Closure Report

Project Summary

Objective & Deliverables





The purpose of this project was to procure Enterprise Project & Portfolio Management (EPPM) software and supporting services and consultancy for UoE Estates.


Purchase of an EPPM application that will deliver Estates required business functionality and support Estates business goals.



Purchase of software licenses for 25 Estates Project Managers and Support staff.



Purchase of software (application and database) support for 3 years (plus an option to extend for a further 2 and 4 years).



Purchase of Software-as-a-Service (SAAS) hosting solution for 3 years (plus an option to extend for a further 2 and 4 years).



Purchase of Technical implementation and configuration of the application to meet Estates and IS goals.



Purchase of Solution implementation to allow transition and handover of a stable, supportable solution to a business-as-usual (BAU) support team.




  • The procurement was carried out as a competitive tender under OJEU rules.
  • In the PQQ phase, 9 suppliers passed all the mandatory questions and criteria.  To further discern between them, their replies to an essay style question about past experience relevant to the project was scored by a panel of evaluators from Estates and IS.  This allowed us to eliminate 3 suppliers and 6 were brought forward and invited to reply to the full tender.

Link to PQQ experience scoring Click Here

  • The ITT was developed as a joint exercise between IS and Estates.  IS questions were based on the standard question sets and adapted to suit the particular purchase of a SaaS EPPM solution.  Estates also developed structured questions that focussed on business functionality of the application, experience of the company and the team proposed.

Link to ITT Click Here

  • The responses were evaluated by a panel of SMEs drawn from IS and Estates and the process was moderated by Procurement and recorded in AWARD.
  • Polarisoft was the top scoring supplier and they were awarded Preferred Bidder status on 12/02/18.
  • There then followed a protracted final contract negotiation, supported by external solicitor from Shepherd & Weddrburn.  A contract checklist was signed by all senior stakeholders from IS and Estates in May 2018.  The contract signing  was concluded on 22/06/18.

Link to Contract Click Here

Analysis of Resource Usage:

IS Estimate: 220 days 

IS Actual: 243 days

IS Variance:  10.5%

Other Resource:  0



This project closed with the signing of the contract with Polarisoft.  Sign off for the University was given by Gavin McLachlan, CIO, on 25th May 2018.  Sign off for Polarisoft was given by Stephen Brown, Professional Services Director, on 22nd June 2018.

The solution is PPM Anywhere software provided as Software as a Service (SaaS) and hosted on Amazon Web Services (AWS).

Software:  PPM contains a number of "modules":  Project Management, Programme Management, Portfolio Management, Time Management, Demand Management, Financial Management, Reporting and Dashboards.  Clients need internet access; desktop with 1GH processor and 512MB RAM; A supported Browser (MS Internet Explorer; Mozilla Firefox; Chrome).  There are no components specific to an O/S and no plug-ins or extensions.  The user can combine use of MS Project, MS Excel, MS PowerPoint and Adobe Acrobat with using PPM Anywhere.  Access is role based and configuration of the roles is under out control.  Authentication can be managed through Single Sign On and integration with the University’s EASE system is possible.

Infrastructure:  SaaS, each customer on virtual private cloud, on AWS.  We will be able to host all data within EU both live (AWS Ireland) and failover (AWS Netherlands).  We will have 3 environments – Production, Pre-production and Development/Test.  Non production environments are separated from production for resilience.  Application and Database servers are separate.  The database holds both application data and configuration.  Backups are copied to mirrored storage.  Data Redundancy allows recovery to the last transaction committed.  Expected Availability:  24 X 7 @ 99.9%

Support:  Standard Support & Maintenance is included in the annual licence fee.  We will purchase 25 advanced licences giving full functionality.  Polarisoft provide a support portal where cases can be raised, updated and tracked. We will provide named contacts for support.  Cases are classified with attendant response and target resolution times: 5 levels from Critical to Low.  There will be quarterly reviews of service with our Account Manager and a monthly report against SLAs.  Their support team consists of 6 staff based in London and USA.  Our support staff will be provided with test/dev environment for replicating problems, training materials, super user training and release notes.


Phase I fixed fee implementation including time and attendance of 30 days onsite.  This will cover consultancy, design and configuration for DP1 (Programme Management), DP2 (Cost Management) and DP3 (Portfolio Management) – the setup of the capital plan.

Phase II fixed fee implementation including time and attendance of 30 days onsite.  This will cover consultancy, design and configuration for DP4 (Project Management).

The project includes super-user training.  Polarisoft propose a “Train The Trainer” model where the super-users then go on to cascade training to the rest of the Estates team.

The project includes one-off data migration, but not data gathering and cleansing.

Explanation for variance

  1. There was no variance in Scope.
  2. The variance in cost was within tolerance (see above)
  3. There was a variance in time - the procurement took longer to complete than expected.  The reasons for this are given below:
  • The original direction of the procurement was set at a meeting in December 2016 attended by Estates Development and Procurement.   The direction chosen turned out to be wrong.  Estates believed they could use a non-competitive (NCA) approach and this was endorsed by Procurement.   There was a 12 week delay in the first half of 2017 while a change of procurement strategy was agreed.  This came after advice from legal that the original NCA approach put the University at risk of legal challenge.  On the advice of Procurement an open competitive approach under the OJEU framework was adopted.  This resulted in a lot of wasted time (Anna Stamp estimates about a year) and wasted work. 
  • The last stage covering contract negotiations took 15 weeks from 12th February to 25th June.   This was extremely protracted.  There were 2 sticking points (Business Continuity, Payment Schedules).

Key Learning Points

  1. The original direction of the procurement was set at a meeting in December 2016 attended by Estates Development and Procurement.   The direction chosen (NCA) turned out to be wrong.  Anna Stamp believes this mistake could have been averted by engaging Legal and IS colleagues right at the start and inviting them to this early meeting.  Stronger leadership is required from Procurement.  They are not there to administer a process but to lead it. 
  2. Lack of continuity of procurement personnel seriously hampered the procurement exercise.   Availability of procurement colleagues was an issue in the latter stages of the exercise.  They did not participate in the contract negotiations stage.  This led to a protracted negotiation which could have been avoided with good guidance.  We do understand however that procurement resource was short because of they were participating in other large procurement projects such as Core Systems.
  3. Legal were absent after the first meeting.  The impression given at this meeting was that they would manage the relationship with Shepherd & Wedderburn.  This was confusing and on occasion led to short delays as the external solicitor felt she had to refer back to legal for refreshed instructions.  The relationship with Shepherd & Wedderburn was excellent and the external solicitor was very flexible and helpful in approach.
  4. Use of the AWARD system was straightforward and it was helpful to have Laura Harkins from Procurement to assist and to prepare outputs from the system.
  5. The first interviews were useful and a good way of filtering the remaining candidates.  It was useful to have IS present at these interviews alongside the Estates business.  

Outstanding Issues

  • None.

Project Info

Estates Capital System Procurement (EST102)
Z. Estates Capital System (ECS) - CLOSED
Management Office
Project Manager
Lyn Thomson
Project Sponsor
Anna Stamp
Current Stage
Start Date
Planning Date
Delivery Date
Close Date
Programme Priority
Overall Priority