SBCERA is soliciting proposals in response to this Request for Proposal (RFP) for support on a redesign of the SBCERA website (www.SBCERA.org). The anticipated project start date is June 10, 2019. SBCERA’s current website was launched in 2013. The website is the central hub for important information regarding the SBCERA Plan for stakeholders, including Active Members, Deferred Members, Retired Members, Employers (Plan Sponsors), Media, Employee Representative Groups, staff, and others.
Our current website is large and complex due to the numerous stakeholders we serve and the complexity of the information we provide. The new website should offer innovative solutions to providing this information without obstructing the design, page layout and ease of use. Our primary objective for the redesigned website will be to integrate an Omnichannel solution while providing a consistent customer experience that incorporates self-service and simplicity.
The San Bernardino County Employees’ Retirement Association (“SBCERA” or the “Plan”) is an independent, award winning multiple employer defined benefit plan. SBCERA administers service retirement, disability retirement and death benefits on behalf of over 40,000 members and beneficiaries, serves 18 employers throughout California and invests more than $10 billion in assets. SBCERA was established on January 1, 1945 under the California County Employees Retirement Law of 1937 (CERL) following a vote by the people of the County on May 16, 1944. For more than 73 years, SBCERA has been providing the promised benefits to its members and beneficiaries while ensuring the plan remains solid and secure.
Scope of Work:
Scope of services for this project will require three phases, including tasks associated with each phase:
Phase 1: Design
Design Task 1.0: Analysis of Existing Site Content and New Requirements
- Following the kick-off meeting, the Firm should gather end user perspectives about the existing site and develop a list of new site requirements to ensure the success of the redesign effort. It is anticipated that this will include a minimum of two focus groups with internal staff from SBCERA departments, stakeholders, SBCERA plan sponsors and/or the public.
- In addition to the requirements identified by the focus groups, the Firm should identify any other website capabilities and functions that may be relevant to SBCERA, including how they will help SBCERA meet the goals of end user ease of use outlined in this RFP. As part of their proposals, Firms should indicate the appropriate number of focus groups required to successfully complete this task.
Design Task 2.0: Development of New Navigational Structure and Site Map
- The Firm shall develop recommendations for a new navigational structure and site map, leveraging the requirements gathered in Task 1.0. SBCERA staff will review and provide feedback to the Firm regarding the navigation and site map submitted until a final site map is agreed upon. As part of their proposals, Firms should indicate the appropriate number of meetings required to successfully complete this task.
Design Task 3.0 Proposed Method to Regulatory Requirements
- The Firm should describe its understanding and a proposed process by which SBCERA’s redesigned website will comply with the standards set by ADA Section 508, and if possible W3C and WCAG 2.0 AA, as well as any other known state and federal regulatory compliance requirements.
Design Task 4.0: Design Development
- At least three home page and interior page design options will be provided by the Firm to SBCERA and will include the agreed upon navigational structure and site map. Design options should be visually appealing and support a simple, intuitive and consistent end user experience. Preliminary requirements for the design options include:
• Easy, clearly labeled and direct access to MemberDirect and EmployerDirect portals
• Easy and clear delineation for stakeholder groups
• Latest news
• Adaptive help page
• Integration of social media sites, video and/or webinars
• Innovative solution to address the large number of information categories, while keeping navigation simple SBCERA staff will review and provide feedback to the Firm regarding the designs submitted. At least one meeting will take place between the Firm and SBCERA regarding the design options. Internal and/or external focus groups may also be held to review the shortlisted designs before a final decision is made.
Design Task 5.0: Website Design Guidelines
- Firm will provide guidelines that ensure design effectiveness and consistency moving forward from the go-live date. The guidelines should also foster self-reliance, i.e., non-designers should be able to successfully understand design decisions and compose new templates consistent with the rest of the site. The guidelines should include, but not be limited to:
• Site scalability (criteria for adding pages, major navigational additions as well as branching off to micro and/or full-scale distinct sites)
Phase 2: Implementation
The Implementation Phase consists of implementing the design recommendations developed during Phase A: Design Phase. The new website should be built in development and test environments prior to being migrated to a production environment. SBCERA shall be provided access to all three environments.
The selected Firm shall provide hosting for the website that at a minimum meets the following requirements:
• Tier 3 Data Center (Tier 2 with agreed upon reimbursement plan);
• Tier 2 ISP connection (Tier 1 preferred);
• Average server response times of less than 200ms;
• SOC 2 Type 1 report;
• Guaranteed performances levels;
• No upload, download or bandwidth baps or throttling; and
• Backup, restore, and snapshot options.
Please review and address each of the questions in Appendix A: Data Security, Business Continuity and Hosting Infrastructure Questions at the end of this document. The Firm will be required to provide a complete disaster recovery plan, including hosting facility information and plan(s) in place for remediation of services.
The selected Firm shall develop a website that at a minimum meets the following requirements:
• The core Content Management System (CMS) being proposed must not be a proprietary system. Firm must specify the core CMS platform and any proprietary enhancements that are being proposed.
• Follows Open Web Application Security Project (OWASP) framework
• Properly mitigates OWASP Top 10 most critical web development risks as identified here: https://www.owasp.org/index.php/Category:OWASP_Top_Ten_Project
• Is fully https enabled?
• Is a fully-functioning site compliant with ADA Section 508 and any other state or federal regulatory requirements?
• Contains content that is easily translatable into other languages so SBCERA can comply with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act and Executive Order 13166, which concern Improving Access to Services for Persons with Limited English Proficiency (2000)
• Supports all current desktop and mobile browser versions, including those that are more than three years old where the older version still accounts for 2 percent or more of the site’s previous year’s web traffic
• Meets data security and privacy requirements that exceed minimum legal and industry standards
• Uses the latest in technology and programming to prevent hacking and protect content
Phase 3: Post-Launch Evaluation and Support
Post-Launch Task 1.0: Ongoing Design Support
Following the go-live date, the Firm shall provide six months of website design support services to address design changes identified by SBCERA. Services under this task shall include ongoing design work and additional recommendations regarding site structure.
Post-Launch Task 2.0: Ongoing Technical Support and Security
All proposals shall include costs for one year of annual support under a Service Level Agreement (SLA). The proposed SLA should provide in detail, tier levels and their offerings if applicable, support hours, response times and escalation triggers.
Services provided under the SLA shall include at a minimum, system maintenance and updates, Content Management System (CMS) support, maintenance and annual updates, security updates to all systems once a vulnerability has been identified, and Search Engine Optimization (SEO) updates at least quarterly. In addition, we request either as part of the SLA or as a secondary agreement, access to vendor provided training and support in the creation of additional modules or enhancements to existing modules and pages.
May 16th, 2019.
San Bernardino County Employees’ Retirement Association 348 West Hospitality Ln., Third Floor
San Bernardino, CA 92415-0014
Agencies worth considering for this assignment include Coyne PR and Kite Hill PR.