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About Naked Solar
Based in Newquay on the Treloggan Industrial Estate and formed in 2010, Naked Solar (NS) is a highly successful multi-award winning business. NS specialist in Solar Photo-Voltaic (PV) panel installations for both domestic and commercial clients.
NS continually strive to embrace latest technology to the benefits of its customers. SolarEdge, a technology that more efficiently utilises the solar power generated from PVs, is a solution the company has implemented for approximately half of its clientele.
The ethos of the company is to be open and transparent. The work package described in this document epitomises this approach and aims to provide customers with unparalleled information about their solar energy installation from the initial enquiry stage, throughout installation and during operation of any installed system, even when taking over an existing installation. This open approach is a significant contributor to their recent renaming and rebranding project culminating in their new company name and image – Naked Solar.
Background to Project
NS have embraced cloud computing technology throughout the company. Connectivity for the main office in Newquay is a Fibre (FTTC) service through Zen internet. This provides a 60 Mbps (downstream) and 20 Mbps (upstream) service that is used by all members of the company. Office 365 and Microsoft Dynamics are the core office systems. Dynamics is cloud hosted and 365 is used for email and office applications. There is no on premise server.
In addition to these core Microsoft systems, NS make extensive use of a specialist solar survey and costing tool called PV*Sol during the enquiry quotation stage of any client engagement. This tool produces a report describing all aspects of a proposed PV installation including designs showing where panels will be located and a predicted energy generation (usually within 10% accuracy).
All installations require a variety of certification which includes: EPC and MCS (for Feed-in-tariff claims). Further to this, Google Maps Streetview images and site survey photographs need to be held and related to any given installation, whether proposed, in progress or in its operational phase.
The Trello collaboration tool is used to handle specific questions and issues during installation.
The core configuration of Dynamics has been customised to include additional objects to store site installation details and produces sales invoices which are then manually keyed into Sage Line 50. The following diagram shows the top-level relationships between current objects.
Dynamics is currently used to record Client Leads and to progress them through relevant workflows to a completed installation allowing post install cases to be raised. Dynamics is also used for all client communication which includes the distribution of quotes and the other related documentation mentioned above. Appointment dates for installation, whether for a single stage or multi-stage implementation (e.g. new build with first fix, second fix stages) are held on the system.
NS requests energy generation statistics after the first month of running and then annually. Client records are manually updated with this data. For SolarEdge installations, the inverter and associated technology provides a comprehensive set of telemetry. The production of this granular data is automated and can be collected via a fully featured API.
Sage Line 50 (on premise) is the accounting solution used by NS. It is not integrated in any way with any of the current system processes or workflow.
NS are looking for a suitably experienced Microsoft Dynamics development agency to undertake a package of enhancements to their current Dynamics implementation.
For each of the above work packages, these are now discussed in more detail:
OneDrive is already used with the current Dynamics implementation, however, the limitations of the existing OneDrive and Dynamics integration means that NS need to move to a central storage arrangement that allows all Users to access any associated document in a cost effective and integrated cloud storage facility. This may require the inclusion of Sharepoint, however, respondents will need to consider all options and recommend one that both provides the required document visibility as well as ensuring value for money.
NS have a UC Office telephone system installed
A plug-in CRM Connect utility has been installed for all clients on the system which provides a level of CTI to include CLI searches on the Dynamics database and screen-popping.
The system now needs to attach call-recordings from customers, primarily during the aftercare maintenance phase of any installation. This is so that specific case details that are conveyed by customers over the phone are appropriately recorded for subsequent review by other staff members as well as by supplier technical support representatives.
The system must therefore provide a facility to attach a call-recording to a new or selected Case record. As a minimum, respondents should propose a facility that emails the call-recording as an attachment to the user that took the call. They should then, at least, be able to manually attach the call recording file to a new or relevant Case, however, the automation of any part of this process would be preferable. Where a call is answered via voicemail, these should be alerted to one or more users to allow the same process to take place (i.e. the manual attachment of the voicemail recording to a new or existing Case).
NS are willing to consider an another telephony platform in order to meet the desired applications integration and have already identifies Skype for Business as a possible alternative
The Customer Portal would aim to support three distinct user bases:
While still registered as a Lead on Dynamics, but at the point the Lead is converted to a Contact (having reached a trigger score – this score being agreed with NS), the system is to email the Lead inviting them to register with the portal. Once registered, the Lead user should gain access to further information and documentation files held in OneDrive.
The portal should request further site information and offer the user to request a survey and quotation based on the required information being entered and validated by the NS team.
Any requested quotation should be stored within the portal. An automated email and/or SMS message (where the contact has stated their preference as part of registration) should communicate the quotation and advise the Lead user that the quotation has been placed in the portal along with any other survey documents.
Once a quotation has been provided, the system should offer the Lead user the option to pay a deposit amount online in order to confirm their order. In addition, an installation booking calendar (held on Dynamics) should be presented to the Lead user. Depending on the type of installation, only the initial installation date should be offered at this point. The status of the Lead user should now convert to being a Customer (Contact).
The portal must allow a secure login for Leads and Customers to access their account details and their installation(s). There must be a forgotten password (and username) facility with a captcha utility to stop unwanted automated attempts to access the system. Rules should enforce strong passwords and all user activity must be logged against the logged in user account.
Installations can be as follows:
Each type of installation can be multi stage or single stage. Phases may include
The number of stages may be dependent on a number of factors including new site build progress or electrical grid supply.
Where the property is new (domestic or commercial), then multiple installation dates are likely to be required. This may be the case for existing properties as well. The customer may also opt to use their own tradespeople (e.g. electrician) for some of the associated works.
A method must exist to invite secondary, tertiary and possibly further booking dates (using the same installation date calendar as above). NS are looking at methods to achieve this from respondents, but at a minimum, a field on the installation should be available to set the number of installation stages and this should be amendable up until the installation is marked as complete. The booking process should be a ‘date request’ and for all requested dates to be approved by the NS team.
The Customer portal, whether at the initial purchasing stage, or at any subsequent login to the portal, should have the option to upsell additional items to the order, such as upgraded battery storage.
When installation is flagged as complete, the system must send an email and/or SMS message to the customer inviting them to login and make any final payment. At this point, access to a separate document area specific to the installation should be granted. This area will include critical documents e.g. Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) and Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) certificates.
The current system caters for multiple installations for a single customer. Going forwards, it must be possible to transfer a site from one customer to another (e.g. where a house is sold with a NS installation). In this situation, the installation documentation must move to the new customer whilst all relevant financial data will remain related to the original customer.
A key aim for the collection and analysis of this data is to see real world performance of panels compared to models. Therefore, routine collection of energy generation data per installation is needed.
NS Customers fall primarily into one of two energy data categories:
The process for the manual collection of energy generation data is for the system is to send an email and/or SMS message to each Customer requesting a solar energy generation reading. The frequency of these messages is as stated above (after one month and then annually). The email and SMS message should include a link to the Customer portal that, once authenticated, allows the Customer to enter their energy data.
Details of panel type, inverters and other specifics of the installation are held in the installation object within Dynamics and so not required to be entered by the Customer. All data must be available for analysis reporting either from a Dynamics report or by export to Excel.
Currently, approximately 50% of solar energy generation systems by NS include SolarEdge technology. SolarEdge provides a comprehensive API to allow the interrogation of a range of data taken from the solar installation.
Details of the RESTful API can be found at https://www.solaredge.com/sites/default/files/se_monitoring_api.pdf . Results can be returned in XML, JSON (including JSONP support) or CSV format.
For SolarEdge installations, energy generation data should be collected automatically on a schedule requested by NS.
Going forwards, it is desirable to have any alerts from the solar installation created as Cases within Dynamics to proactively intercept issues and automatically generate a support issue for the NS team to investigate. However, this is a future development and not within this initial scope of development and mentioned here to ensure suitable structures and configuration is included at this stage.
Currently, Cases are manually created in Dynamics for any reported issues with an installation. NS wish to enhance this area of the system by linking it to the Customer Portal mentioned in section 3. above.
When customers log into the portal, the system should first list all installations they have. If only one installation exists, then this stage should be bypassed and the customer taken to the next page which should offer four options:
This option should display the customer details taken from the relevant objects within Dynamics that are associated with the selected installation site. All contact details should be amendable to allow the customer to update anything that may have changed. Any amendments should be written back to the Dynamics database which can be the single repository for all data (i.e. no need for a synchronised database web-side).
A further link within this option should list all documents associated with the customer. This should include:
The option should display all of the details relating to the solar installation taken from the relevant objects within Dynamics. None of the data should be editable.
A further link within this option should list all documents associated with the installation site. This should include:
Review energy data
If selecting the review of energy data, selection of this link should immediately list all energy data collected for that installation with an option to either print it or export it as a .csv file.
Report an issue
When selecting the link to report an issue, a list of self-help documentation should be presented. In the future, these documents may form a searchable document library but for this initial stage, a back office facility for NS staff to upload documents in a pdf format must be available and for these documents to be selectable as to whether they are published in the self-help documentation list.
The self-help page must have a link at the bottom to move onto logging a Case. On this page, Customers must be able to enter a description of the issue and for the page to be submitted as a Case. All other details for the Case will be available from the identity of the logged in user. Any return communication will be recorded as it is currently.
As mentioned in section 2. above, NS wishes to have any related telephone conversation recordings attached to a Case as further background detail on any issue.
Once a Case is reported, these must be listed, along with status on the relevant customer’s login. Therefore, when a customer returns to the portal they should be able to see the status of any of their Cases. The displayed status will be the status of the Case as within Dynamics. In addition, NS would like the communication log associated with the Case to be visible to the Customer. This should include all emails, SMS messages* and call recordings as well as any email and SMS communication to and from suppliers so that the customer can see a full audit trail of the issue handling by NS.
[* This should cater for both inbound and outbound SMS messages. An SMS ó Email gateway service or alternative translation solution can be proposed to standardise the communication protocol into and out of Dynamics]
This is a supplementary task which is implicit in all of the preceding sections. This is, to modify the existing Dynamics structure in a way that it meets the needs of all requirements expressed in this document while ensuring that the integrity and content of the existing database is not compromised in any way, and to develop an overall structure to allow likely developments in the future.
Naked Solar invites quotes from suitably experienced Dynamics development organisations with a proven track record in delivering customer portal solutions. The successful organisation will work in partnership with the in-house team to develop the work packages outlined in this document to ensure it meets requirements.
The supplier will need to demonstrate:
The successful organisation(s) will be awarded a Contract, which is expected to commence in July 2017. It is expected that the solution can be installed at site and completed by the end of August 2017.
This would be subject to performance reviews and applicable procurement rules.
The indicative value for this work package is £50,000.00 (plus VAT).
All Intellectual Property created by the successful Supplier in the course of performing the Services or exclusively for the purpose of performing the Services shall ultimately rest with Naked Solar.
Interested organisations are required to submit a response against the question set below:
Q1. Please detail your organisation’s skills and experience in delivering the type of activity detailed in the request for quotation. Please include examples where similar films have been delivered successfully previously.
Q2. Please provide details of the relevant professional experience of staff that will be involved in delivering the service.
Q3. Please provide an outline plan for undertaking this work including expected time to start and finish including user testing time.
Q4. Please provide a brief description of how communications would work with Cornwall Solar Panel operational staff i.e. face to face phone e-mail web ex or conferencing tools such as Facetime\Skype.
Q5. How will you evidence value for money and how will you charge for your services? Please provide examples of costings and explain if your rates are hourly or costed based on an estimate following an agreed specification of work required.
Please ensure all responses are limited to 500 words per question. Responses will be weighted as follows: Q1 15%, Q2 10%, Q3 30%, Q4 30% Q5 15%
Please provide details of a similar project as part of any quotation submission.
Please return your completed quotation to Tony Sampson, email@example.com by 17:00 on 27 October 2017. Please put in the email subject line “CRM Portal” and state if it relates to work package #1 and/or #2.
Please direct any questions you have about this quote or the process to the same email address using the email subject line “CRM Portal”. The last time and date for clarification questions by 17:00 on 20 October 2017.
Following the review of submissions, organisations may be asked to present their proposal to convey their approach and ideas for the proposed website before a decision is made.
Please note that Naked Solar is submitting a funding application of which if successful the project is part funded by ERDF.
Naked Solar reserves the right to withdraw from the procurement at any point in time during the procurement process.
Naked Solar is committed to creating an environment where there is mutual respect, honesty and equality of opportunity for all. We expect suppliers to share and demonstrate this commitment in their policies and practice