Posts tagged "CloudStore"

End user device programme to adopt ‘best-in-breed’ approach

Forthcoming technical framework will define ‘component elements’ for the supply of products and services while monitoring applications for G-Cloud ii framework

A guest blog on the G-Cloud site from the End User Device Programme has laid out how the End User Device Programme is running its procurement approach.

The post, by Glynis Baldridge, an official on the programme team explains how the End User Device Programme (EUDP) is working with the Government Procurement Service to run procurement activity for desktop services.

The blog explains that although there are a number of existing frameworks that can be used, they only partially meet the strategy, so the programme is looking to put in place a number of contracts with best-in-breed suppliers across the complete end user device spectrum.

According to Baldridge, the basis for the contracts will be to focus on the end user roles, using component elements as defined in a shortly to be published “technical framework” to supply products and services for each role type, and seek multiple suppliers to deliver solutions for one or more of those roles.

At the same time, Baldridge added, “We are keeping a close eye on the applications to join the G-Cloud ii Framework, where there is an end user device service under Lot 3 for suppliers able to provide cloud services to meet the EUD Strategy.  We will shortly know what suppliers and services are to be made available through the CloudStore, and we will be able to start to talk to other suppliers who we think should be applying to future G-Cloud frameworks.”

EUDP said its commercial principles, which the contracts will need to meet, are “in line with the Central Government procurement principles, which are, in no particular order, better engagement with SMEs (small, medium enterprises); focus on business outcomes; short flexible contracts with minimal exit costs: re-use of existing frameworks; value for money and total cost of ownership take precedence over price; prices based on best estimates of volumes.”

EUDP added that it will be holding a number of supplier meetings over the coming weeks and months with both existing and potential new suppliers “to ensure that as wide a range of ICT suppliers are as fully aware of our plans as possible.”

Meanwhile, the CloudStore has warned that with less than 48 hours to go before the deadline for submission of tenders to the Tender Authority to become part of G-Cloud ii, organisations should expect a high level of interest in the framework and a high volume of applications to the Emptoris portal. It recommends that organisations should consider logging in and completing their response, with any attachments, well in advance of the 3pm deadline on the 31 of August.

This article is published by Guardian Professional. Join the Guardian Government Computing Network free to receive regular emails on the issues at the top of the professional agenda.


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Posted by admin - August 31, 2012 at 08:23

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G-Cloud accredits first suppliers

‘Badge’ system intended to help government purchasers identify IL security accredited cloud suppliers

The G-Cloud programme has said that the first suppliers have been awarded Pan Government Accreditation (PGA) to provide services through the CloudStore.

It said that the scheme will show that cloud services have been assessed by information assurance body CESG and approved to operate to a required level.

“This means that we have checked the service and feel that it is safe enough to look after our information,” the G-Cloud team said on its website.

The accreditation scheme is intended to remove the current processes – and associated expenditure – which public bodies have to go through to check the standards of potential cloud computing suppliers.

New ‘badges’ on the CloudStore website will indicate when a service has been accredited. The intention is to make it easier for buyers to identify potential services.

A badge will be awarded after CESG has given the supplier a certificate to mark its accreditation, which includes details of the full business impact level profile, date of validity and information about the evidence used.

“We are looking at designing badges for other parts of the process, including some which may be used by suppliers on their documentation, websites, etc and will make these available as soon as they are ready,” said the G-Cloud team.

A section aimed at helping suppliers understand the accreditation process is available on the G-Cloud website. It says that security accreditation is required for all services which will hold information assessed at business impact level (IL) profiles 11x/22x, 33x and above.

It tells suppliers: “We aim to maximise the benefits of G-Cloud accreditation through the principle ‘do the information assurance once, do it well, and re-use’.”

The Cabinet Office said that nine services from SCC are the first services to achieve PGA for CloudStore.

This article is published by Guardian Professional. Join the Guardian Government Computing Network free to receive regular emails on the issues at the top of the professional agenda.


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Posted by admin - August 25, 2012 at 08:25

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Denise McDonagh rebuts G-Cloud critics

Director of G-Cloud defends programme against claims of fall in interest

Denise McDonagh, director of the Cabinet Office’s G-Cloud programme, has said that suggestions there has been a drop in interest in supplying to the G-Cloud are “just plain wrong”.

To date, there have been 407 expressions from interest from new suppliers into the G-Cloud, in addition to those already on the first G-Cloud framework and that are reapplying, she said.

McDonagh was responding in a Cabinet Office blog to comments about G-Cloud sales figures over the past week.

“Most of these [comments] are supportive and recognise the fact that 75% of the spend through the framework has been with SMEs as the positive step that it is, but others have been less supportive (and I would go as far as saying less accurate in their use of the data),” said McDonagh.

Public sector organisations spent just over £98,000 through the CloudStore framework in July, mainly on software. The total represents a drop from nearly £460,000 the previous month and £555,800 in April.

McDonagh pointed out that since the first G-Cloud framework was launched in February, purchases worth more than £1m have been made through it.

“Some people who don’t really understand the landscape we’re working in may well look at that figure and assume that has had very little impact on the estimated £16bn a year that government spends on IT,” she said.

“This simply highlights that what they don’t understand is the relationship between £1 spent with a G-Cloud supplier, and £1 spent with one of the 20 corporations responsible for delivering 90% of government IT at present.

“That is why the fact that after only four months of completed data we can clearly see the shift away from the traditional suppliers to the SMEs is such a good thing.”

The current challenge for G-Cloud programme is to ensure that the buyers understand how to purchase and consume the many services they are offering.

McDonagh said this is the reason behind an online community to support buyers and enable all who are interested in the G-Cloud to interact and communicate.

This article is published by Guardian Professional. Join the Guardian Government Computing Network free to receive regular emails on the issues at the top of the professional agenda.


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Posted by admin - August 21, 2012 at 07:41

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CloudStore: 75% of suppliers are SMEs

Cabinet Office says CloudStore is breaking monopoly of integration giants

The Cabinet Office has said that three-quarters of the contracts awarded through the public sector IT services catalogue CloudStore have gone to SMEs, reports The Register.

The claim was made in response to feedback from some suppliers who suspect G-Cloud business is dominated by the same integrators that monopolised wider public sector IT procurement.

A Cabinet Office spokesman said: “Around 7% of the 260 suppliers on the G-Cloud framework are SMEs and 75% of the contracts let to date have gone to SMEs”.

The Cabinet Office described this as “impressive progress” in the six months since the online IT services catalogue CloudStore went live.

“The G-Cloud framework is still new and we are keen to work with SMEs as it develops – we want to hear their views on how we can continue to ensure a level playing field,” the spokesman added.

This article is published by Guardian Professional. Join the Guardian Government Computing Network free to receive regular emails on the issues at the top of the professional agenda.


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Posted by admin - August 17, 2012 at 08:31

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£98k spent through CloudStore in July

Cabinet Office and Student Loans Company among biggest G-Cloud spenders last month

Public sector organisations spent just over £98,000 through the government CloudStore framework in July, mainly on software.

The biggest spenders were the following:

The Student Loans Company, which spend nearly £32,000 on consultancy with Quo Imus.

The Cabinet Office spent £24,500 with software developer Apto Solutions.

The Department for International Development spent £20,600 with Microsoft.

To date, the biggest spender has been the Ministry of Justice which spent £251,000 with cloud-based collaboration platform supplier Huddle, according to the G-Cloud website.

The lowest value spend was just £5.00, spent by Department for Culture Media and Sport with Fubra last month.

The total £98,000 for July represents a drop from nearly £460,000 the previous month and £555,800 in April.

This article is published by Guardian Professional. Join the Guardian Government Computing Network free to receive regular emails on the issues at the top of the professional agenda.


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Posted by admin - August 15, 2012 at 20:14

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CloudStore back to life after technical glitch

G-Cloud team confirms Cloudstore issues which prevented supplier and public sector buyers from accessing the service have been resolved

CloudStore, the government’s online catalogue for the public sector to make cloud computing purchases, is back up and running following a system error, which affected public access to the service.

The government’s @G_Cloud_UK Twitter account acknowledged the problems yesterday, tweeting just before midday: “We know there’s still issues with #cloudstore + @mcraddock is working v hard w Gov E-Marketplace team to fix it- will update when fixed.”

At about 3:30pm on the same day it tweeted that there was a system error affecting public access and that hosting provider Procserve was working to resolve the problems. Finally this morning before 10am, the G-Cloud team tweeted to say the issues had been resolved.

“Pleased to say that #cloudstore issues have been fixed so normal service should be resumed – any probs let us know,” the team said in a tweet.

Commenting on CloudStore resuming usual service, a spokesman for the Cabinet Office said: “The G-Cloud is operating normally again and the CloudStore is open for business, offering the public sector a cheaper, quicker and more transparent way to procure the services they need.”

When Cloudstore was originally released in February, it was hosted on Microsoft’s Azure platform. But it was soon moved off onto Procserve after hosting problems led to the online marketplace being taken down for several hours.

The CloudStore has a catalogue of 1,700 cloud services provided by more than 250 vendors. The second iteration of the service went live in May.

This article is published by Guardian Professional. Join the Guardian Government Computing Network free to receive regular emails on the issues at the top of the professional agenda.


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Posted by admin - July 27, 2012 at 09:00

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Huddle grabs lion’s share of CloudStore sales

G-Cloud sales data shows bias towards SaaS delivery rather than specialist cloud services

Publication of sales achieved through the G-Cloud framework have revealed that the majority of purchases made to date have been for Huddle’s collaboration software.

Huddle sales account for more than £400,000 of total sales of £453,000, with buyers of the software including the Ministry of Justice, the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and the Department for Communities and Local Government.

The largest Huddle sale is for £251,000 to the Ministry of Justice, followed by similar deals for £70,200 to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, and for £66,546 to the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.

Other buyers listed by the CloudStore include the Boundary Commission for England, the Department for International Development, the Department for Work and Pensions, the Government Procurement Service, the Health and Safety Executive, the Maritime and Coastguard Agency and West Midlands Services NHS trust.

All but two of the sales are for software-as-a-service delivery, rather than for specialist cloud services.

Chris Pennell, principal analyst at public sector market intelligence firm Kable, said: “The Ministry of Justice purchase notwithstanding, the level of expenditure per procurement is a reflection of the slowly, slowly approach being adopted towards CloudStore. It is interesting to note that the majority of purchases have been for Huddle’s collaboration services, which has already garnered headlines through deals with Foreign and Commonwealth Office Services.”

This article is published by Guardian Professional. For weekly updates on news, debate and best practice on public sector IT, join the Guardian Government Computing network here.


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Posted by admin - June 15, 2012 at 13:11

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Denise McDonagh: buy camps and expos will ‘propagate’ G-Cloud

G-Cloud programme director focuses on getting public sector to adopt cloud technology

The G-Cloud programme is being developed to help the wider public sector transition to cloud services, according to Denise McDonagh.

In an interview with Guardian Government Computing, the director of the G-Cloud programme said that she is currently focusing on the “propagation” of the G-Cloud.

“Propagation for me is about how I help the public sector – central and local government, the NHS, charities, education and skills – to think about how and when they use the service and can transition from where they are now into cloud services.”

Specialist “buy camps” for government purchasers, supplier expos, communities of interest and an “Ask Mike” online information service are among initiatives that McDonagh is using to promote the G-Cloud.

The Home Office, where McDonagh is also IT director in addition to running the G-Cloud programme, was among the departments to make a purchase – for support services – through the first iteration of CloudStore.

She said that contracts worth £500,000 were signed in the first 10 weeks after the initial CloudStore catalogue opened in mid-February.

The G-Cloud programme is now in discussions with 50 public bodies through the Ask Mike service, helping them through the process of what and how to buy.

So far 244 suppliers have expressed an interest in joining the second version of CloudStore, but McDonagh said she is expecting a lot more to sign up.

“I have had a number of SMEs that said ‘we did not bid first time around because we wanted to see what it was like, but we will want to bid second time around’”.

Cloud hosting company Cat N was one of the SMEs that decided to join the first iteration and, according to McDonagh, made its first sale in May.

This article is published by Guardian Professional. For weekly updates on news, debate and best practice on public sector IT, join the Guardian Government Computing network here.


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Posted by admin - June 13, 2012 at 19:39

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Government highlights CloudStore sale success story

G-Cloud team says sale provided a low cost and effective way for NHS commissioning support service to ‘securely collaborate’

The government has published information on a CloudStore deal that it believes has allowed an NHS service to collaborate effectively.

In a blog post on the G-Cloud website, the team says that NHS Central Southern Commissioning Support Services (CSS) bought Inovem Collaborate software-as-a-service through the G-Cloud framework to improve communications and collaborative working among NHS clusters and clinical commissioning groups spread across five counties.

According to the blog post, the CSS needed a solution to allow shared working across groups in Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire, Berkshire, Gloucestershire and Swindon, with the ability to consult more widely with members of the public in future.

“As the number of users is expected to grow, coupled with the flexibility offered by a pay-as-you-go solution, the decision to use software-as-a-service from G-Cloud was an easy one,” says the blog post.

It goes on to say that the availability of the software and the way in which it could be evaluated and procured, along with the opportunity to exploit cloud services, made G-Cloud appealing to the CSS.

“Central Southern CSS and Inovem have been surprised and refreshed at the simplicity of G-Cloud. The flexibility it offers in pricing enabled a very low cost trial before spreading the cloud based collaboration solution to a wider user base,” the post adds.

Chris Pennell, principal analyst at public sector market intelligence firm Kable, said the sale was indicative of a trend that was starting to emerge.

“What we’re seeing is non business critical software being purchased by a small number of users,” he said. “But what it does show is that there is an appetite for flexible pricing. But I’m still waiting to see a big department, like the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, step up to the plate and launch a meaty procurement, and procure for all of their central staff.”

The release of these details follows the launch of the second round of G-Cloud procurement last week. The value of the total procurement possible through the G-Cloud has now been increased to £100m from £60m.

Designed to be more accessible to SMEs, the new framework has no lengthy pre-qualification questionnaire, less stringent requirements of financial history, simplified mandatory questions and specifications, and provision of services on standard terms.

Pennell said it will be interesting to see whether any departments defer their procurements, so that they can look at what the new procurement round has to offer.

This article is published by Guardian Professional. For weekly updates on news, debate and best practice on public sector IT, join the Guardian Government Computing network here.


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Posted by admin - May 28, 2012 at 19:19

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CloudStore 2 goes live

Government CIO Andy Nelson says latest iteration of CloudStore offers better functionality

The second iteration of the government’s CloudStore has gone live today, the Cabinet Office has announced.

It claims that the iteration has better functionality in terms of searching and comparing services and prices. It also enables buyers to purchase directly through the store if they are registered with the government eMarketplace.

The intention is to make the service better for suppliers because payments will be quicker and easier. Profiles of companies can be edited more quickly, according to the Cabinet Office.

It said the iteration was built on the government eMarketplace, as a way of using existing technology, but that it is still the government’s intention to consider using open source in future versions.

Andy Nelson, the government chief information officer, said: “Using cloud solutions in the public sector that have been assured and accredited will almost always be less expensive, and we will only pay for what we use.

“We had overwhelming interest in the first CloudStore. Today’s iteration improves on the original in a range of ways – better functionality on searching, price comparison and payment are just a few examples.

“CloudStore will continue to evolve and change. For this iteration it made practical and financial sense to use an existing government platform. We look forward to feedback from users as we continue on our cloud journey.”

This article is published by Guardian Professional. For weekly updates on news, debate and best practice on public sector IT, join the Guardian Government Computing network here.


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Posted by admin - May 21, 2012 at 14:01

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