QinetiQ Commerce Decisions – CloudStore brings MOD sunshine!

The UK Government’s  G-Cloud CloudStore seems to be reaching a critical mass and proving itself to be a success after a probably inevitably slow start. The new “G-Cloud III” list of suppliers goes live this week, but what is more impressive is that sales in March were £7M, compared to around £10M over the previous year or so since the initiative was first launched. And now with Francis Maude announcing a “cloud first” policy last week, that growth is likely to accelerate. All central government departments in the UK will now have to prioritise cloud services when buying IT.

It’s still not totally clear I suspect to many users exactly how the CloudStore should be used in an EU compliant manner, so I suspect a lot of users are just going on the basis that “if a supplier is listed the Store, then I can use them”. (The likelihood of challenge is pretty low, we suspect). And it certainly provides a good route to market for providers who have innovative products that the public sector wants to use, but previously might only have been able to following a long and tedious procurement process.

According to PublicTechnology.net, some of the recent larger purchases  included:

·         £500,000 from the Home Office, with £150,000 of that spent on an 'operating model change programme' and £100,000 spent on agile consulting.

·         £487,620 on a 'platform for online transactions' by Thurrock Borough Council.

·         £114,468 from the Ministry of Justice on a 'biometric security visits system'.

·         £354,040 from the University of Hertfordshire

·         £208,950 from the Care Quality Commission for consultancy for Cloud-based Drupal, SharePoint consulting and hosting and development.

And it is beginning to have an effect in the procurement and supply chain solution provider world. Qinetiq Commerce Decisions, who produce clever software that supports very large tender processes, and complex evaluation processes in particular, have recently announced a major sale to the UK Ministry of Defence. MOD have been users of the Award product for some time, but this is the first time they have bought via the G-Cloud.

 “We have been using AWARD for some time in MOD, but placing separate contracts with QinetiQ Commerce Decisions each time. It makes obvious sense to place a corporate licence contract with QinetiQ Commerce Decisions, and greater use of AWARD should help to standardise our evaluation processes. We also use other similar tools and will be assessing how we can increase electronic methods across all our contracting activities” said Les Mosco, MOD Director Commercial.

So solution providers with a cloud / SaaS offering that has any relevance to the public sector need to look at the Store if they haven’t already – it is likely to gain increasing importance, so don’t ignore it!

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