Government opens fourth iteration of cloud framework G-Cloud 4 for business

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Government opens fourth iteration of cloud framework G-Cloud 4 for business

Archana Venkatraman

New cloud providers and existing G-Cloud suppliers can register their services in the next round of government IT procurement as the Cabinet Office opens the fourth iteration of UK government cloud – G-Cloud 4 (G4) to accept tenders.

Peter Middleton, cloud consultant on the G-Cloud programme, made the announcement of the launch of G4 on the official government blog. The latest iteration features improvements to the Invitation to Tender process (ITT) process following supplier feedback on G-Cloud 3 that it lacked clarity.

G-Cloud 4 will include clearer instructions for new suppliers on how they can submit their services to the programme and clearer instructions for existing suppliers on G-Cloud 2 on how they can carry forward their services. It will also feature pre-populated data around company information and cloud service details in the submissions portal for existing providers.G-Cloud 2 expires in October and existing suppliers of that phase must apply to the new iteration to stay in the programme. Big cloud players such as AWS and Google participated in the bidding process but were rejected.

“If you are currently only on the G2 framework, you should apply to G4 to ensure continuity for your services, as the G2 framework will expire on 27 October 2013. After this date, if you have not applied for G4, you will no longer be a G-Cloud supplier,” warned Middleton.

G-Cloud 3 will remain open until May 2014

“As with previous procurement rounds, G4 will be conducted in open and fair competition in line with EU procurement regulations, open to all suppliers,” he said.

Unlike previous iterations, G-Cloud 4 will use two systems for tender submissions. The first system -- Government Procurement Service (GPS) eSourcing suite – is for suppliers to respond to mandatory questions to meet procurement regulations.

And the second -- Government Digital Service (GDS) Service Submission Portal – involves a mandatory documentation upload feature so that suppliers do not fail compliance for non-submission of documents.

This system will make the process of uploading documents to the CloudStore simple, according to Middleton. CloudStore is an online marketplace listing IaaS, PaaS, SaaS services pre-approved by the government for the public sector to purchase. More than 250 suppliers are listed on the store, including large system integrators such as Atos, Capgemini, HP, IBM and Fujitsu and UK SMEs such as Memset.

Applications for G-Cloud 4 opened on Tuesday, August 06 and the deadline for submission of tenders is September 23. The estimated start date for framework agreements will be 29th of October.

Total G-Cloud sales to the end of June hit £31.2m with June pulling one of the highest monthly sales of around £5.8m.

 

Photo credit: David McCardle


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