Office 365, Project Online, Project Server 2013

What is the Digital Marketplace and why does it matter?

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Before we dive straight in and take a look at the specifics of the Digital Marketplace, we first need to provide you with a little bit of history by looking at its parent – “G-Cloud”. The UK Government G-Cloud is a government-wide initiative aiming to ease procurement for public-sector bodies via the use of cloud computing. The G-Cloud consists of: 

  • A series of framework agreements with suppliers. These agreements save an awful lot of time for perspective buyers, so these public sector organisations can call off services without needing to run a full blown tendering process or competition procurement process.
  • The Digital Marketplace; a central hub that allows public sector workers to search for any service covered by the G-Cloud Framework with ease.

The Digital Marketplace is the single destination for the public sector to access and purchase IT commodities and services. It simplifies previous processes and makes it easy for public sector companies to buy with complete confidence. An attempt at a government-wide adoption of cloud computing, the Digital Marketplace is looking to utilise cloud computing’s capability to create a more efficient and accessible means for delivering public services. As well as the ever important cost savings and economic growth, the Digital Marketplace is a fantastic platform and can be seen as a ‘one-stop’ shop for public sector businesses wanting work from trusted services. 

A rigorous process

You don’t have to journey too far back to a time when procurement on the Digital Marketplace (previously named the “CloudStore”) was an arduous task. Historically it has been an extremely lengthy and thorough process to say the least. However, the improvements made on the new Digital Marketplace have greatly alleviated the amount of time it takes to find the right supplier. The customer can be safe in the knowledge that the supplier is fully authorised to work directly with public sector organisations, as all frameworks are fully compliant with EU procurement regulations. This can reduce the time it takes to commission services by up to 95% – a huge saving. 

We’re proud to be featured on the Digital Marketplace

As a Microsoft Gold Partner, we’re delighted to offer Public Sector companies a number of services via the marketplace. These include a range of Project Portfolio Management (PPM) solutions that are delivered via a range of Microsoft Products, such as Office 365, Project Server and SharePoint. Some of our approved offerings include:

Microsoft Project Online

Microsoft Project Online introduces the benefits of the Cloud to Project Portfolio Management. Delivered through Office 365 or standalone, Project Online offers a single view of project and resource data, enabling organisations to prioritise project portfolio investments with ease.

Microsoft Project Server 2013 Platform as a Service

Microsoft Project Server 2013 is an on-premises solution to help maximise a company’s PPM activities. With deep SharePoint integration, Project Server 2013 enables organisations to improve project collaboration, prioritise project portfolio investments and deliver the intended business value.

Support for Microsoft Project Server (In Cloud) and Project Online

We offer support to anyone using Microsoft Project and related collaboration tools – such as SharePoint, Office 365, Project Server or Project Online.

Considering the selectability when it comes to which suppliers get chosen, we at Program Framework feel we have rightfully earned a spot on the Digital Marketplace. As an approved vendor, it’s easy for public sector consumers to buy from us. You can view the full list of our services here.

Safe and Secure

Last year, there was special consideration taken into the improvement of the security assurance process for G-Cloud services. The Government Security Classification scheme changed and made updates to the OFFICIAL, SECRET and TOP SECRET classifications. These changes will see suppliers complete a number of predefined security statements, meaning buyers will have a greater awareness of the security details of suppliers in the marketplace.

The new processes provide a safer approach for the buyer and supplier, meaning both will feel more comfortable finding and providing services on the marketplace. Security additions include:

  • Suppliers will assert how they meet the Cloud Security Principles by selecting a predefined answer for a range of questions that meet the Cloud Security Principles.
  • Suppliers will then be required to provide evidence and documentation to support their assertion.
  • These self-assertion statements will form part of the Suppliers service entry on the Digital Marketplace.
  • Buyers will be able to assess and compare services with a view as to what meets their specific requirements.
  • Suppliers will be able to continuously update the assertion statements, ensuring that Buyers have the latest information.

What does this mean for the buyer?

In short, the Digital Marketplace will certainly save money for the taxpayer through both direct savings and wider efficiencies. These savings will come from:

  • Buying products and services at lower prices
  • Lowering the barriers to work with more SMEs
  • A quicker buying process: reducing costs for the buyer
  • Being agile: buying what you need, when you need it

An independent review showed that average efficiency savings of 50% could be made through the use of G-Cloud. So, it seems the Digital Marketplace ticks all the boxes; giving you a faster, safer, easier, cheaper and more efficient way to buy than ever before.