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Invitation to tender - IT0816a: Intranet web services



London Councils represents London’s 32 borough councils and the City of London. It is a cross-party organisation that works on behalf of all of its member authorities regardless of political persuasion.

Previously London Councils websites were built and managed in a single proprietary content management system: Tagish iSite. This platform has reached its end of life and will be switched off at the end of the 2016 and a replacement is required quickly. Tagish is built in Classic ASP and MSSQL. London Councils needs a new intranet to replace this platform and are committed to Drupal CMS.

The timescale dictates that we opt for a refresh of the design and migration of content. London Councils will carry out a content audit and update to information architecture. London Councils will also be carrying out a engagement period during August and September and require wireframe design options by early September 2016 to assist this.

London Councils also requires hosting, support (at least 4 hours per month required) and maintenance throughout, and for a period of one year. This will be subject to renewal following satisfactory performance.

This contract is also being advertised on GOV.UK Contracts Finder.

Please send your submissions to Oliver Hannan ([email protected]; 020 7934 9759) quoting reference number IT0816a by MIDDAY, Monday 12 September 2016.

IT0816a - Invitation to tender - London Councils Intranet refresh (Word)

IT0816a - Invitation to tender - London Councils Intranet refresh Appendix B Tender Submission (Word)

Any questions will be answered on this page as and when received.

General points

  • There have been a number of general questions about the size of server required. London Councils do not have access to the log files of our intranet server. There is a Google Analytics account associated with the site that will be made available to the successful contractor.
  • Previously the Tagish system housed the majority of the London Councils web sites. In 2015 London Councils, Orange Bus and Reading Rooms migrated the external facing parts of the London Councils web estate onto Drupal leaving the intranet on Tagish. It is therefore possible that documentation used for this will be applicable to this project.

Please read these questions before proceeding.

Bidder enquiries -  The deadline for raising any questions is Tuesday midday on 6 September 2016.

Q1. What the upper budget limit is? Received 26/8/16

A. This has now been added to GOV.UK Contracts Finder.

Q2. What's the possibility of London Councils agreeing to us doing the the intranet on Wordpress? Received 26/8/16

A. As stated in the ITT London Councils is committed to Drupal for the intranet CMS

Q2. Please could you advise which version of Drupal you are using for your external facing site. You will be aware that Drupal 8 is now live (we have recently developed in Drupal 8) although most sites are in Drupal 7 (or earlier). Do you have a view as to whether the intranet should be developed in 7 or 8 bearing in mind that 7 will be falling off over the next two years. Received 30/8/16

A. Drupal 7 is in place for our external site. We will take a view on using Drupal 7 or 8 based on advice from the contractor.

Q3. Is it possible to have a log-in to the existing system? Received 30/8/16

A. No, however Orange Bus; the previous supplier have offered to answer some technical questions within reason via this formal process. Send any qustion directly to London Councils

Q4. Please advise which firm is responsible for your internet Drupal site. Received 30/8/16

A. Reading Room – external website. Orange Bus – current intranet

Q5. Policy Projects Database Received 30/8/16

  1. the tender identifies that this is built in Tagish. It appears that this is out of scope but are we correct that it may come back into scope (given that Tagish has reached the end of its life).
  2. is their an API to Tagish to ease the intergrated log-in. If no API, is there documentation regarding the system?

A. a. London Councils do need a replacement for the exiting Policy Projects Database by Dec 2016

b. There is no API that we are aware of. London Councils and Reading Room undertook a more complex migration from Tagish to Drupal to launch the external site. Documentation from this could be applicable. London Councils are waiting further conformation on this.

Q6. Integration with LC external site Received 30/8/16

  1. Please refer to our over-arching question re Drupal 7 and 8 above noting that the two versions use different databases (accessible through APIs).

A. See Q2

Q7. Is the intranet phonebook an existing and separate system? If so, is technical integration information available regarding this system? Received 30/8/16

A.The phonebook is within the intranet CMS.

Q8. Is it possible for us to get access to your existing system to anticipate the migration process better or the format(s) of the data therein? Received 30/8/16

A. No, however Orange Bus; the previous supplier have offered to answer some technical questions within reason via this formal process

Q9. Do you have any current statistics available i.e. users, volume of downloads, etc.? This will impact the proposed new site structure and infrastructure. Received 30/8/16

A. There are fewer than 150 members of staff at London Councils. The majority of our traffic is to the phonebook, HR information, corporate information, the noticeboard and policies and procedures.  We are not currently tracking intranet downloads.

Q10. How do your current ‘members’ access the existing intranet and how do you envisage future access, either individual logins or SSO (Single Sign-On)? Received 30/8/16

A. Individual logins are currently used. We will take a view on using SSO or logins based on advice from contractors. The intranet is only accessed by staff at London Councils.

Q11. Would there be any particular style guidelines we would need to adhere to? Received 30/8/16

A. We have brand guidelines but these are not web specific

Q12. Are all your stakeholders involved in UAT? Received 30/8/16

A. No, UAT will be carried out by the Communications team

Q13. On page 13 of the ITT document (IT0816a - Invitation to tender - London Councils Intranet refresh) it stipulates that the three paper copies of the tender response must arrive by Friday 9th September, in contradiction to the rest of the document. Is this instance a simple typo? Received 30/8/16

A. Apologies this is a typo and it has been updated.

Q14. What is the thinking behind this range up to £54k  Received 31/8/16

A. The first tender of up to £25k was paused and replaced with this new tender.

Q15. Are we correct that the £25k budget is for Phase 1 and the additional £29k for hosting/support/maintenance noting a maintenance requirement for 12mos.  Received 31/8/16

A. Up to £54k is the full budget.

Q16. Is there an identified budget for Phase 2? Received 31/8/16

A. Up to £54k is the full budget.

Q17. Live server - please could you advise your current AWS hosting costs (will try to match).  Received 31/8/16

A. p/a £1,905

Q18. Staging server - do you require a staging server? Normally this would mirror the live one and so double the cost. Received 31/8/16

A. We would take advice on this although it may not be necessary.

Q19. We need please to understand more about the Policy Projects database so we can size the database rebuild - as currently identified this could be a significant piece of work. A log-in to the current database would be useful. Received 1/9/16

A. It is a very small database that acts as a project management tool. Details of the functionality are in the ITT and as stated Orange Bus; the previous supplier will be able answer technical questions

Q20. Users - are users maintained within the current CMS or is there an integration required with a third-party system for user management?

A. They are maintained within the CMS. We do have an API with Dotmailer email marketing software.

Q21. Site registrations and signups - how does this currently work? Can anyone signup and access the site? Is there a background approval process? Can you explain how the current log-in process works and what required - e.g. is this a true intranet (e.g. Hosted on a local network) or is it in fact an extranet (available to anyone via log–in)?

A. The intranet is only available to London Councils staff. Users are managed by the web team based on new starts and leavers. In respect to the two categories you describe it is an extranet

Q22. "The contractor will need to work with the digital agency responsible for Tagish, if possible to continue the life of the platform beyond Dec 2016 and definitely to complete the migration of audited content" - please clarify detailed expectations around this point so that appropriate costs can be estimated?

A. This is detailed in the ITT. Tagish has reached end of life by the end of December 2016. Any new contractor will need to work with Orange Bus, the previous contractor, to extend this deadline or if that is not possible to complete the migration of LC content into Drupal and deliver a working beta site by December 2016.

Q23. Integration with LC external site - require more information on what tasks the vendor is to undertake with respect to this point?

A. As part of the second phase a scoping exercise will need to be carried out to take a view on this integration

Q24. "the process of creating or modifying a page template should be as flexible as possible" - does LC have the relevant technical expertise (HTML, CSS, JS, PHP etc.) to create and modify CMS templates? 

A. LC has some technical expertise however this point relates to the ability to create on the fly templates and whether or not it is feasible as part of this project. There will be multiple users of the CMS and technical expertise should not be required.

Q25. Blogs - can all users of the site create their own blogs? Are the blogs moderated?

A. If possible, yes, all users should be able to create blogs. Comments would benefit from moderation

Q26. Jobs - "Users should be able to publish jobs to both the intranet and the LC external site easily" - per our understanding, only the intranet is within scope of this RFP, while the external LC site is not, and therefore publishing of jobs to the LC external site is out of scope of this RFP? Please clarify? 

A.  Please see Q23.

Q27."Our current sign in process is problematic. Smoother authentication, log in, registration and password request processes are required." - need more detailed information of current challenges faced?

A. Current users are often logged out automatically and the password reset process could be improved.

Q28. How many user access levels are currently in the system? Depending upon a certain user access level what kind of functionality do we need to have in the intranet? e.g. will there be a user restricted area for certain users and not for others etc?

A. We foresee there being 4 levels of access (titles are indicative). User, editor, admin, super-admin however we would take advice on this.

Q29. Event based content – can you give us a bit more detail for this please? Can you clarify what functionality this might require? Do you want people to confirm they are coming to the event for example? Can everyone see all events? Does it need to send out invites, make bookings, take payments etc?

A. Events based content would be content listed in a date driven format to advertise and promote events. Possibly with a custom CMS template. Payments are not required for any internal events we run. Bookings and invites would be useful functionality. We would take advice about their inclusion based on other priorities.

Q30. The custom database is currently a MSSQL Database, is it okay that when we rebuild the database we build it in MySQL instead of MSSQL?​ Or does it need to be in MSSQL?

A. We would take advice on which database build is best suited to this project.

Q31. what formats are the existing data are in for the purpose of migration to a Drupal 7.x platform?

A. (from Orange Bus) Microsoft SQL Server Database. This can be provided if required.

Q32. Just how bespoke is this ASP platform, because we want to know if it’s possible to transfer existing registered user credentials including passwords?

A. (from Orange Bus) Can provide usernames and basic user information but passwords are hashed within the database and unavailable

Q33. Is it possible for us to see the actual data structure/architecture or for you to provide a layout without risking sensitive data?

A. (from Orange Bus) Can securely provide a copy of the database to look at, otherwise no.

Q34. Does the current CMS solution build dynamic links on the fly, or is the intranet linking structure hard coded within the content?

A. (from Orange Bus) A bit of both. Links to pages and documents are dynamic. Image refs on pages are hardcoded to locations of images

Q35. Are documents managed, in or using the database, or just by the file system?

A. (from Orange Bus) Managed by the database. The full binary contents of all documents are held within the database.

Q36. Could a list of content relationships be provided, for example documents that are related, tags that relate content, or hierarchies that need to persist in terms of permissions to view content?

A. (from Orange Bus) There are many ways to relate content within the CMS, it would require significant effort to provide this list.

Q37. Policy Projects Database - it is not clear what tasks the vendor needs to understand with respect to this system. Is it possible for LC to give us access to this database? If not, can they give us the database entity relationship diagram to help us in our quotation process. Please  provide more detail (functional and technical information).

A.(from Orange Bus) We can provide London Councils a copy of the database which they can then distribute accordingly

Q38. LC has identified around 14 areas of core content based on departments and key stakeholders. We anticipate basing the site information architecture around these areas and the migration should follow this." - please can you provide a sitemap of the current site?

A. We cannot provide a full site map however the site has 359 pages divided aross these categories:

  • home
  • our structure
  • how we work
  •  community
  • hr
  • support