Tenders for IT & Telecommunications Contracts

The field of IT & Telecommunications encompasses multiple products and services e.g. IT infrastructure, software development, website development, cloud solutions, hosting, support, consultancy, telephony (traditional and IP), mobile voice and data, paging, video/audio conferencing, unified communications, and contact centre services to name just a few. As a result, IT & telecommunications tenders can be highly varied, involving just one or multiple services, and can be an excellent way to develop and diversify a business to increase revenue and improve market resilience.
Our team of senior tender writing consultants have extensive experience in winning IT & Telecommunications contracts and can supply your business with everything it needs to prepare an outstanding IT & Telecommunications tender. Make sure your business identifies the right opportunities and prepares properly to win more IT & Telecommunications tenders.
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Challenges of tendering for IT & telecommunications contracts

IT & Telecommunications goods and services are often outsourced as many public and private sector organisations simply don’t have the expertise or resources in-house to keep up to date with new technologies. The cost of hiring, training and retaining in-house IT/Telecommunications staff can be prohibitive and the systems and processes required to maintain well-connected and appropriate technologies for delivering their services are often beyond their means.  So, by using an external team and solutions to manage their IT and/or Telecommunications properly, organisations expect to make savings in time, money and energy, enabling them to focus on their key activities.

As the primary route to market for outsourcing and acquiring these services, the tendering system provides a regular stream of IT and Telecommunications contract opportunities and with them, significant prospects to develop an IT and/or Telecommunications business.

However, with lots of opportunities comes lots of competition, which highlights the importance of matching the tender requirements to your level of experience and ability, so that you are competing in the right race. You do not want to waste precious time and resources on a mobile voice and data tender if e.g. your only current experience is IP telephony services.  You may therefore try to win an IP telephony contract first, build a relationship and then develop your other services to offer a broader Telecommunications solution.

You may have to read through many IT and Telecommunications tender specifications to find one that is relevant to your business and appropriate to the level of ability and experience you have. Ensuring you have an efficient system to sort through information and make an informed decision to tender will help achieve a much better return on your tendering investment.

It’s crucial to develop the multi-disciplinary solutions that will generate the savings and efficiencies buyers are looking for.  This is what the biggest IT and Telecommunications companies do.  Perhaps the biggest challenge is therefore demonstrating how you can match up to these large businesses that imply they can deliver the most productive solutions.  Showing how much more productive your services are in the long-term, and how you have delivered solutions with better quality outcomes can be key differentiators when it comes to winning IT and Telecommunications tenders.  Consequently, it is vital to collect all the necessary credentials, facts and statistics that really evidence your performance against the competition.

Top tips for winning IT & Telecommunications sector contracts:

1

Read all the tender documentation

There may be a lot of documentation, but you need to understand exactly what the buyer is looking for and whether you are able to meet all their requirements. If you can’t currently provide all the IT or Telecommunications services, are they areas you should be looking to invest in so you can tender in future and win similar opportunities?
2

Check how the tender is structured

Is the tender split into different lots or are all products and services grouped together? If the latter, be sure you can deliver all the requirements. This is a good opportunity to demonstrate to the buyer how you will achieve excellent volume efficiencies. If they award the whole contract to you, how much will they save? Can you offer some added value incentives? Correspondingly, if you’re bidding for an individual lot, how will your business deliver better value than a bigger multi-disciplinary company?
3

Comprehensive mobilisation & implementation plan

As IT & Telecommunications services are an integral part of how a business or public sector organisation serves its customers, your mobilisation/implementation plan will need to demonstrate that your service will be in place and fully operational from day one, including all resources and processes and that all potential risks to implementation have been mitigated. Do you have mobilisation risk assessments that you can show? You need to show how your previous experience of implementing a new service will be utilised to deliver an effective and successful service this time. How will you ensure your technologies will be fully installed and integrated properly? What are the phases of your delivery? The best tender responses will demonstrate that you have thought about all elements of a thorough mobilisation e.g. kick-off, discovery, audit, data back-up and transfer, resourcing, installation, transition, testing, service delivery, costs etc.
4

Realistic, thorough transition plan

Unless you are installing a brand-new service, it is likely that there will be a transition from the current/legacy system to the new system. Your transition plan needs to identify the processes involved, key roles, information required, end-user training, handover, testing, timescales and contingency plans. Do you have examples of previous experience? What will you do if problems occur during transition?
5

Service monitoring/quality control

Do your systems and processes have any quality assurance accreditation? Can you demonstrate that you use quality equipment and staff? How do you monitor your service delivery so that a quality product or service is always delivered? How do you ensure it is efficient? What systems do you have in place for dealing with any problems or complaints? What processes do you follow in the event of a system failure? How have you acted on feedback to improve the quality of your services?
6

Information governance and data protection

Inevitably with any IT & Telecommunications tender there will be one or more questions on information governance and data protection. These may be familiar terms but what exactly do you have in place to demonstrate to the buyer that you are a low risk supplier to do business with? How will you provide the data protection assurances the buyer needs? Accreditations like Cyber Essentials or ISO27001 are often a must have requirement. Similarly, in working with the NHS, the NHS Data Security & Protection Toolkit (DSP Toolkit) is something you may be required to complete. It is important to consider these requirements along with any tendering ventures as they may represent additional time and costs. Getting advice and support from a company like Complete Tenders in advance can save significant effort.
7

Innovation and continuous improvement

Buyers are looking for suppliers to deliver over and above the specified services as they want to use the contract to deliver a better service for their own customers, service users, patients, employees etc. Most tenders will therefore include questions for suppliers to demonstrate what they can do to enhance the contract, what innovative methods they can bring to the table, and what improvements they will deliver over the contract term. It’s important to show evidence of how your innovative methods have been used to save your other customers money and/or delivered better performance and quality. If you don’t have this data, start collect it now.
8

Contract Management

Should you win the contract, there will be regular communication between yourself and the buyer, so you will need to demonstrate robust contract management processes with a clear organisational structure and corresponding lines of communication. How experienced are your IT & Telecommunications account managers at handling this sort of contract? What technology do you use to manage and measure your service delivery? Provide evidence of previous experience such as informative management information reports and adherence to the SLA (Service Level Agreement) and KPIs (Key Performance Indicators).
9

Efficiencies and value for money

Buyers want to outsource their IT & Telecommunications services in order to reduce costs and increase efficiencies. Can you demonstrate how you will do this? Can you back it up with facts and figures from previous/existing customers? Again, showing how much more productive your services are in the long-term, and how you have delivered better quality solutions can be key differences between you and your competitors. Collect as much information on your KPI’s for your current customers as possible.
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Our Company first used Complete Tenders in May 2018 where I was struggling to finish a tender due to the complexities of the finances. I called Complete tenders and Matthew dropped everything he was doing to assist and pulled the figures together in a short space of time which I then submitted on time. As a result of Matthew's intervention, we were awarded the contract in June 2018. I am confident that Complete tenders will help us grow our business significantly over the foreseeable future and look forward to what can be achieved. I would not hesitate in recommending Complete Tenders to any organisation that has growth at the heart of their business strategy.

Andy PearmanUCS

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At Complete Tenders we believe in helping small companies win contracts. However, few small businesses have the in-house expertise in bid management and tender writing to enable them to compete with larger organisations. Added to which, the process is a time-consuming activity that is often underestimated.

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