UK electricity and gas market watchdog Ofgem has put £30m on the table as it seeks vendors with project management, developer, infrastructure and data skills that can whip out a hard hat - or a soft swivelly chair, we suppose - and respond to "urgent" calls.
Launching a framework divided into six lots, the regulator said it needed the outside contractors “to respond to urgent requests to complete projects, develop and deploy regulatory changes, resolve system failures and deliver continuous improvement initiatives.”
According to the tender notice, the framework is designed to give Ofgem pre-arranged “digital resourcing partners” who will provide specialists with depth skills according to each framework lot.
The money is divided equally: £5m for each lot, which cover quite a range of skills. In summary, lot one is focused on project management, business analysis and consultancy, while lot two is seeking infrastructure consultants, technical testing people, and data security bods.
Lot three covers data management services and includes requests for data network support services, data network management services and database software development services. Next up is the network infrastructure bag of goodies including consultancy services, data network management services and the vaguely named “miscellaneous business and business-related services”, all of which make up lot four.
Nearly there now. Lot five looks for software programming, systems and software integration consultancy services. And finally, lot six is all about training. Phew.
All the technologies named on the tender revolve around Microsoft and its cloud services. So that’s Azure, Modern Workplace solutions, Windows 10 Desktop and SharePoint.
Adding to the impression that Ofgem is a Microsoft shop, three years ago the regulator tendered for an “expert organisation, experienced in implementing Microsoft Azure tenancies” to help it “implement processes, procedures and technologies to ensure Azure spend is minimised, and that we obtain best value for money from our Azure implementation as a result.”
But Ofgem also appears to rely on Amazon Web Services. A tender from 2018 said it worked with Valtech on a supplier Secure Data Exchange to support energy customers in switching suppliers, built in Azure, based on the Hadoop file system, using an Apache Spark cluster with jobs written in Python. Meanwhile, Thoughtworks helped build an Energy Customer Database in AWS using the Terraform open-source infrastructure as code software tool, with configuration work also done via GoCD server, a continuous delivery tool.