We are pleased to announce that Ultima has been re-awarded a place on the Crown Commercial Services (CCS) G-Cloud framework, allowing us to offer solutions to more public sector clients.
Ultima has been on this framework for the last three years; now in its 11th iteration we have refreshed our 16 offerings to bring them in line with clients’ evolving needs, so why not take the opportunity to re-familiarise yourself with G-Cloud, and how you can make it work to your advantage.
What is G-Cloud?
G-Cloud is a government framework managed and maintained by the Crown Commercial Service (CCS). CCS work with both departments and organisations across the whole of the public sector to ensure maximum value is extracted from every commercial relationship and improve the quality of service delivery.
G-Cloud aims to provide simple and streamlined procurement processes for public-sector bodies to buy commodity IT services that use cloud computing. Suppliers on G-Cloud sign-up to a series of framework agreements with CCS, from which public sector organisations can buy services without needing to run a full tender or competition procurement process. G-Cloud services are divided into three categories, or ‘lots’:
- cloud hosting, e.g. content delivery networks or load balancing services
- cloud software, e.g. accounting tools or customer service management software
- cloud support, e.g. migration services or ongoing support
What are the advantages?
When considering your new procurement, budget and time are usually at the top of the list. By utilising G-Cloud as your vehicle to procure new services, you can save time and money. Taking time to compile and construct requests for information, manage laborious tenders and navigate complicated portals, can quickly eat into your project budget and involve multiple stakeholders. With G-Cloud, the buying process is time and cost-effective, there is no need for OJEU, invitation to tender (ITT), request for price (RFP), request for quote (RFQ), request for information (RFI) or negotiation.
Similarly, CCS has done the hard work for you in evaluating suppliers and reviewing their eligibility to be on the framework. In order to be on the framework, suppliers are background checked and must agree to the framework terms set out by CCS. Ultima has also gone through a rigorous supplier declaration process, to confirm how we’ll work with buyers and the government.
Whatever cloud-service you need, G-Cloud has an offering for you. Whether that is a cloud-based security tool, or a managed service desk supporting your cloud technology, the portal has easy to find, innovative and up-to-date solutions for you. Ultima’s offerings are updated regularly in line with moving technologies, so you know that you’re always getting the most current tech available.
Another benefit of G-Cloud is that you’re no longer tied into long contracts, enabling you to move and refresh your technology stack to keep in-line with new products available. The maximum contract duration on G-Cloud is 24 months, with the option to extend twice by 12 months each time, if required.
Who can procure through G-Cloud?
All public sector bodies are eligible to procure via G-Cloud, including agencies and arm’s length bodies. This includes local governments, central government, local public sector organisations, NHS customers, education services, MOD customers, and some charities are also eligible. If you’re unsure, you can check your organisation on the customer unique reference number (URN) list to see if you’re eligible.
What are Ultima's offerings?
Our offerings are split across the three lots and offer a variety of services which are in-line with our strategic offerings. These are all cloud-based and competitively priced in-line with our market offering:
How does it work?
Once you’ve got your budget approved internally, and you’ve decided to go ahead with the project, procuring via G-Cloud couldn’t be simpler. To really make the framework suit you and your needs, you can narrow down your search easily, using key terms and requirements, to find a supplier. If you know you’re after a quick to set up, robotic process automation, try searching for ‘virtual workforce SaaS’, and check the boxes you need – maybe it’s resellers providing extra features and support, or you need staff to be security cleared:
Once you’ve located suppliers, review their service offerings in more detail, and you can even compare against other providers, to see how they stack up. Once you’ve done this and evaluated the suppliers, all you must do is complete the call-off contract to get your service off the ground.
To summarise, the key benefits of G-Cloud include:
- quick, cost-effective procurement process
- regularly updated and refreshed, so you know you’re getting the latest offerings from suppliers
- easy communication between suppliers and buyers
- no requirements for OJEU, ITT, further competition or contract negotiation
- short-term contracts for off-the-shelf products
Contact your Ultima account manager for advice on procuring through G-Cloud, and we can help you navigate the Digital Marketplace to start your cloud journey today.