Solution specification and procurement


The Business Perspective


Whether you are planning to introduce new solutions and services or replace

existing ones, it is essential to consider all aspects of the solution, including

potential opportunities and the ‘art of the possible’, and not get constrained

by existing ways of working or thinking.


This process can be helped by looking at what other organisations are doing

and following best practice where it is appropriate to your situation.


Once you get to the point of engaging with the market place, be prepared for

the amount of work and industry knowledge required to run a procurement

exercise to ensure it is legal and auditable.


Some of the questions you’ll need to answer include:


What is the best approach to get stakeholder buy-in and reach agreement on the requirements?

Does the proposed business case have a sound foundation that includes total cost of ownership?

Will the proposed technologies work in the existing ICT environment?

What potential suppliers and solutions are available in the market place?

What needs to go into the RFQ or ITT?

What are the most appropriate evaluation and award criteria?

Our Expertise


The ICT specification and procurement activities we typically lead and undertake include:


Solution specification and procurement

Requirements gathering and discovery

Options analysis

Outline and full business case

Solution specification and architecture design

Market and supplier engagement

Procurement approach and documentation – RFQ and ITT

Procurement management

Proposal scoring and commercial dialogue

The types of solutions we have helped to specify and procure include ERP, EDRM, CRM, case management, membership management and unified communications.


Examples Assignments


A selection of our relevant assignments is shown below.


College of Policing – Solution Architecture


We developed the business, information and solution architectures to enable the College to become an independent professional body. Our main activities included:


Identifying the detailed requirements for the IT systems and the interfaces between new and existing systems

Supporting the selection of a supplier to provide a professional membership management system

Creating an implementation plan and supporting the development of a business case


Financial Conduct Authority – Software as a Service


We managed the procurement of a major CRM ‘Software as a Service’ (SaaS) product. The objective was to develop and agree a specific set of contractual terms which took into account the nature of the FCA’s business, whilst still having to reflect the SaaS constraints and modes of operation.


Media Company – Unified Communications


We advised the CIO through the requirements gathering and procurement phase as the company tendered for a single contract that would provide better value services.


Land Registry - Cloud ERP Selection


We reviewed the Cloud ERP selection and procurement approach, the business, functional and technical requirements, and the implementation plans. We made recommendations on improving the quality of requirements, engaging with suppliers and preparing solution demonstrations, and strengthening their subsequent delivery road map and plans.


University Hospital Southampton - ERP Replacement


We supported the definition of the procurement strategy and formulated a robust procurement pack which would support the issue of an OJEU notice.  We worked with the business and procurement teams to finalise the requirements through a number of workshops and interactive sessions.  We brought our wider experience of specifying and procurement finance and procurement systems for public sector organisations to ensure a robust service could be obtained. The contact value was approximately1M-£1.5M over 5 years.  The procurement was split into a number of lots and will be delivered as a cloud service.


Department of Health - Corporate Services Improvement Programme


We provided support to the procurement of an innovative ERP solution to underpin a major change initiative to improve back office efficiency and effectiveness. We helped to confirm the procurement route and we worked with the Department’s business and procurement team, appointed lawyers and programme board to prepare and plan the procurement. This included development of the Statement of Requirements, Award criteria at PQQ and ITT stages, ITT documentation and the evaluation strategy.


Home Office - Solution Replacement Using Cloud Services


We provided consultancy to the National ANPR Service programme that aims to replace the existing distributed system with a new cloud-based national service. We contributed to the outline and full business cases, showing the envisaged architecture. We set technical evaluation criteria for the procurement process and participated in the shortlisting process. We undertook a comprehensive independent technical review of each of the suppliers’ submissions. We also worked with the cloud service providers that each supplier had partnered with to understand how the capabilities of the service provided would meet the stipulated security impact levels required for this service.

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