Scottish Water is seeking a partner to help it “impact and opportunity assess the incoming stream of feature updates from Microsoft” – a strategically savvy move as major software providers continue to throw a seemingly endless stream of new tools to users downstream; some critically useful, some gimmicky.
The move came as the utility geared up to launch a new “framework of suppliers” worth up to £8 million to help it service and maximise the value delivered using Microsoft 365 (already fully adopted by the company) as well as “provide other professional services related to M365, Azure, and tactical development services.
Requests to participate need to be in by March 9, 2022, Scottish Water said. The contract will be for three years, with the possibility of a further five-year extension. It anticipates that one supplier will handle the M365 requirements with other suppliers in the framework picking up further work around Azure development.
“Scottish Water uses M365 as its primary productivity, collaboration and analytics platform, and Azure as its primary cloud platform” it noted, adding that while it has partners for infrastructure management, application management (on-prem and cloud platforms) and cybersecurity, it has a “gap in the provision of ongoing capability for service and professional services in the configuration and opportunity maximisation of the M365 platform”, adding that “there continues to be a need for user training and empowerment, and we need a partner who can impact and opportunity assess the incoming stream of feature updates from Microsoft.”
The company recently launched its transformation plan (painting a picture of a company that is “powered by digital technology, robotics, remote operating centres and analytical insights that enable us to fix problems before they impact our customers and communities, in a way that predicts and prescribes solutions, and is safe for our people, good value for our customers and less carbon intensive for our environment.)
It notes in the tender that “Azure is well adopted and currently we maintain a mixed on-prem and cloud strategy… PowerApps and PowerBI are used widely by most core user groups, however we’d like a partner to be able to provide build capability with these and advice on best practice governance” and “we will continue to have a requirement for web and mobile apps to enable or facilitate business processes.”
Any prospective partner will be expected to work with Scottish Water’s existing service management processes using Service Now and work in collaboration with its incumbent IT partners.