SharePoint
•    Outlook
•    Dynamics Business Central 
•    Jet Reports

The transformation programme will adopt an incremental and agile approach and be delivered between April 2024 to September 2025.
The selected supplier will project manage each change project as part of the transformation programme, supporting/validating requirements gathering and performing all design, development, testing, and deployment tasks. A copy of the Systems Architecture Review, referenced in the ‘Objective’ section will be made available.

It is anticipated that the winning provider will also need to take on the ongoing maintenance and support of Microsoft Dynamics Business Central, with an initial 12 month term. 

Internal change management activities will be led by nominated WFD staff, with the support of the supplier.  

Deliverables 

Data strategy and warehouse

  • Validate existing data models and facilitate and document additional data modelling workshops, where required.

  • Implement data strategy that provides a consistent basis for all systems and applications to interact with 

  • Build single data warehouse using Dataverse

Requirements gathering 

  • Facilitate systematic requirements gathering activities relating to each proposed application development to ensure WFD captures, specifies, and documents its needs from its corporate systems and processes

  • Establish benefits realisation tracking processes

Develop new applications 

  • Design, develop, user acceptance test, and deploy new application(s) to enable new opportunity tracking and approvals, programme management, and monitoring information on risks, activities, outputs, and outcomes using the Microsoft Power Platform and integrated with Dataverse. 

  • Design, develop, user acceptance test, and deploy new application for contact/stakeholder management as a bespoke Microsoft Outlook add-in, integrated with Dataverse

For each of the above:

  • Create design documents including: all requirements, data dictionary (database schema), data glossary, wireframes / overview, licensing requirements, 

  • Develop and implement a data migration process 

  • Produce application user guides

  • Provide developer documentation including any source code

  • Provide training to users 

Implement fixes to existing applications

  • Deliver identified fixes to Microsoft Dynamics Business Central application. 

  • Integrate Microsoft Dynamics Business Central application with newly developed applications / sync with MS Dataverse, as required.

Deliver ongoing support and Maintenance for MS Dynamics Business Central (Option)

  • It is anticipated that the winning bidder may need to take over the ongoing support and maintenance of Microsoft Dynamics Business Central. These costs should be separately itemised.

Improve SharePoint architecture 

  • Deliver improvements to SharePoint version management for documentation

Create customised reporting tool

  • Design and develop a set of PowerBI reports, dashboards, metrics and reporting pipelines integrated with the Dataverse

Timeline 

WFD anticipates that the contract with the supplier will commence in April 2024 and continue until 30 September 2025.

Reporting 

In addition to producing a weekly update and a monthly report, the supplier will meet regularly with the Director of Operations, as Senior Responsible Officer for the transformation programme, and the Responsible Lead, the Head of Operations.

A representative of the supplier may be invited to join the quarterly meeting of the Outstanding Organisation Board.  

Working arrangements 

It is anticipated that the supplier will deliver the assignments and engage with WFD colleagues remotely, although in-person meetings and workshops may be held at WFD’s London offices. 

Minimum experience and expertise 

  • Expert knowledge of the Microsoft 365 platform and products. Solutions Partner for Microsoft Cloud would be advantageous.
  • Significant experience of selecting, configuring, and deploying SaaS platforms covering a wide range of functions (finance, operations, project management, HR) 
  • Significant experience of Python coding language, and others.
  • A relevant qualification and/or at least 10 years’ experience in a role relevant to the assignment (e.g., systems analyst, systems architect, solutions architect) 
  • A proven track record of using agile methods to design, build and deliver projects for clients that traditionally use waterfall methods.
  • A proven ability and commitment to share knowledge with permanent staff in the delivery team.
  • Familiarity with relevant industry standards relating to information management systems and security (e.g. ISO 9001:2015, ISO 27001:2022) 
  • Valid Cyber Essentials or Cyber Essentials Plus accreditation.
  • Proven track record in delivering similar assignments, supported by references and case studies. 
     

Bid process 

Timescale 

Below is the proposed timescale for the tendering process. Please note the dates are indicative and subject to change.   

Description

Date  

Issue ITT

7 February 2024

Closing date for receipt of completed tender proposals

23:59 on 6 March 2024

Shortlisting of bids

7 March to 22 March 2024

Supplier interviews/presentations to tender committee (if applicable)

w/c 25 March 2024

WFD announces preferred supplier

w/c 1 April 2024

Contract finalised and signed

w/c 15 April 2024

Bid requirements 

In general, the bid should include the following: 

  1. Organisational profile 
  2. The professional CVs of the proposed delivery team
  3. Proposed approach to satisfying each of the deliverables.
  4. A proposed agile approach to working together with the WFD team
  5. Financial proposal. This proposal should be clearly broken down by deliverable
  6. References and social value proposition
  7. Confirmation of compliance with General Terms and Conditions of Tendering 
     

Organisational profile:  

  • Company profile, including brief history and financial overview 
  • Case studies/credentials demonstrating relevant experience and skills profile    

WFD is particularly keen to receive bids from organisations which are – or are working towards becoming – living wage employers and that have a broadly representative and balanced Board from gender and ethnicity perspectives.

The professional CVs of the proposed delivery team:

  • The CVs of the team should clearly indicate how the team will be able to work with the tech stack outlined in the ‘Scope of work’ section.
  • In particular, WFD will be looking for profiles with these characteristics:

Senior developer

  • Key skills: Python (5+years), Database (SQL Server, Oracle, other), SQL, Automation tools (Power Automate, Power Shell), Power
  • Apps - Model driven apps, API development (FastAPI ideally), ideally experience of NodeJS.
  • Any experience of Microsoft O365 add in development is a bonus.

Data architect

  • Key skills: 5+years experience, normalised(transactional) and dimensional (analytic) models, SQL Server, SQL, data migration, data integration

UX designer

  • Key skills: Experience with User experience design and integration with requirements gathering processes. Understanding of O365 plugin interfaces and capabilities.  Experience with Model driven power apps.

Proposed approach to satisfying each of the deliverables: 

  • Clear explanation as to the proposed approach to meeting the specification set out in this ITT. 
  • Detailed project plan, including timelines, assumptions and dependencies, resourcing and risks. 

The proposed agile approach to working together with the WFD team:

  • Explanation of the key components of the  proposed agile methodology including roles, responsibilities and ceremonies. 
  • An approach to sharing knowledge with WFD permanent staff in the delivery team.
  • An approach to providing ongoing support of the applications. 
  • The bidder should provide evidence of how they define, measure and maintain good quality products and services.

 

Financial proposal:  

  • Full breakdown costings for the proposed delivery team 
  • Separate accounting of VAT and/or any other applicable tax, duty, or charge.  
  • Detailing of any discount applied in view of WFD’s not-for-profit status.  

References: 

  • The bid should include details of two references relating to similar goods/services provided in the last three years. Please note – referees will only be contacted once Preferred Bidder status is assigned. 

Confirmation of acceptance of General Terms and Conditions of Tendering:  

All bidders should also note the following:  

  • all bids should be submitted in English;  
  • all bids should be submitted in electronic form only; 
  • this ITT and the response may be incorporated in whole or in part into the final contract; 
  • only information provided in response to questions set out in this documentation will be taken into consideration for the purposes of evaluating the ITT; 
  • bids which are poorly organised or poorly written, such that evaluation and comparison with other submissions is notably difficult, may exclude the bidder from further consideration; and 
  • any bids which do not fully comply with the requirements of this ITT may be disregarded at the absolute discretion of WFD.  

Evaluation criteria 

WFD intends to shortlist providers based on their response to this ITT and will use the following scoring criteria.  

Description

Score   

Quality of bid document

15 %

Service offer and fit to specification

30 %

Value for money 

30 %

Professional profile, social value, track record and experience, and references / case studies

25%

Total Weighting

100 %

WFD will score each criterion using the following table: 

The proposal submitted omits and fundamentally fails to meet WFD’s scope and specifications. Insufficient evidence to support the proposal to allow WFD to evaluate. Not Answered  

The information submitted has a severe lack of evidence to demonstrate that WFD’s scope and specifications can be met. Significant omissions, serious and/or many concerns. Poor 

The information submitted has some minor omissions in respect of WFD's scope and specifications. The tender satisfies the basic requirements in some respects but is unsatisfactory in other respects and raises some concerns. Satisfactory.  

The information submitted provides some good evidence to meet the WFD’s scope and specifications and is satisfactory in most respects and there are few concerns. Good.  

The information submitted provides good evidence that all of WFD's scope and specification can be met. Full and robust response, any concerns are addressed so that the proposal gives confidence. Very Good. 

The information submitted provides strong evidence that all of WFD's scope and specification can be met and the proposal exceeds expectation i.e. exemplary in the industry. Provides full confidence and no concerns. Outstanding 

Tender Queries 

Any questions related to this tender should be addressed to Systems Procurement Team at procurement@wfd.org. 

Equal Information 

Should any supplier raise a question that is of general interest, WFD reserves the right to circulate both question and answer to other respondents, either via WFD’s website or by email. In this event, anonymity will be maintained. 

Annual reports 

Please provide a link or copy of your company’s latest audited annual accounts with the bid. 

Expected contract duration 

WFD expects to award a contract for a three year period, subject to an annual review.  

Other information 

If the potential supplier believes that there is additional information that has not been requested in the ITT but is relevant to your bid, please include that information as a separate attachment and explain its relevance to this ITT. 

Supplier FAQs

We will add questions and answers to this section as we receive queries, please check back regularly. 

Q: Is the WFD open to meeting with suppliers during this time?

A: We won't be meeting with suppliers during this time - the next round will include a supplier interview for those which are shortlisted.

Q: What is the turnover eligibility for this tender?

A: There is no turnover eligibility cap for this project. Suppliers will be assessed as per the 'Bid Requirements' and 'Evaluation criteria' outlined in the ITT.

Q: Contracts Finder gives the contract value at £50k. Is there a further breakdown you can provide on budget expectations, for example are you budgeting based on an expectation for a delivery team to be in place from April '24 through to Sept '25, or have you broken down expectations by product / application?

A: The 'budget' field on the Find a Tender / Contracts Finder sites is actually 'Minimum' budget, however this is not clear. We have modified this to £50,000, however we do not provide a maximum. We cannot provide a further breakdown of budget expectations other than those outlined in the ITT.

Q: Is the project open for subcontracting, and if so, can it be subcontracted to an Indian company?

A: For reasons of data protection compliance, we would need to ensure that any consultant(s) working on the WFD account are located in - and processing data within - the UK. Please note that the team submitting the bid must also be the prime contractor and be fulfilling the majority of the deliverables. We would not accept a bid which outsources all elements of the work.

Q: Please could we see a copy of the Systems Architecture Review?

A: We would not provide a copy of the Systems Architecture review at this stage, owing to the sensitivity of the document. The 'bid requirements' section sets out the specific bid requirements.

Q: Do you accept bids from a start-up with a highly skilled team with 10+ years of experience in handling requirements similar to your specification? If yes, then what do you expect in "References" & "Annual reports" field from a start-up, please advise.

A: We would accept a tender from a team with 10+ years of experience in handling requirements similar to the specification. We would be assessing this against the criteria stated in the tender document, which includes case studies and references and annual report / annual accounts and social value proposition. The scoring will need to take account of these in order to ensure fairness across all of the suppliers.

Q: Please could you let me know the number of full Business Central licences that you currently have and expected number of support tickets that you could potentially raise?

A: We currently have 30 Essentials users, the remainder are Team Members. We anticipate only key staff in the central Finance team would raise support tickets (8-10 people). We anticipate number if tickets to be in the region of 60-80 per year.

Q: Is there a template you would like us to use? I can't see on the page reference to one, or do we create our own?

A: These is no template for submission, this would be down to each supplier to create their own.

Q: Could we have a call?

A: As this is a new procurement, we need to ensure we treat all suppliers equally, and therefore we aren't offering calls at this stage of the procurement.

Q: What is the minimum value of the procurement?

A: The value on the contracts finder is set at £50k - this is an anticipated minimum value, although the notice doesn't make that clear. We don't publish maximum values in order to encourage competitive bids.

Q: The opportunity covers Business Central - we can support this but to evolve it or make functional changes we would work with a partner. Do you have a view on this or would you consider a bidder excluding this part?

A: I can confirm that we would accept bids which work with a partner for the Business Central element.

Q: Please could you clarify that you are expecting costings for each of the deliverables (as detailed in the deliverables table), and if so would this be for delivered outcomes or an estimation of the resource team needed to fulfill the deliverable?

A: Our preference would be that the costings are for delivered outcomes.

Q: For the data strategy are you able to provide all the systems and applications, and how many existing data models currently exist?

A: The applications we will require are:

  1. Application to track opportunities, approve programmes, manage the programme lifecycle and monitor information on risks, activities, outputs, and outcomes. This may be split into more than one application, although they will all need to be integrated with Microsoft Dataverse. It is anticipated that this / these will utilise PowerApps / Python.
  2. Contact and stakeholders manager app, integrated with Outlook as an add-in and utilising MS Dataverse.

Other items are listed within the tender document, and include:

  1. Fixes, improvements and ongoing support for Business Central.
  2. Version management improvements in SharePoint.
  3. Potential Dataverse integration opportunities with PeopleHR and / or Moodle (cannot be confirmed at present, until Operational Data Model is finalised).

In the current implementation we have independent data models for 7 applications (3 PowerApps applications, an external application for monitoring risks, activities, outputs and outcomes, Business Central, PeopleHR and Moodle.)

We are in the process of developing integrated operational and analytical data models that will satisfy reporting requirements and business processes. We will use a Proof of Concept delivery approach and we expect close collaboration on this with our selected supplier.

Q: How many application should be assumed that need to be integrated with D365 Business Central?

A: We anticipate that, rather than directly integrating the applications with Business Central, that Business Central would integrate with MS Dataverse where required (to pull / sync data).

Q: How many fixes to D365 Business Central should be assumed for the costings?

A: Approximately 16, although four of these items are training.

Q: What version of SharePoint is currently being used?

A: SharePoint Online

Q: How many Power BI dashboards / reports will need to be integrated into dataverse, and please can you provide the desired outcomes of the reports / dashboards so we can understand the level of complexity?

A: We currently expect two PowerBI reports. Both of which are already in use, but their semantic models need to be adjusted in line with the data strategy and Dataverse should be used as their data source. Our aim is to create a PowerBI reporting pipeline that can support iterative development of the reports as new or changing reporting requirements emerge.

Q: Is this a support consolidation exercise (ie multiple support arrangements with multiple partners / suppliers) whihc you are merging into one?

A: The aim of the excercise is to deliver a target technical architecture for its corporate systems that ensures that critical applications are able to efficiently integrate, adapt with the organisational reporting required at all levels. As part of the ITT requirements each submission should have a proposed agile approach to working together with the WFD team, includingan approach to providing ongoing support of the applications that are developed as part of the project. It is anticipated that the winning provider will also need to take on the ongoing maintenance and support of Microsoft Dynamics Business Central, with an initial 12 month term.

Q: Please can you confirm which framework if any you have realised this tender through or have you invited a certain number of suppliers to quote for you?

A: WFD's standard terms and conditions for tendering and key policies are found at Policies | Westminster Foundation for Democracy (wfd.org) and you can find a copy of WFD's Code of Conduct at Code of Conduct | Westminster Foundation for Democracy (wfd.org). The tender is open to any number of suppliers.