- Set out a clear definition of your requirements
- Ensure compliance with your institution’s financial regulations
- Ensure compliance with European Union (EU) regulations
- Assist you in coming to the right decision.
- Establish correct procedure to be followed
- Draft Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU) or other advertisement
- Issue ITT to interested suppliers.
- OJEU or other advertisement
- Details of interested suppliers and their offerings
This section assumes that one of the outputs of your earlier work on defining your requirements was an Invitation to Tender (ITT). Refer back to the 'defining requirements' section of this guide for ITT templates and examples.
Within the education environment it is likely that any IT systems procurement will be subject to some form of tendering exercise. This may be required in order to comply with your own financial regulations or, in the case of major purchases, to comply with EU regulations. It is all too easy to see the tendering process as a bureaucratic nightmare when, properly used, it can be of great help in the decision making process.
You are advised to seek early assistance from your own procurement officer and/or legal advisers to ensure that you select the most appropriate procurement route.
Should you be subject to the EU process there is a choice of open, negotiated and restricted procedures. Correct choice of procedure is important in determining what type of evaluation process you can undertake eg, whether you are legally able to shortlist or whether all suppliers who respond must be subject to the same evaluation.
It is in your own interest to undertake some form of market analysis at an early stage of project initiation in order to have an idea how many potential suppliers may be able to meet your needs. Project deadlines may be thrown substantially out if you are obliged to evaluate far more suppliers than you had planned for.
Our cloud service promotes the uptake of off-campus data centres and cloud services. This service formed the centre piece of a project by HEFCE’s University Modernisation Fund (UMF) to create efficiencies, make savings and improve services for the HE and FE sectors.
The intention was that, in practical terms, a core virtual server infrastructure would be deployed in data centres that offer discounted data management and storage services through shared virtual servers and data centre capacity to institutions.
Whichever procurement route you use it is important to ensure you understand the technicalities of the process. Failure to observe correct procedure can result in a legal challenge from a supplier which can cause delay to your project and ultimate financial loss.
In many cases there will be a “waiting” period between placing the advert and issuing tender documentation during which suppliers will prepare their responses. Don’t worry – your team will have plenty of work to do preparing for the evaluation stage of the project – read on.