A Prior Information Notice (PIN) has been issued by Defra, as a form of preliminary market engagement around future Hosting and Applications Management contracts. For more information on the PIN notice please visit the following link

Defra is preparing to procure a number of replacement IT services as part of the UnITy Programme - which aims to move to cloud based services, consolidate IT and reduce operating costs to Defra by 2019-20.

The UnITy Programme will procure a new service provider for the hosting and management of 800 applications supported on approximately 3100 servers. UnITy aims to refine and reduce this infrastructure footprint in line with Network Infrastructure Security & Technology (NIST) principles and cloud based technologies.


How to take part

Please send your responses to by Tuesday 10th May 2016. Please title your email “Hosting & Application Management Consultation Response”.

A supplier event is being planned in  May for prospective suppliers to understand the proposed procurement route, timelines and requirements.

We have created a Yammer group to engage with prospective suppliers and will send you an invite to this group on receiving your response.

We encourage SMEs to participate in this exercise.


The consultation

To inform Defra’s understanding of what the market can deliver we please answer the following questions. This exercise is for research only and your responses to this consultation will be treated in confidence. Your responses will not be treated as a commitment by Defra to award a future contract.


1.Data Centre Site(s):

a) Do you have a preference to Data Centre site strategy (ie Supplier location or Authority recommended and approved site(s)

b) What is the impact of that strategy decision on your cost and ability to provide Service?


2.Data Centre Managed Service:

What level of confidence would you have in utilising a third part management service such as Intelligent Hands?

3.Infrastructure Services: Asset Ownership

a) What is your preferred scenario for asset ownership? For Example Right to use, Vendor or Authority owned, Net Book Value or other?


4.Platform and Software:

What are your views with respect to coupling Platforms and Software within the same contract?  Please explain any benefits or disadvantages this may have in your solution.



How would you approach software management and support? For example, Sub-contracting to SMEs via the Prime Contract or any other model. Please explain any dependencies that you foresee.



a) Please provide a Rough Order of Magnitude (ROM) for the cost of transition and the approximate time frame for transition of services up to the service commencement date (‘Take-on’).

b) How would you expect to recover the cost of transition (Milestone, ongoing service charges, other)?


7.Commercial and Finance:

a) From your previous experience of working within a multi-vendor supply chain what are your key lessons learned?

b) Pricing Models: Typically how would you expect to charge for Services (Service lines, Fixed Price, Banded, volumetric etc) and how would you expect to recover fixed costs?

c) What contract length would you expected to be awarded and why?



Given Defra and the Environment Agency are the two leading government organisations for sustainability how will you ensure your supply chain is sustainable, energy and resource efficient and thus mitigate reputational risks for Ministers?




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