New memorandum of understanding promises sizeable discounts for public sector customers of cloud service
Cloud collaboration company Huddle has become the latest digital service supplier to agree with the Crown Commercial Service (CCS) on a preferential pricing scheme the promises substantial discounts for public sector buyers.
The organisations have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) that effectively acknowledges growing presence of Huddle’s cloud-based workspaces in central and local government, and marks the latest move in the government’s ‘cloud first’ strategy for IT services.
Under the MoU the pricing scheme will be available to public sector buyers through the Digital Marketplace when G-Cloud goes live on 23 November. A spokesperson for Huddle confirmed reports that the discounts for users of the company’s enterprise agreement model will amount to 55-85%.
Sarah Hurrell, commercial director, technology, at CCS, said: "The preferential pricing scheme we have introduced with Huddle will improve the way technology is bought across government and the public sector, and will contribute to increased savings to the public purse."
The company has claimed to be the largest supplier of software-as-a-service through G-Cloud, with 200 deals through the framework, and has emphasised that it will deliver the services through UK data centres with an 'official' rating under the Government Security Classification Policy.
This is significant at a time when the breakdown of the safe harbour agreement has raised concerns about US security authorities having access to data from EU organisations held in US data centres. Since safe harbour was ruled illegal both Microsoft and Amazon Web Services have announced plans to set up data centres in the UK to support their cloud offerings.
The deal is also the latest in the CCS’s agreements aimed at securing preferential pricing from software providers. Earlier this year it renewed arrangements with Microsoft and Oracle, and it recently announced a deal with open source office suite provider Collabora.
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