Industry Engagement


Shared Services Canada (SSC) engaged an independent fairness monitor for the entire Planning and Procurement Phase and consulted the private sector—the information technology (IT) industry, including IT associations—during the Industry Engagement Phase of the Email Transformation Initiative (ETI). This was done to ensure fairness, openness and transparency in the procurement of a consolidated email solution for the Government of Canada and to help SSC select the most secure, reliable and cost-effective solution possible.

Contract Award – June 25, 2013

In June 2013, SSC announced a major milestone for the Government of Canada’s Email Transformation Initiative. Following a year of a rigorous Collaborative Procurement Process, and after considering the options for an email solution that would meet security requirements and provide value for money, the Government of Canada selected Bell Canada, in partnership with CGI Information Systems and Management Consultants Inc., to deliver the new email solution for SSC and the 43 partner organizations it serves.

The Government of Canada is working to streamline IT, save money, and end waste and duplication. By consolidating its email systems to a single and secure email platform, the Government anticipates savings of over $50 million a year, beginning in 2015–2016.

Request for Proposal – March 1, 2013

As part of the Bid Solicitation phase, SSC issued a Request for Proposal (RFP) on March 1, 2013. After a transparent and rigorous collaborative procurement process, which included the industry engagement phases, SSC issued the RFP to four pre-qualified vendors: Bell Canada, Dell Canada, HP Canada, and IBM Canada.

The four vendors had until the close of the RFP on April 9, 2013, to submit their proposals. Then, SSC began the evaluations of the vendor proposals. A fairness monitor observed the evaluation of the proposals with respect to SSC’s adherence to the evaluation process described in the RFP. This fairness monitor was involved in all phases of the industry engagement to ensure fairness, openness and transparency in the process.

Once the RFP results were evaluated, senior SSC management considered options for an email solution for the Government of Canada – one that would meet its stated requirements including security and value for money.

Review and Refine Requirements – November 2, 2012 to January 31, 2013

On November 21, 2012, SSC entered the Review and Refine Requirements (RRR) phase that ran until January 31, 2013. In this phase, successful respondents had an opportunity to enhance their understanding of the ETI requirements. The RRR phase also permitted SSC to conduct due diligence with these respondents on the initiative’s requirements. In the RRR phase, successful respondents worked with SSC to review and refine the business and technical email requirements.

Request for Responses for Evaluation – September 19, 2012

SSC issued a Request for Responses for Evaluation (RFRE) on September 19, 2012. The RFRE’s purpose was to identify successful respondents with proven track records for designing, implementing and operating an enterprise email solution. The RFRE is neither a Request for Proposal nor a solicitation of bids or tenders; it was intended only to pre-qualify respondents for the next stages in acquiring an email solution.

The RFRE closed on October 23, 2012. SSC received responses to the RFRE and evaluations that included both technical and procurement-specific activities to determine the eligibility of vendors to proceed to the next phase of the process. Following the evaluations, it was determined that submissions were non-compliant due to administrative requirements.

Therefore, to ensure the best market-based competitive process for the ETI, SSC determined that the RFRE should be reposted to ensure fair competition, giving respondents the opportunity to meet all the conditions of the RFRE. The RFRE was reposted to MERX for one week, from November 2 to November 9, 2012.

Request for Responses for Evaluation (November 2, 2012)

Industry Engagement Day and Request for Information – June, 2012

Industry feedback from the Industry Engagement Day (June 12, 2012) and the Request for Information (posted June 22, 2012) provided useful input into the next phases, including availability of new technology and perspectives on data migration and other areas of implementation.

Request for Information – June 22, 2012

In June, it was announced that the Government of Canada had issued a Request for Information (RFI) to seek industry feedback on the service delivery model for the ETI.

The RFI is a continuation of the industry engagement process, initiated with an Industry Day held on June 12, 2012, when the IT industry from across Canada provided its preliminary input on the initiative’s scope, potential solutions and service delivery options. In addition, one-on-one meetings between government representatives and the IT industry took place from June 13 to 15, 2012, with the oversight of an independent third party fairness monitor.

Public Works and Government Services Canada (PWGSC) and SSC sought further industry feedback from the RFI on the ETI’s mandatory requirements and asked specific questions on how the new email solution would be delivered and managed.

The RFI also sought feedback on industry’s ability to meet the anticipated evaluation criteria. RFI workshops with the IT industry were held in July 2012.

Industry Engagement Day (June 12, 2012)

On May 31, 2012, the Government announced that PWGSC and SSC will hold an Industry Engagement Day on June 12, 2012, in Ottawa, on the ETI.

PWGSC and SSC engaged the IT industry to ensure fairness, openness and transparency in the procurement process. Industry Engagement Day was an opportunity for the IT industry to provide input on the initiative’s scope, potential solutions and service delivery options. Following Industry Engagement Day, companies and industry associations had the opportunity to participate in further meetings with PWGSC and SSC to continue discussions.