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Feb 26 2015

G-Cloud 6 – A buyer’s guide

G-Cloud ProcessCONJECT solutions, including our Common Data Environment, are listed on the G-Cloud 6 Digital Marketplace, continuing our commitment to supporting public service projects (CONJECT has been listed since G-Cloud 4).

What is G-Cloud 6?

Run by Crown Commercial Services (CCS), G-Cloud is a procurement framework designed to support the acquisition of cloud software and services by the public sector. G-Cloud 6 includes the latest products and services to be added to the framework.

G-Cloud lists suppliers of a huge range of digital solutions and services, complete with pricing, service management levels and technical information all displayed in a standard framework to enable easy searching and comparison of vendors.

How does it differ from a standard tender process? 

G-Cloud is designed to streamline the procurement process, thereby reducing cost and time spent on this activity.  As a result many of the steps of a normal tender are not required, including: invitation to tender, request for price, request for quote and request for information.

 

How to get the most out of G-Cloud 

1. Define your needs 

As with any procurement project it is crucial to first fully define your requirements: What are the goals of the project?  What resources do you want to/can you commit to the project?  What are your timescales?  

2. Search the Digital Marketplace for appropriate vendors

The companies that appear under these search terms will form your initial longlist.  Filters should then be applied and duplicates should be removed to reduce this down to a shortlist.  A variety of filters can be applied around the type of the service (e.g. select just SaaS products, data management etc.) and the price.

3. Evaluate 

Your shortlist should be evaluated against either a lowest price or MEAT (Most Economically Advantageous Tendering) assessment method.  Lowest price evaluation carries the limitation that it only makes sense if the service offerings are the same.  This may be appropriate for selecting an email solution for example but may not suit the evaluation of complex SaaS products where different vendors will have significantly different offerings.

Unlike other tender processes, Buyers using the MEAT assessment method are allowed to select their own weighting when evaluating vendors.  When purchasing complex and project critical solutions like a Common Data Environment it is recommended to put significant emphasis on the technical merit criteria, particularly service definition and support, the quality of which will influence your project across its lifecycle.

Suppliers should be assessed based on the service definition and pricing documents they supply through G-Cloud and through questions asked to the supplier based on your requirements.

Under G-Cloud you are allowed to ask the supplier questions such as: Can you deliver your solution against my specific requirements?  You should use this as an opportunity to reassess your requirements against what is available, a good supplier will be happy to offer advice and consultancy on how best to achieve your aims. 

4. Select a vendor

Once you have all the information you require you are in a position to make your decision based on quality and price.  Once this decision has been made you can approach the supplier to sign the call-off agreement.  This is simply an order form as all suppliers to G-Cloud are already signatory to an agreement covering all legal aspects of the procurement, removing the need for individual contracts.

 

To find out more about our Common Data Environment, and how it can support collaboration, information management and BIM Level 2 on your project see our G-Cloud listing.

For more information on purchasing from G-Cloud see the procurement guidelines

About the author

Michelle Mason

Michelle Mason leads the UK and MEAP Marketing team, with far too many years in B2B marketing to mention. A CONJECT newbie, Michelle is eagerly climbing a steep learning curve.

View my LinkedIn profile:
http://uk.linkedin.com/in/michellemason04

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