Request for Quotations (RFQ): Consulting Services for High Performance Comuting Feasibility Study

RFQ Number: ICTEC-2018-002

Issuance Date: 11.01.2018

Deadline for Offers: 23.01.2018

Description: Consulting Services for High Performance Comuting Feasibility Study

For: Moldova ICT Excellence Center Project (ICTEC)

Funded By: United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and Government of Sweden, Contract Nr. AID-117-A-15-00002

Issued by: National Association of ICT Companies (ATIC)

ATIC Point of Contact: ion.corbu@ict.md, contact person Ion Corbu, tehnical manager. 

Section 1: Instructions to Offerors

 

Introduction: The National Association of ICT Companies (ATIC) is soliciting proposals from eligible and responsible companies or consultants (physical persons) regarding feasibility study for High Performance Computing within Tekwill, as described below in Section 1 (Instruction to Offerors). The ICTEC Project is an official program of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and Government of Sweden, Contract Nr. AID-117-A-15-00002, and is being carried out in Republic of Moldova.

The ICTEC Project is a USAID and Government of Sweden program implemented by the National Association of ICT Companies (ATIC). The project will be implemented as a private-public partnership (though Global Development Alliances instrument (GDA)), between the Moldovan Government, private industry, academia and donors. The private partners include multinational companies, IBM and Microsoft, and also Moldovan Association of ICT Companies (ATIC) members that are local (operated) ICT companies. The private partners will bring significant new resources, ideas, software, technologies and development activities, such as trainings, practical assignments, and mentorship. The private sector partners will have the chance to use the center to communicate with the university, SMEs, startups, professionals and contribute to the curricula improvement answering the market needs, as well as the improvement of the IT and entrepreneurship ecosystem that will lead to the economic growth of the country. The Government of Moldova supports this project at the highest level of the Prime Minister, and the partners include Ministry of ICT, Ministry of Education, and E-Government Center. The space will be provided by the Technical University, as part of the Government commitment to this project. The e-Government Center will use the center as a training and capacity building resource for the public e-transformation and IT managers.

Offerors are responsible for ensuring that their offers are received by ATIC in accordance with the instructions, terms, and conditions described in this RFQ. Failure to comply with the instructions described in this RFQ may lead to the disqualification of an offer.

Offer Deadline and Protocol: Offers must be received no later than 17:00, local Chisinau time, on January 24, 2018 electronically and/or in hard-copy at the Moldova ICT Excellence Center Project office.

 

Any email offers must be sent to the following address:

In attention of, Ion Corbu

Tehnical manager ICTEC Project

Ion.corbu@ict.md  

 

Any hard copy offers must be stamped and signed by the offeror’s authorized representative and delivered to the following address:

In attention of Mrs. Ana Chirita,

Executive Director/ Senior Project Coordinator ICTEC Project

Moldova ICT Excellence Center Project

Str. Studentilor 9/11 

 

Please reference the RFQ number in any response to this RFQ. Offers received after the specified time and date will be considered late and will be reviewed only at ATIC discretion.
1. Questions: Questions regarding the technical or administrative requirements of this RFQ may be submitted no later than 17:00, local Chisinau time on January 24, 2018, by email to icorbu@ict.md. Questions must be submitted in writing; phone calls will not be accepted. Questions and requests for clarification—and the responses thereto—that ATIC believes may be of interest to other offerors will be circulated to all RFQ recipients who have indicated an interest in bidding.
 Only the written answers issued by ATIC will be considered official and carry weight in the RFQ process and subsequent evaluation. Any verbal information received from employees of ATIC or any other entity should not be considered as an official response to any questions regarding this RFQ.
2. Specifications: Section 4 contains the technical specifications of the required items.

3. 
Quotations: Quotations in response to this RFQ must be set on a fixed-price, all-inclusive basis, including delivery and all other costs. Pricing must be presented in MDL. Offers must remain valid for no less than thirty (30) calendar days after the offer deadline. Offerors are requested to provide quotations on their official quotation format or letterhead; in the event this is not possible, offerors may complete the table in Section 3.

In addition, offerors responding to this RFQ are requested to submit a copy of their official registration or business license.
4. 
Taxes and VAT: The agreement under which this procurement is financed does not permit the financing of any taxes, VAT, tariffs, duties, or other levies imposed by any laws in effect in the Cooperating Country.  No such Cooperating Country taxes, VAT, charges, tariffs, duties or levies will be paid under an order resulting from this RFQ. In the event that any exempt charges are paid by the Subcontractor, they will not be reimbursed to the Subcontractor by ATIC.  The Subcontractor shall immediately notify ATIC if any such taxes are assessed against the Subcontractor or its subcontractors/suppliers at any tier. The Subcontractor is responsible for payment of all applicable taxes, as prescribed under the applicable laws, associated with wages/salaries/compensation for services rendered by individuals employed by the Subcontractor and who are directed to work as required under this Subcontract.  The Subcontractor is liable for payment of all applicable taxes associated with revenues (profit), and other such taxes, fees, or dues for which Subcontractor is normally responsible as a result of operating its business.
5. Eligibility: By submitting an offer in response to this RFQ, the offeror certifies that it and its principal officers are not debarred, suspended, or otherwise considered ineligible for an award.
6. Evaluation and Award: The award will be made to a responsible offeror whose offer follows the RFQ instructions, meets the eligibility requirements, and meets or exceeds the minimum required technical specifications, and is judged to be the best value based on a lowest-price, technically-acceptable basis, business experience, the visual aspect of the work to be performed, similar objects in the past and short production and installation terms.

Please note that if there are significant deficiencies regarding responsiveness to the requirements of this RFQ, an offer may be deemed “non-responsive” and thereby disqualified from consideration. ATIC reserves the right to waive immaterial deficiencies at its discretion.

Best-offer quotations are requested. It is anticipated that award will be made solely on the basis of these original quotations. However, ATIC reserves the right to conduct any of the following:

  • ATIC may conduct negotiations with and/or request clarifications from any offeror prior to award.
  • While preference will be given to offerors who can address the full technical requirements of this RFQ, ATIC may issue a partial award or split the award among various suppliers, if in the best interest of the Project.
  • ATIC may cancel this RFQ at any time.

Please note that in submitting a response to this RFQ, the offeror understands that USAID is not a party to this solicitation and the offeror agrees that any protest hereunder must be presented - in writing with full explanations - to the ICTEC Project for consideration, as USAID will not consider protests regarding procurements carried out by implementing partners. ATIC, at its sole discretion, will make a final decision on the protest for this procurement.

7. Terms and Conditions: This is a Request for Quotations only. Issuance of this RFQ does not in any way obligate ATIC or the ICTEC Project to make an award or pay for costs incurred by potential offerors in the preparation and submission of an offer.

 This solicitation is subject to ATIC’s standard terms and conditions. Any resultant award will be governed by these terms and conditions; a copy of the full terms and conditions is available upon request. Please note that the following terms and conditions will apply:

a)  

Payment No.

Installments

Payment Amount

1

5 days after the delivery of the milestones

100% of subcontract fixed price    

 
b) Payment will be made in MDL or USD based on the origin of the consultancy company/consultant, via wire transfer to the account specified in the Subcontractor’s invoice.  Payment of unpaid balances will be made upon completion and final acceptance of all works and deliverables by ATIC. Any invoices for services rendered and deliverables submitted - but not accepted by ATIC - will not be paid until the Subcontractor makes sufficient revisions to the deliverables such that ATIC may approve the deliverables and thus the invoice.

      c) Payment will only be issued to the entity submitting the offer in response to this RFQ and identified in the resulting award; payment will not be issued to a third party.

       d)Any award resulting from this RFQ will be firm fixed price, in the form of a purchase order.


e) 
No goods or services may be supplied that are manufactured or assembled in, shipped from, transported through, or otherwise involving any of the following countries: Burma (Myanmar), Cuba, Iran, North Korea, (North) Sudan, Syria.


f) Any international air or ocean transportation or shipping carried out under any award resulting from this RFQ must take place on U.S.- flag carriers/vessels.


g) United States law prohibits transactions with, and the provision of resources and support to, individuals and organizations associated with terrorism. The supplier under any award resulting from this RFQ must ensure compliance with these laws.

h) The title to any goods supplied under any award resulting from this RFQ shall pass to ATIC following delivery and acceptance of the goods by ATIC. Risk of loss, injury, or destruction of the goods shall be borne by the offeror until title passes to ATIC.

Section 2: Offer Checklist

To assist offerors in preparation of proposals, the following checklist summarizes the documentation to include an offer in response to this RFQ:

  • Cover letter, signed by an authorized representative of the offeror (see Section 3 for template);
  • Official quotation, including detailed specifications of works in accordance with attached Design Documentation (see Section 4 for example format);
  • Copy of offeror’s official registration and business license in case of legal entities, CV of the person
  • Motivation letter of the personnel
  • Proposal report based on the below mentioned assignment
  • Bank Account Award Certificate - copy - issued by the bank holding the account, if applicable;

Section 3:  Letter of Transmittal
The following cover letter must be placed on letterhead and completed/signed/stamped by a representative authorized to sign on behalf of the offeror:

To:                  Moldova ICT Excellence Project

                        Str. Studentilor 9/11

Reference:     RFQ No. ICTEC-2018-002

 

To Whom It May Concern:

We, the undersigned, hereby provide the attached offer to perform all work required to complete the activities and requirements as described in the above-referenced RFP. Please find our offer attached.

We hereby acknowledge and agree to all terms, conditions, special provisions, and instructions included in the above-referenced RFQ. We further certify that the below-named firm—as well as the firm’s principal officers and all commodities and services offered in response to this RFQ—are eligible to participate in this procurement under the terms of this solicitation.

Furthermore, we hereby certify that, to the best of our knowledge and belief:

  • We have no close, familial, or financial relationships with any ATIC or ICTEC project staff members;
  • We have no close, familial, or financial relationships with any other offerors submitting proposals in response to the above-referenced RFQ; and
  • The prices in our offer have been arrived at independently, without any consultation, communication, or agreement with any other offeror or competitor for the purpose of restricting competition.
  • All information in our proposal and all supporting documentation is authentic and accurate.
  • We understand and agree to ATIC’ prohibitions against fraud, bribery, and kickbacks.

 

We hereby certify that the enclosed representations, certifications, and other statements are accurate, current, and complete.

 

Authorized Signature:                                                                                                   

 

Name and Title of Signatory:                                                                                        

 

Date:                                                                                                                             

 

Company Name:                                                                                                          

 

Company Address:                                                                                                       

 

Company Telephone and Website:                                                                              

 

Company Registration or Taxpayer ID Number:                                                                     

 

Does the company have an active bank account (Yes/No)?                                      

 

Official name associated with bank account (for payment):                                       

 

Section 4: Specifications and Technical Requirements

01. BACKGROUND:

 The development of the first ICT Excellence Center in Moldova (Excellence Center) was started in September 2015, with the support of USAID and Government of Sweden, together with a number of strategic partners. It aims to improve Moldova’s global competitiveness and its business and investment environment. Innovative, high-value technology products and businesses are essential for development of the knowledge-based economy. Science, innovation and technology are the key drivers of the sustainable growth and competitiveness.

The project will be implemented as a private-public partnership (though Global Development Alliances instrument (GDA)), between the Moldovan Government, private industry, academia and donors. The private partners include multinational companies, IBM and Microsoft, and also Moldovan Association of Private ICT Companies (ATIC) members that are local (operated) ICT companies. The private partners will bring significant new resources, ideas, software, technologies and development activities, such as trainings, practical assignments, and mentorship. The private sector partners will have the chance to use the center to communicate with the universities, SMEs, startups, professionals and contribute to the curricula improvement answering the market needs, as well as the improvement of the IT and entrepreneurship ecosystem that will lead to the economic growth of the country. The Government of Moldova supports this project at the highest level of the Prime Minister, and the partners include Ministry of ICT (Ministry of Economy), Ministry of Education, and E-Government Center. The facilities and logistic support will be provided by the Technical University, as part of the Government commitment to this project. The e-Government Center will be allowed to use the center as a training and capacity building resource for the public servants in the e-transformation agenda.

Over 1,000 beneficiaries are expected to receive relevant training per year. As an expected result of the project, the skills of the Moldovan work force in the ICT industry should be improved.

The Excellence Center is planned to handle with the following main tasks:

  • Education within university curricula;
  • Youth talent development;
  • Advanced thematic research;
  • Innovation spread;
  • Individual capabilities development;
  • Networking;
  • Public promoting of innovations;
  • Other relevant to the objectives tasks.

Education services will include training, consulting and mentoring services for the SMEs, entrepreneurs, academia, public IT sector representatives. The content of the activities will include technical subjects with the possibility of demonstration of the latest technologies and soft business skills such as project management, marketing, communication, leadership and other. The center will be properly equipped for on-site training facilities, as well as offer the possibility to conduct trainings off-site upon need. The beneficiaries of the center will be coming from private sector, public sector and academic environment.

The center will host IT specialists networking events, students meetings with IT professionals and mentors, incoming professors and trainers, business to business meetings, startups for investors meetings, and other. The center will offer co working space for IT professionals and business people, as well as offer group or individual consultations for business development, technical support in investor’s identification. All of the mentioned tasks and activities expect to be hosted by the specific infrastructure, that are currently innovative and are not available in Moldova.

Being open in March 2017, ATIC is looking for further opportunities to sustain the ICT Excellence Center as well as meet the market and academia needs. As the purpose was designed, Tekwill  aims to propose a totally progressive, innovative and comprehensive solution that will support academic environment in its modernization and development. One core component of the above mentioned, was defined as a High Performance Computing services for academic environment and private business.

02. PURPOSE AND OBJECTIVE:

As mentioned above, the Project is focused on technical modernization of the academic environment by providing modern, flexible and innovative instruments for all the interested parts. To handle with various options, scenarios and possible technologies, the Project requires a professional advice that could provide enough understanding for the final decision.

Resulting from the overall targets, the Project is looking for experienced and skilled Feasibility Study Consultant. The purpose of this assignment is to:

  • Conduct a feasibility study and provide an argumentative conclusion in selection of HPC architecture, by evaluating several possible scenarios;
  • Understanding the environment, realities and regional particularity to develop the technical specifications, investment requirements and business component of this potential stream of business;
  • Support beneficiary in understanding of available scenarios and each of them specific benefits and weakens.

As a result of the assignment, the main purpose of the Consultant is to offer expertise in terms of determination of the added value vs required investment, as well as potential activities and business stream models for the use of a determined power and value of HPC.

03. GENERAL RESPONSIBILITIES: 

  • Carry out the assignment as defined in the SOW.
  • Complete the final deliverables in a timely manner as defined bellow.
  • Conduct all business in a manner that respects local culture.
  • Maintain high ethical standards, avoiding any actual or perceived conflict of interests.
  • Support all aspects of project implementation as needed.

 04. Qualifications of the successful service provider

Technical competencies

  • At least 10 years of experience in providing information services and development of architecture solutions for state and private companies;
  • Demonstrated experience in conducting complex architecture analyses and/or IT audits of similar nature, size in the past 2 years;

Qualifications

Qualifications and skills

          University graduate in IT&C or related fields, completed by graduation diploma;

     Knowledge of the IT services management methodologies, and the necessary and sufficient skills for managing the IT flows and processes, respectively;

       Knowledge of Business Continuity Management and Disaster Recovery concepts;

       Understanding of complex IT Systems architecture;

       Ability to speak, write and read Romanian language fluently;

       

Ability to speak, write and read in English.

General professional experience

          

At least 10 years of overall professional experience in the IT field;

       At least 5 years of experience in IT assessments and analysis of complex IT architectures.

Specific professional experience

         At least 5 years of experience in the management of IT&C projects;

   Professional experience as Project Manager in at least 5 projects including IT assessments, feasibility studies, implementation of management systems;

      Relevant certifications in information systems audit (CISA) and in information security audit (ISO 27001);

      TOGAF Level 1 and 2 certified;

      ITIL certification would be a strong advantage;

       Certified Management Consultant (CMC) would be an advantage.

 05. Expected Deliverables

The project was designed to be conducted in two phases as follows:

A.     The consultant will carry out the work and document the results in the feasibility study Report. The below represents a high-level structure of the Feasibility Study Report, however, the consultant can enrich the document based on its specific experience:

  • Understand the context, detail objectives and specific expectations
    Conduct a review of the potential beneficiaries, organize meetings and gather their requirements
  • Identify and describe potential benefits as a result of HPC implementation
  • Identify potential suppliers and draw high level requirements
  • Propose the design of a high level architecture and architecture principles to be followed, including information security architecture
  • Conduct a comprehensive analysis of the proposed physical location of HPC and issue requirements and high level specifications based on the results
  • Conduct a Business Impact Analysis and propose continuity and recovery requirements to be followed 
  • Review / propose a high level organizational structure and a set of minimal knowledge for the personnel in charge with HPC operation and maintenance once the project is implemented

Assess and propose a high level HPC implementation plan, indicating main project phases  and relevant HPC project implementation milestonesThe consultant will agree the Report structure beforehand, during the planning stage.

B.     

The second phase of the assignment is meant to detail, based on agreed scenarios and options, technical requirements for future HPC service acquisition, including but not limited to:

  • Detailed Technical requirements for the HPC infrastructure and services structure
  • Qualification, experience and other relevant requirements for potential suppliers of HPC service
  • Structure of the Project Implementation Unit/team
  • Qualification and experience of team members
  • Main requirements for beneficiary implementation board, as well and any other requirements for successfully implementation (ex: costs requirements, security issues handling, critical success factors, etc.
  • Estimate and broad HPC implementation Project plan (WBS) with milestones and estimative intermediate results
  • Others, which are considered as being relevant according to the results of the feasibility study.

The consultant will propose and agree the structure during the first phase of the project.

 06. LEVEL OF EFFORT

 The level of effort (LOE) in man days estimated for this assignment will not exceed 90 consultant / working days. The proposed assignment are expected to be finished in period that not exceed 6 months.

 07. PLACE OF PERFORMANCE

 The Consultant will perform his duties in Moldova, as indicated in the SOW. However, the consultant will not have a permanent working place.