NHS Shared Business Services (NHS SBS) has launched a procurement framework for cloud solutions.
It said the Cloud Solutions Framework, which is available through the organisation’s framework portal, is open to the wider public sector and takes in 24 suppliers through four lots.
NHS SBS said it is encouraging the companies to bring new solutions forward during the life of the framework.
Phil Davies, procurement director at NHS SBS, said: “In what is an incredibly crowded and complex market our aim was to significantly simplify the procurement process for the NHS and wider public sector.
“To ensure framework users have access to the very best cloud services at the most competitive price, we carried out a rigorous tender process and limited the number of suppliers on the framework to the 10 or 20 most outstanding in each lot.
“The result is a specialist pool of 24 leading suppliers, which provide the greatest expertise and value for money to the public sector.
“The framework is structured in a way that includes a full range of cloud support services. It means that regardless of where a public body is on its journey into the cloud, or how straightforward or complex its requirements, purchasing the right support is simple, cost-effective and OJEU compliant.”
Small and focused
A spokesperson added that, compared with the Crown Commercial Service’s G-Gloud, the Cloud Solutions Framework has a smaller and more focused pool of suppliers that simplifies a procurement. It is structured in a way that guides organisations through the initial investigations to full procurement of and optimisation of cloud services.
It is also involves a combination of ‘off the shelf’ and bespoke services, and is awarded under NHS terms and conditions, which NHS SBS said provides significant protection for contracting organisations.
Lot one covers solution design and consultancy, focused on initial support ahead of the implementation of service, and includes an analysis of the client organisation’s ‘as is’ position and readiness for cloud. NHS SBS said this is particularly useful for any organisation considering migration from outdated legacy infrastructure to public or private cloud.
The second lot is for infrastructure-, platform- and software-as-a-service, covering covers public cloud and/or private and hybrid cloud hosting, processing, storage, networks and applications.
Lot three is for cloud support services, from on-site management to light touch remote support.
The fourth lot is for end-to-end cloud solutions, to help buyers find trusted partners.
The framework will run until September 2021 with an option to extend for a further two years.
Image by Wing-Chi Poon, CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons
Amended on 1 October to remove mention of scope for new suppliers to be added to framework