Call: Provision of ICT Support Services
Contracting Authority: GSA – EUSPA (European GNSS Agency / European Union Agency for the Space Programme), Prague
Deadline for submission of tenders: Oct 4, 2021
4-yrs long framework contract / budget €25.000.000
The tenderer must have a minimum yearly turnover of €2.500.000 in the last three years preceding the year of launch of the present tender procedure.
Purpose: The purpose of this tender is to procure services in the field of ICT, to support the management of ICT systems of the Agency, in particular by performing the following activities:
▪ ICT User support ▪ ICT Systems and Software Training ▪ ICT Systems maintenance ▪ ICT Systems administration and configuration ▪ ICT Systems design and planning ▪ ICT Systems testing and evaluation ▪ ICT Systems analysis ▪ ICT Project management ▪ ICT Security ▪ ICT Systems documentation and content management ▪ Application development (Thick, thin, mobile) ▪ Application maintenance ▪ Security risk assessment ▪ Software market survey ▪ Information management ▪ and other auxiliary ICT activities
PSC Requirement: Activities under the Contract may entail handling and production of documents classified up to EU SECRET. To this end the personal security clearance of the personnel providing such services is required.
All profiles from the takeover team planned to handle classified information under the Contract must have – at the moment of sub-mission of tender a Personal Security Clearance (‘PSC’) of SECRET UE / EU SECRET level to be maintained throughout the duration of the Con-tract.
The tenderer must be GOLD Microsoft Partner or equivalent in these competences: ▪ Gold Security ▪ Gold Cloud Platform ▪ Gold Cloud Productivity ▪ Gold Messaging ▪ Gold Application Development ▪ Gold Collaboration and Content ▪ Gold Project and Portfolio Management
+ The tenderer must be Cisco Premier Certified Partner or equivalent
+ The tenderer must provide a reference to exactly 2 software development projects, successfully executed and implemented in production in past 3 years. One or more of the following technologies shall be involved in the development: .NET (Framework, Core, MVC, WPF, etc.), PowerApps or other tools of Microsoft Power Platform environment. Applications with Two-tier or three-tier architecture are expected.
State of play – current framework contract, 2017-2021
EUSPA (formerly GSA) signed two-framework contracts in 2017 in the ICT area. One for General ICT Support and another for software development. As of spring 2021, there are 25 consultants working for EUSPA on full-time basis (23 in Prague, 2 in France) and the total number of consultants involved in various projects has exceeded 60. About 20 of them possess personal security clearance for Secret UE/EU Secret.
The consultants are integrated in four working teams together with about 10 ICT staff members of the Agency. The teams are user support, operations, IT security and project management.
These teams operate and further develop multiple ICT systems on different security classification levels, the three main ones are unclassified, Restreint UE/EU Restricted and Secret UE/EU Secret. A personal security clearance on Secret UE/EU Secret level is strictly required for every person with administrator access or unescorted access to the classified systems (i.e. also for the administration of a system processing Restreint UE/EU Restricted information).
All these systems are currently running on-premises, in server rooms located in Prague HQ and in the remote EUSPA sites.
EUSPA has recently decided to start the transition of its unclassified systems to Microsoft 365 and Microsoft Azure while still keeping a part on premises (hybrid mode). The preparation of these cloud environments will begin under the current FWC but will stop before the migration of data to the cloud and resume under the new FWC.
Way ahead – planned framework contract, 2022-2026
The new FWC resulting from this call for tenders is integrating under one umbrella the general ICT support and software development. We expect a slight growth of the total number of consultants working for EUSPA on full-time basis, up to 30 in total. The number is expected to decrease slightly towards the end of the FWC with the increased maturity in managing a cloud-based system. Again, about 20 consultants will need the Secret UE/EU Secret clearance already from the takeover task, which will be launched immediately after the FWC signature.
The security clearances will not be required from consultants who do not get in touch with classified systems, typically cloud specialists or software developers, but exceptions are possible.
We are planning a reorganisation of the teams mentioned above but no details are available at this stage. So far, every team has been led by a staff member but it is possible that some of the future teams will be led/coordinated by consultants.
The activities/projects foreseen under the new FWC include the following (list not exhaustive, only indicative):
• completion of configuration of the cloud environments
• migration of data and applications into cloud including all the data labelling, encryption and information protection-related activities
• full exploitation of M365 supported by extensive user training campaigns and individual/group trainings focused on specific tools
• redesign and redevelopment of existing and development of new business applications and small utilities, preferably in cloud-native mode (based on M365 or Azure PaaS) and supported by Azure DEVOPS; this may include mobile applications
• relocation of the on-premise systems and subsystems to new datacentres or server rooms located in the Czech Republic, France or Spain. The final locations are not known at the moment of preparation of these specifications.
• some of the Agency systems will be rebuilt and deployed to the above new locations instead of relocations of the existing ones
• the future datacentres/server rooms will be replicating data between themselves; this will need to be designed and set-up
• further development, maintenance and user support on all the systems of the Agency
• support to meetings, large internal events or events involving general public, both on-premises and electronically
The Agency Infrastructure
The agency operates in the following geographical locations:
▪ PRAGUE, Czech Republic, The Agency Headquarters – Main technology centre with core IT infrastructure
▪ Saint-Germain-en-Laye, France – Operational subset of IT infrastructure. Site topology sufficient for independent operations of core IT services.
▪ Toulouse, France – Operational subset of IT infrastructure
▪ Madrid, Spain – Operational subset of IT infrastructure
▪ Noordwijk, The Netherlands – Operational subset of IT infrastructure
In the future, other sites located within Europe may become operational. In such case, an amendment of the future contract is foreseen to cover support for such locations if required by the Agency.
The Agency Technology Background
This list is for orientation purposes only. It is understood an exhaustive audit of all software is a subject of take-over activity of The Agency ICT infrastructure by the successful tenderer.
Software – the core software is based mainly on Microsoft portfolio of products.
▪ Microsoft Windows Server 2012 R2, 2016, 2019 ▪ Microsoft SQL Server 2014, 2016, 2019 ▪ Microsoft Exchange 2016 ▪ Microsoft SharePoint 2010, 2013 ▪ Microsoft Skype for Business ▪ System Centre Configuration Manager 2012 R2 ▪ System Centre Operations Manager 2012 R2 ▪ System Centre Service Manager 2012 R2 ▪ System Centre Virtual machine Manager 2012 R2, 2016 [Hyper-V based environment] ▪ System Centre Data Protection Manager 2012 R2 ▪ Windows 10 ▪ Office 2016, 2019 ▪ K2 Black Pearl ▪ Symantec Antivirus ▪ McAfee Antivirus
▪ Dell, HP, IBM x86 servers ▪ Cisco x86 Blade servers ▪ Dell EMC VNX Storage ▪ Dell EMC Data Domains ▪ Network Hardware ▪ Cisco Catalyst switches ▪ Cisco Nexus switches ▪ Cisco Fabric Interconnect ▪ Cisco ASA Firewalls ▪ Netasq VPN Encryptors and related software products ▪ Polycom • Polycom Video Conferencing systems • Windows Phone 8, 10 • Apple iPhone / iPad product line
Other notable technology product lines include: ▪ Netasq ▪ Netgear ▪ Polycom desk phones
▪ Microsoft 365 E5 ▪ Microsoft Azure (PaaS and IaaS) ▪ Azure DEVOPS for application development and deployment and operations